When it comes to Jewish advocates of infant circumcision fending off critiques and attacks of this practice, invoking the anti-Semite card is to be expected. This is why it's not too surprising that Jewish critics of the latest resolution issued by the Council of Europe are milking it for all its worth.
What I still have trouble believing is the sheer brazenness with which they make their claims, as if the claims they made weren't already outlandish enough.
Writes Ben Cohen, the Shillman Analyst for JNS.org:
"Writing in the Copenhagen Post, Morten Frisch, a Danish doctor, approvingly cited recent opinion polls in his country in support of a circumcision ban. Clearly irritated by the Israeli government’s opposition to such a ban, Frisch portrayed the issue as a human rights concern, citing the violation of a boy’s “sexual autonomy.” This argument might be persuasive if a vast number of those who have been ritually circumcised presented themselves as akin to rape victims, but the fact remains that a mass movement of aggrieved circumcised men chanting “No More!” remains a fantasy.
Circumcision’s opponents want to create victims where there are none. This is a devious and dishonest tactic, in that it presents discrimination as liberation, prejudice as enlightenment. Mind you, anti-Semites have never considered themselves bigots, but the bearers of a message of love—their core belief is that our world will be a better place without Jews and Jewish influence. And Europe, where these sinister ideas took root in the 19th Century, remains fertile soil for them in the 21st."
A trait that seems to permeate all circumcision advocates, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, seems to be this uncanny projection; the claims they make regarding those who oppose the forced circumcision of minors is true of themselves, and I can't quite make out if they're blind to their own projection, or if they're being craftily deliberate.
I will pick apart Ben Cohen's words on my blog:
"Clearly irritated by the Israeli government’s opposition to such a ban, Frisch portrayed the issue as a human rights concern, citing the violation of a boy’s 'sexual autonomy.'"
The last time I checked, the ones who are "clearly irritated" are Jewish defenders of circumcision, who are flabbergasted at the thought of the forced circumcision of minors being called a basic human rights violation by a world-class entity, such as the Council of Europe, and who insist the issue be one of "religious freedom," and "parental choice."
"This argument might be persuasive if a vast number of those who have been ritually circumcised presented themselves as akin to rape victims, but the fact remains that a mass movement of aggrieved circumcised men chanting “No More!” remains a fantasy."
Ben Cohen's argument seems to be that, in order for a human rights violation to be recognized as such, the victims must themselves believe themselves to be violated, and that furthermore, they organize in a "a mass movement of aggrieved circumcised men."
The trouble with this is that a victim will not always acknowledge that s/he has been victimized. In fact, oftentimes the victim defends his/her perpetrator. This includes rape victims, and even female victims of forced genital mutilation themselves. (See Stockholm syndrome.)
It is interesting that Ben Cohen carefully chooses the clarifying words "mass movement" here, for although there isn't exactly a "mass movement" of aggrieved circumcised men chanting "no more," there actually is small, but growing number of men, Jewish and non-Jewish.
In actuality, there isn't exactly a "mass movement" of aggrieved circumcised women either; the loudest voices are those of western, non-circumcised women.
That never stopped those who oppose the practice of forced genital cutting from calling the forced circumcision of girls the violation of basic human rights that it is.
Jewish advocates speak out both sides of their mouths when they ask for "religious tolerance" when it comes to male infant circumcision, but then have no trouble decrying female circumcision in any way shape or form.
"Circumcision’s opponents want to create victims where there are none. This is a devious and dishonest tactic, in that it presents discrimination as liberation, prejudice as enlightenment. Mind you, anti-Semites have never considered themselves bigots, but the bearers of a message of love—their core belief is that our world will be a better place without Jews and Jewish influence. And Europe, where these sinister ideas took root in the 19th Century, remains fertile soil for them in the 21st.""
Devious and dishonest indeed.
What is devious and dishonest is how Ben Cohen and others present any and all criticism of the forced circumcision of minors as racist, discriminatory and prejudiced, as if the circumcision of infants were an exclusively Jewish practice, as if circumcision were universal among Jews, and, as if those who oppose the practice were targeting only infant circumcision when practiced by adherents of Judaism.
The fact is, circumcision is not exclusive to Jews; only approximately 0.6 % of all circumcisions in this country are Jewish brisim; the rest are secular, gentile circumcisions performed at hospitals.
In addition, circumcision is not universal among Jews. There are Jews in Europe who have been leaving their children intact for years. A growing number of Jews are forgoing a traditional Bris Milah circumcision ceremony, and instead opting for a more peaceful, non-cutting Bris Shalom naming ceremony. Even in Israel, there is a growing number of parents who are not circumcising their children. A recent poll reveals that 1/3rd of Israeli parents question the practice.
