Of course they do. They are Germans. It’s their way of expressing their outrage that there could still be Jewish babies in their G-d forsaken country.
Israel Hayom- The European Jewish Congress (EJC) condemned on Sunday last week’s ruling in Cologne that made religious circumcision illegal shortly after a Jewish hospital in Berlin announced on Friday it would be suspending circumcisions until further notice. Circumcision is one of the most ancient and profound Jewish traditions.
EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor called the ruling an assault on religious practices. “We would hope that in Germany of all places where there is a high level of sensitivity to such freedoms, Jewish life would be allowed to flourish without restriction.” Kantor called on the German government to “take a clear stand against this ruling and [fall] in line with the German constitution, which guarantees religious freedom.”
“We need to remind people that our practices, completely in line with modern science and safety precautions, are thousands of years old and above all, are protected by the European Convention of Human Rights on the basis of freedom of religion.”
Kantor attributed the court ruling to a recent spate of anti-religious court proposals, including an attempted ban on the kosher slaughter of animals, called shechitah. “After recent attempts to ban shechitah in various parts of Europe, another Jewish religious practice is being targeted,” Kantor said. “If any of these attempts succeed they could quickly spread to other parts of Europe and severely impact on Jewish life on our continent.”
Meanwhile, a Jewish hospital in Berlin announced on Friday that it had suspended circumcisions in light of the Cologne ruling. The court stated that religious circumcision constitutes “serious bodily harm.”
The Jewish hospital released a statement saying that they would be “suspending circumcisions until the legal position is made more clear.” The hospital performed up to 300 circumcisions annually, a third for religious reasons and the rest for health reasons.
Dieter Grumman, head of the Central Jewish Council in Germany, told Focus magazine on Saturday that “circumcision is an essential part of the [Jewish] religious faith and is non-negotiable.”
According to Focus magazine surveys, the German public is largely not aligned with Grumman: 56% of Germans voiced support for the suspension of circumcision practice while only 35% opposed it.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle responded to criticism sparked by the case that Germany was harming freedom of religion for Muslims and Jews in a twitter post: “The ruling has irked the international community. Let us be clear: Religious institutions are protected in Germany.”
The original case involved a doctor accused of performing a circumcision on a 4-year-old Muslim boy that led to medical complications. Despite the ruling setting a precedent on physical integrity as noted above, the doctor in question was acquitted and prosecutors said they would not appeal. It is likely, however, that the case will move up to the Federal Constitutional Court for interpretation.