October 23, 2013
MKs [Members of the Knesset] to traverse Europe to combat anti-circumcision proposalsby Lahav Harkov
MKs plan to travel through Europe in the coming weeks to battle anti-circumcision legislation.
On Wednesday, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein called in 15 MKs who head caucuses for relations with different European countries to discuss how to fight a resolution that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed earlier this month.
The resolution called male ritual circumcision “a violation of the physical integrity of children,” and said states should protect children “against violations of their physical integrity according to human rights standards.”
[And their rebuttal of these almost self-evident facts is...?]
At the meeting, Knesset diplomatic adviser Oded Ben-Hur recommended that the MKs visit European countries and ask their counterparts to sign a new draft resolution written by Israel that would reverse the PACE decision.
In addition, the MKs will check whether there are bills on the dockets of parliaments in Europe that are meant to outlaw circumcision, and work to block them by explaining the importance the ritual has for Jews and Muslims.
“This is a battle that unites religions. [Only religions that want to cut children's genitals...] The PACE decision is scandalous and can set Europe on fire,” Edelstein warned.
The Knesset speaker said that at that moment a European MP could be trying to pass the resolution as law in his or her country, and the MKs must do all they can to stop it.
MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al) said that although he did not usually travel with Knesset delegations, he would join this battle.
“I can’t imagine that circumcision will become illegal,” Tibi stated. “We [Jews and Muslims] have a joint interest of the first order, an interest that is supreme and moral. [!] We must fight together.”
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