German Rabbi Charged for Performing Circumcision
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  • Among the perpetrators of this was the judges who issued the original court decision and this bloody physician. It is a bit much to say the “German people” need to come to their senses. How about “Germany’s educated bourgeoisie”? The same class of people cause a peck of trouble where we live.

  • Richard F. Miller

    “Europe” (“Show me an address,” Kissinger once quipped) is a collection of tribes, not especially adept at transcending race and ethnicity. (“Blood and soil,” is how I believe Hitler phrased it.)

    The rights rhetoric of the EU was taken wholesale from the US, a product of post-WWII American pre-eminence. One doesn’t have to look to this latest Euro-effort at tribal conformity to realize that its rights rhetoric is little more than wind. Look the millions of unassimilated Muslims kept on the fringes of its society as the white mainstream does its Elmer Fudd routine, barely comprehending the problem.

    Atavism, thy name is France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Italy, blah, blah blah…..

  • Herb

    It is worse than you think. German anti-Semitism is again quite strong and clearly rising. They have gone off the rails with this one. Some additions:

    Germany’s Child Protection Society (Kinderhilfe) denounced the ritual as “a blank check for religiously motivated child abuse.”

    The head of the German Academy for Pediatric Medicine, Wolfram Hartmann, warned on July 17, that circumcision causes “lifelong bodily and above spiritual [sic] injury.”

    Six-hundred German physicians and lawyers signed an open letter to Merkel published July 21, proclaiming that “religious freedom cannot be a charter for violence,” and asserting that circumcision violates the “right of children to bodily integrity and sexual self-determination.”

    Etc, etc.

  • Walter Sobchak

    The Germans will never forgive the Jews for being their victims in the Holocaust.

  • Ryan

    “Abhorrent and offensive?” We don’t tolerate female genital mutilation. Male genital mutilation should not be tolerated in a modern and enlightened society either. It’s a primitive rite that causes undue pain to the infant and can lead to health complications. Judaism has thousands of rabbinic regulations. The absence of one will certainly not spell its demise. The media-induced hysteria over this case is simply crass in its thinly veiled bigotry against Germans.

  • Lexington Green

    From a Jewish friend who lives there, I am told the unstated point of this law, which is generally known and approved of, is to make life intolerable for Muslims in Germany, so they will leave. If it causes the small number of Jews to leave, that is, from the German perspective, merely an added bonus. Also, he believes that an industry like medical tourism, to bring Jewish infants to other countries where the mohels can work unimpeded. Most Muslims will not have the financial means to do this.

  • thibaud

    SIlly Germans. We should send them some of the GOP’s best and brightest medical thinkers to straighten them out.

    Like Dr. John C. Willke, key Romney ally and former head of the National Right to Life Committee who said that rape can’t make women pregnant.

    “This is a traumatic thing—she’s, shall we say, she’s uptight,” Willke told the New York Times yesterday. “She is frightened, tight, and so on. And sperm, if deposited in her vagina, are less likely to be able to fertilize. The tubes are spastic.”

    Time for a Ryan trip to Germany.

    Get Todd Akin’s legislative co-sponsor and soulmate over there to explain the facts of life to those ignoramuses.

  • Mark Lyndon

    This is about child protection rather than religious discrimination.

    No-one complained when female circumcision was made illegal, even though some people regard it as their religious right or duty to cut their daughters.

    It’s illegal to cut off a girl’s prepuce, or to make any incision on a girl’s genitals, even if no tissue is removed. Even a pinprick is banned. Why don’t boys get the same protection? Everyone should be able to decide for themselves whether or not they want parts of their genitals cut off. It’s *their* body.

  • Tom

    Thibaud said: “Like Dr. John C. Willke, key Romney ally and former head of the National Right to Life Committee who said that rape can’t make women pregnant.

    ‘This is a traumatic thing—she’s, shall we say, she’s uptight,’ Willke told the New York Times yesterday. ‘She is frightened, tight, and so on. And sperm, if deposited in her vagina, are less likely to be able to fertilize. The tubes are spastic.'”

    Even the quote you yourself provided doesn’t say what you want it to.

  • Jim.

    Circumcision, done properly, (with, say, anesthetics) causes little or no pain and causes no lasting damage. It’s equivalent to an ear piercing.

    This is just an excuse for the anti-religious to feel “enlightened”, and for them to express their bigotry.

    It is arrogant in the extreme for people to assume that religious concerns — especially other peoples’ religious concerns! — are to be ignored when they want to congratulate themselves on their high-mindedness.

    Freedom means nothing if you’re free to do anything except what a Liberal doesn’t like.

  • thibaud

    Tom – agreed: all this GOP talk about “tubes” is very strange for the uninitiated.

    I mean, Republican leaders tell us that the internet is a set of tubes. And that a “woman’s tubes” are “spastic.”

