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August 21, 2012 10:32 am

Israeli Chief Rabbi Visits Berlin to Engage Germans on Circumcision Issue

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Israeli Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger. Photo: wiki commons.

Israeli Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger is in Berlin today to help with an ongoing debate in Germany over the risks and legality of circumcision procedures.

A district court in Germany outlawed ritual circumcisions in June, prompting other European communities to take a similar approach.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel publicly stated her opposition to the ban, stating that Germany could become a “laughing stock” if it did not overturn the district court’s ruling.

Metzger, who represents European born Jews now living in Israel, said on Tuesday that it is possible for mohels, those who are trained to perform the Jewish circumcision procedure, to be given approval after receiving enhanced medical training, according to a report from the Associated Press.

Communities in Switzerland and Austria have followed suit in temporarily banning circumcisions, after a court in Cologne made their decision in June.  In Norway, a medical adviser to the government said that Jewish and Muslim circumcisions could be replaced with a non-surgical procedure.

“Muslim and Jewish children are entitled to the same protection as all other children,” said Dr. Anne Lindboe, the Norwegian ombudsman for children’s rights.

In late July, European Jewish communities joined forces to voice their support for the continuation of the legality of religious circumcisions.

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