The Council of Europe will not ban Jewish ritual circumcision of boys, Council Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland assured European rabbis this week.
Speaking at the convention of the Conference of European Rabbis in Berlin, Jagland said Monday that he wanted to make it “absolutely clear… that in no way does the Council of Europe want to ban the circumcision of boys. It is a very important part of Judaism and of Jewish life.”
Earlier, Jagland met with European Jewish leaders assuring them that the declaratory position of the Council’s Parliamentary Assembly held no legislative or legal power.
“We work under the Convention of Human Rights,” Jagland said, citing in particular Articles 9 and 10 of the Convention which protect freedom of religion and conscience.
EJC European Policy Advisor Philip Carmel addressed the convention on Brit Milah calling on Jewish communities to work together to protect the practice as well as to standardize Brit Milah to ensure the best possible medical and hygienic conditions.
Conference of European Rabbis head Pinchas Goldschmidt, chief rabbi of Moscow, in an address to nearly 250 member rabbis at a gala dinner at the Jewish Museum said that “European Jewry is… the ‘collateral damage’ in this anti-Muslim offensive.”Wednesday, November 13, 2013