Samstag, Oktober 13, 2012

Holocaust-Überlebender zur Beschneidung: Deutschland sollte seine Haltung überdenken

Germany's parliament may soon approve a law to protect religious circumcision, this to counteract a Cologne court ruling last June that pronounced the practice unlawful.

This is wrong - the German government should rethink. I say this as a Jewish parent from a proud rabbinic lineage, with relatives killed in the Holocaust; I say this as the maker of "It's a Boy!" - the 1995 British TV documentary that first broke the taboo on showing the hidden toll of circumcision. It demonstrated how a rite ingrained in Jewish and Muslim culture, and said to be divinely commanded, regularly results in acute suffering, injuries, mutilation and deaths.

The film triggered a furor in Britain by chronicling the near-death of a baby circumcised by a mohel, and I hoped this would start a phasing-out of the custom. Instead, at pulpits across the U.K., rabbis denounced "that film made by a self-hating Jew," and urged parents to ignore it.

(...) Now my 12-year-old daughter is looking forward to her bat mitzvah, and she hears that Israel's Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger has declared circumcision is "the root of the Jewish soul." "An amputation done with no pain control?" she says. "Done outside of hospitals, by people who are not doctors? A religious ritual only for boys? How can this be the root of the Jewish soul in 2012?"

Sadly, I explain that there is enforced ignorance, as was the case when our family was pressured into having her older brother circumcised as an infant. Only after we witnessed his agony did we realize we'd been bullied into betraying our protective roles. I explain that injuries and near-deaths are hushed up, though each day hundreds of such incidents occur globally among those who practice the rite (as research by the British organization NORM-UK reveals ). I explain that fatalities are rarely spoken of, though each day brings three or four. And the lost children have sometimes been erased from Jewish family trees, as my film attests. That can be comprehended perhaps as a legacy of the Talmud, which instructs that a mother may cease offering babies for circumcision after three of her offspring have died from it.

I recall the TV documentary I made against corporal punishment of children, and how I applauded countries like Israel and Germany, which were among the first to outlaw such punishment. It appears to me wholly contradictory that those countries protect a tradition that routinely inflicts greater suffering and harm. And none should take a lead from America, where it's still legal for parents to hit children, where pediatricians profit from a sideline in circumcisions of boys of all backgrounds. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the profession's trade organization, has issued yet another equivocal statement recently, about a practice that is a money-spinner for some of its members.

(...) In Israel, some young adults now choose to be tattooed with the Auschwitz numbers of their forbears. A moving tribute. But if a religious leader decided it was God's commandment that babies be tattooed, we'd halt that everywhere. Religious Jews manage without animal sacrifices, without polygamy, without a range of practices that enlightened rabbis found reasons to dispense with over the centuries.

Ironically, there was a time in Germany, long before the Nazi era, when some rabbinic leaders advocated abandoning circumcision; they termed it barbarism. Theodor Herzl, the father of Zionism, refused to have his son circumcised.

(...) Despite Wednesday's decision by the German cabinet to approve legislation that would protect circumcision, it's still not too late to reverse course. In a letter I've sent Chancellor Angela Merkel my message is simple: Please don't undo the opportunity for change created by your courageous Cologne judge. Jewish and Muslim children deserve protection from a hurtful, dangerous custom overdue for replacement. If it takes a court in 21st-century Germany to help us move beyond circumcision, I welcome that.

Hier findet man den vollständigen Artikel. (Man muss sich dazu allerdings vorher anmelden, was aber in wenigen Sekunden geschehen ist. Da ich annehme, dass das vielen Lesern trotzdem zu aufwedig ist, habe ich diesmal einen großen Teil des Artikels hier auf Genderama zitiert. Man muss den vielen idiotischen Artikeln, die argumentieren, Deutschland "schulde" den Juden sozusagen deren Recht auf Beschneidung und alles andere wäre antisemitisch, etwas Sinnvolles entgegensetzen. Eine reichlich ekelhafte Propaganda gegen ein Verbot der Genitalverstümmelung präsentierten dieser Tage etwa Thomas Ihm und Igal Avidan auf SWR 2.)

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