And finally, it would be one thing if intactivists targeted the Jewish ritual of infant circumcision. The fact is that intactivists oppose the forced genital cutting of ALL minors, regardless of race or creed. Of all circumcisions that happen in the US, only about 0.6%, perhaps even less, comprises of Jewish brisim; the rest are secular, non-Jewish circumcisions that happen at hospitals. Circumcision is a rite of passage in Africa, and South East Asia. It is performed in America and South Korea for pseudo-medical, non-religious reasons. We're opposed to ALL of it.
It is devious and dishonest for Jewish advocates of circumcision to pretend like they're being "singled out," when this clearly isn't the case. Little by little people are seeing through this smear tactic, as more and more people have the courage to speak out, despite the threat of being labeled Nazi-Germans.
But it was Cohen's following utterance which infuriates me:
"Circumcision’s opponents want to create victims where there are none."
Yes, we're pulling reasons to oppose the forced circumcision of minors out of our ass.
I suppose then, that the recent herpes cases in New York, the recent penile amputation case in Pittsburgh, the glans ablation cases that put Mogen out of business, the thousands of botch corrections of which there are enough for doctors to make a living, the botches and deaths that go on in Africa, the hospitalizations of Jewish and Muslim boys, etc., etc., are all simply figments of our imagination.
We're simply pulling all of this out of thin air for the sole purpose of antagonizing Jewish people, and don't actually care about defending the most basic of human rights.
Circumcision is Child Abuse: A Picture Essay
COUNCIL OF EUROPE: Non-Medical Circumcision a Human Rights Violation
COUNCIL OF EUROPE: Non-Medical Circumcision a Human Rights Violation
Picture Gallery of Tribal Circumcision Botches in Africa (WARNING: Not for the squeamish.)
Picture Gallery of Circumcision Botches in the West (WARNING: Not for the squeamish.)
Note: These are just a few links and stories that your blogger could think of off the top of his head; there are more reported botches and deaths due to circumcision, Jewish and non-Jewish, than can be posted here.
The classic logical fallacy of "I'm not but you are." Projection is clearly evident here. When the AAP Task Force responded to Frisch and the gang of 38, they noted that Europeans had a bias in favor of the foreskin. I didn't think much of until a Jewish friend of mine pointed out that this was code for calling all Europeans anti-Semites.ReplyDelete
The constant claims of anti-Semitism are getting a little old, and losing any of the impact they were intended to have. There a several reasons for this. (1) There is no evidence of any anti-Semitism. (2) It is the boy who cried "Wolf!!" all over again. If someone doesn't like bagels that is enough to be labeled as an anti-Semite. (3) Once the charge of anti-Semitism is raised, that is a signal that the argument has been lost. (4) It is the epitome of narcissism. It is analogous to the family of a victim of the blast of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima stating that bomb was dropped specifically to kill their family member as if Truman was out to get them personally.
One of my favorite descriptions applies: spurious but entertaining.
I think this "bias in favor of the foreskin" sophistry is absolutely ridiculous. How can you have a "bias in favor" of any one body part? It only makes sense in the mind with the warped vision that that body part is "extra" and superfluous -- which is where the true bias lies.Delete
To view a perfectly normal body part as "extra" or superfluous is beyond bias; it points to deeper psychological issues. (See "body integrity identity disorder.") It is complete madness, the belief that somehow boys are born with bodies that are "broken," "defective" and must be "fixed."
My description of the anti-Semite claims: Either genuinely myopic or craftily misleading.
Leonard B. Glick, author of a highly critical book on circumcision, is Jewish; and he is not an anti-Semite. Indeed, to the contrary, he has written extensively on the Holocaust. The myth about a secret link between intactivists and anti-Semites can be easily refuted by mentioning the high number of Jewish intactivists.ReplyDelete
There are progressive elements within Judaism, pushing for a new, bloodless ritual, Bris shalom. It is the rabbinic class (who first imposed male circumcision on Jewish households) that resists evolutionary biology and its implications for human sexuality. Scientific knowledge of the foreskin is not "anti-semitic" per se. Neither is intactivism (or any other genuinely progressive cause). To the extent that it resists social evolution, Judaism will get caught in the crossfire of these so-called "circumcision wars." If Jewish religion fails to adapt, it will perish (wrong side of history).ReplyDelete
Knowledge - consciousness - of one's victimhood is a separate matter to that of victimisation: