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December 18, 2013 10:22 am

Council of Europe Will Reconsider Anti-Circumcision Stance

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JNS.orgThe Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly decided to revisit its anti-circumcision position following a meeting with an Israeli parliamentary delegation headed by former Knesset Speaker MK Reuven Rivlin (Likud-Beiteinu), Israel Hayomreported.

The council’s parliamentary assembly ruled Oct. 1 that ritual circumcision violated the rights and harmed the physical integrity of young children. Concerned the resolution would encourage individual European countries to institute a circumcision ban, Israeli President Shimon Peres wrote a formal letter to Council of Europe Secretary-General Thorbjorn Jagland explaining the importance of the ritual and asking the council to reconsider its stance. Jagland later clarified that the ruling was only a resolution, and that a ban was not in the council’s plans.

The debate will be renewed in a committee meeting, with its decision to be presented for approval by the Council of Europe as a whole.

Rivlin and delegation members MKs Yitzhak Vaknin (Shas) and Ronen Hoffman (Yesh Atid) presented the Council of Europe with a petition signed by more than 100 of its own members requesting that the discussion on circumcision be reopened.

“We expect Europe to change its approach to the ritual circumcision ban and other issues related to freedom of religion and conscience,” said Rivlin.

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