Friday, July 6, 2012

Cologne, Germany: Wasn't it MC Hammer who said "you can't cut this"?

On second thought it was MC Hammer who said "you can't touch this!"

I apologize for my irreverent reference to religious tradition. It stems from my continued surprise that it's the German's from Cologne who are the ones actually saying you "can't cut this" in a law passed that banned the ancient and sacred Jewish (and Muslim) ritual of circumcision!

For anyone in Germany to pursue such a questionable ban after what can only be called a less than stellar history with Jews is astounding both for its lack of any understanding of the importance of religious tradition and absolutely zero understanding of public relations.

In an article at TPC last week appropriately titled "Keine Beschneidung für euch Juden" the ban was discussed.

Today the Simon Wiesenthal Center weighs in.

“...It would be a stain on today's Germany to have this ruling stand,” wrote Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, founder and dean and associate dean in a July 5th letter to Chancellor Merkel.
The rabbis wrote that the judicial ruling in Cologne "is an attack on one of the fundamental principles of Judaism.  For 3,500 years, every male child has entered the Jewish people through the rite of circumcision.  We are not talking about a mere custom, but a biblical principle that has defined the Jewish people from time immemorial,” They added that, "Jews circumcised their children even at the risk of their lives when tyrants such as Antiochus and Stalin barred it. From the outset of the Nazi era, German Jews were under attack for their beliefs and practices, including circumcision.  Hitler said in one of his infamous anti-Semitic rants, ‘…Conscience is a Jewish invention, it is a blemish like circumcision.’”

"Since the defeat of Nazism, Germany has come a long way, and worked very hard to successfully chart a new course after the horrific legacy of the Holocaust by guaranteeing religious freedom and democracy,” Rabbis Hier and Cooper wrote adding,  “It would be a stain on today's Germany to have this ruling stand.”

"Chancellor Merkel, you are a proven ally of Israel and friend to the Jewish people. The Simon Wiesenthal Center therefore urges you as the leader of democratic Germany to publicly condemn the Court's ruling and take a leadership role in calling upon the leaders of all the major parties in the Bundestag to take immediate legislative steps to guarantee the right of Jews and Muslims to continue to practice their age-old core tradition of circumcision,"Center officials concluded..."

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