    It’s sort of like that newfangled category of “forcible” rape pioneered by congressmen Ryan of Wisconsin and Akin of Missouri. The former being that lifelong Washington politico who also promotes himself as an Ayn Rand-worshipping libertarian.

    It’s all so darned confusing.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Lexington:
    “From a Jewish friend who lives there, I am told the unstated point of this law, which is generally known and approved of, is to make life intolerable for Muslims in Germany, so they will leave.”

    This is much more believable than the dark motives postulated by WRM’s posts and most comments here; and that’s no defense of the Germans, it’s just taking stock of the facts on the ground.

    “If it causes the small number of Jews to leave, that is, from the German perspective, merely an added bonus.

    I find this somewhat harder to believe, but I am not in a position to defend the Germans from this low blow.

    PS: Tom, don’t feed the troll.

  • ahad ha’amoratsim

    Snorri, if this is solely the result of anti_muslim animus and if there is no anti_jewish animus, how do you explain that the indictment against a rabbbi, issued by an elected prosecutor at the request of an doctor having nothing to do with the case?

    Ryan, how wise you are to know what laws Judaism can give up and still survive. Even if you have mistaken a Bibilical commandment for a Rabbinic enactment. Tell me, what other practices do you think we can safely give up? It’s always enlightening to hear from someone who is so sure that he knows more than G-d does.

    thibaud, do your posts have any conceivable relation to the topic we are discussing here?

  • ahad ha’amoratsim

    Mark, if male circumcision were found to be harmful, your counterfactual analogy to female genital mutilation might be worth discussing. It hasn’t, so it isn’t. In fact, researchers at Johns Hopkins recently found that the decrease in male circumcision rates in the US may have serious health consequences for those men whose parents granted them the ‘protection’ you clamor

  • thibaud

    Snorri demurely adds, “I am not in a position to defend the Germans from this low blow.”

    Which Germans and which low blows – the jung’uns receiving whacks to their lower appendages?

    Step aside, Birthers. Here come the Brissers.

  • Tom

    @Snorri Ghodhi:
    “PS: Tom, don’t feed the troll.”

    While I appreciate the advice, I’m not doing this for his benefit.

  • Jim.

    @ahad ha’amoratsim-

    Some of us have tried to spread the word that the Democrats are toying with forces beyond human comprehension… experimenting with Talking-Points-based virtual life forms.

    Some editors here at Via Meadia are part of the cover-up … I pray that this post gets reviewed by one that isn’t…

    Just imagine, a world where every Internet comment section is overrun with off-topic, tasteless politcal attacks. It’s closer than you think. Yahoo was first, and VM may fall soon…

    The horror! The horror!

  • Snorri Godhi

    Ahad, you ask me:
    “how do you explain that the indictment against a rabbbi, issued by an elected prosecutor at the request of an doctor having nothing to do with the case?”

    I don’t see why I should have to explain this at all, even assuming that the prosecutor is indeed elected.
    I was talking about German popular opinion, not about the behavior of specific individuals, elected or not.

    Further, I am basing my hypothesis not so much on observation as on the plausible assumption that Germans have not been taken over by an epidemic of insanity not observed since the demise of the People’s Temple. (Walter Sobchak above seems to assume otherwise.)

  • ahad ha’amoratsim

    Snorri, far be it from me to say that you have to explain anything. I just didn’t see how it fit with your hypothesis.

    I’m not sure what the People’s Temple is or when or why it collapsed, but the German people are no strangers to epidemics of insanity, particularly where Jews are concerned. The events of 1936 to 1945 resulted from nearly 1,000 years of preparation; they did not spring fully armed from the head of Zeus.

  • thibaud

    When a man’s tired of Via Media circumcision threads, he’s tired of life.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Ahad: “my” hypothesis is actually the hypothesis of a Jew who lives in Germany. (And I am not that person, as you might have gathered by now.) Having said that, there is no need to add anything, but for good measure I note that “my” hypothesis is about popular opinion and therefore “your” fact has hardly any bearing on it.

    I do not share your opinion of German culture. (And obviously German Jews did not share it either, at least not before the early 1930s.) I see modern antisemitism as the unavoidable consequence of anti-capitalism, in the sense that all anti-capitalist movements, left to themselves, become increasingly antisemitic over time; so I see German antisemitism as a consequence of the increasing anti-capitalist opinions of German people in the 2nd Reich and Weimar Republic.

    In fact, I find it disturbing that socialist parties in Germany and Austria included a disproportionate number of both Jews and antisemites:
    http://www.paulbogdanor.com/antisemitism/geltman.pdf
    Sort of like American universities today, coming to think of it. Or in fact The Guardian.

  • Snorri Godhi

    PS: my hyperbole about the People’s Temple was supposed to indicate that it is self-destructive, suicidal insanity that I was thinking about, not homicidal insanity. (Though nazi insanity turned out to be suicidal as well as homicidal.)
    I apologize to those who missed the reference for not making this clear.

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