EJC President calls on European leaders for dialogue and mutual agreement on the issue of Jewish circumcision

Circumcision came under assault earlier this year when a regional German court in Cologne ruled that ritual circumcisions were unlawful. The attempts to proscribe Jewish circumcision spread to neighbouring countries like Austria and Switzerland and has since arisen in other European countries, including Scandinavia.

Most recently, the Finnish political party, the True Finns, have expressed their intention to present a bill to parliament that would make ritual circumcision a criminal offense.

In his letter, Kantor wrote that these assaults on our religion are causing untold anxiety to Jewish communities across Europe who are successfully balancing their adherence to European law and principles of their Jewish faith..

“The basic right of freedom of religious expression is not only enshrined in the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights and in the European Convention of Human Rights but is also heavily protected by national legislation in member states,” he added.

The best way to stem the assault is through dialogue, Kantor said, citing the model of the mutual agreement between the Dutch Government and the Jewish community over attempts to proscribe kosher slaughter in Holland.

The letter was sent to European national leaders as well as senior European leaders, including, European Parliament President, Martin Schulz, President of the European Commission, JosŽManuel Barroso, President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy and Secretary General of the Council of Europe, ThorbjŸrn Jagland.

“In the highest spirit of European tolerance and conciliation we are happy to discuss these issues further with you and express our concerns in a more detailed manner in the hope that we can secure a resolution to allow for the full freedom to continue practicing our religion” Kantor wrote.

related

Subscribe to EJC newsletter

Get EJC's bi-weekly newsletter, including the latest statements and news from the European Jewish communities, direct to your inbox.

European Jewish Congress will use the information you provide on this form to contact you. We will treat your information with respect and will not share it with others. By clicking Subscribe, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

Statements

EJC President Kantor expresses concern about a Jewish future in Europe after release of FRA report on young Jewish Europeans

EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor has expressed great concern over the results of the FRA report “Young Jewish Europeans: perceptions and experiences of antisemitism.”

The study, at the initiative of the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS), critically records the experience of antisemitism among young European Jews, who are all too often the target of anti-Jewish hate.

EJC sends its deepest condolences to President Reuven Rivlin on the passing of his wife Nechama Rivlin

EJC sends its deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the President of the State of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, on the passing of his beloved wife, Nechama Rivlin.

EJC calls comments by Polish PM on restitution a major distortion of the historic truth

EJC has called comments by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki saying that to pay restitution to Jews who survived the Holocaust would equate to “Hitler’s victory after his death” a major distortion.

EJC calls on all Europeans to reject extremism and stand up for fundamental values and freedoms

EJC calls on all Europeans to reject extremism and populism and to stand up for fundamental values and freedoms ahead of the European elections, which will take place between 23-26 May.