MKs to Launch Campaign to Protect Bris Milah in Europe

YERUSHALAYIM -
The hemicycle of the PACE at the Palace of Europe.
The hemicycle of the PACE at the Palace of Europe.

Knesset members responded on Monday to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) resolution proposing a ban on bris milah, urging an all-out campaign to prevent such a ban, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Various suggestions were made as to how to lobby European parliaments to respect Jewish religious rights, including having each MK calling their counterparts in European countries personally, and working with Muslim countries to pressure Europe on the issue.

Chief Rabbinate Director-General Oded Wiener read a letter from Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau and Chief Sephardi Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef to PACE: “Bris milah is one of the foundations of Judaism. Of all of our commandments, it most characterizes our religion and makes it unique from the rest of the world…We ask you from the depths of our hearts to cancel this decision.”

“If necessary, we will instruct embassies to conduct bris milah on their premises, which is sovereign Israeli territory,” Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee chairman Yoel Rozvozov (Yesh Atid) declared Monday.

Earlier this month, PACE passed a resolution calling bris milah “a violation of the physical integrity of children” and that states should protect children “against violations of their physical integrity according to human rights standards.”

Knesset Diplomatic Advisor Oded Ben-Hur told the MK’s that while PACE has no power to enforce decisions, its recommendations are taken seriously in member parliaments.