Knesset slams German bris ban

An Israeli parliamentary committee denounced a ruling in Germany banning ritual circumcision, saying the decision infringes upon religious freedom and evokes memories of the Holocaust.

A regional court in Cologne recently ruled that circumcising young boys for religious reasons amounts to bodily harm, even if parents agree to it. 

Committee chairman Danny Danon invited the German ambassador to the Knesset, seeking clarifications on the court ruling.

“Circumcision is one of the pillars of Judaism, and the last time it was restricted was in Germany during its darkest hour,” Danon said at the meeting with the ambassador, which was open to reporters.

The German ambassador, Andreas Michaelis, told the Israeli lawmakers his country was working to resolve the issue and that the ruling doesn’t apply at the national level.

The ruling has also drawn criticism from many Muslims, who view circumcision as an important practice in their faith.

A German Justice Ministry spokeswoman, speaking on condition of anonymity, said July 9 that legislative action might be needed to protect religious traditions in the wake of the court ruling. — ap