Danish agency issues new guidelines on circumcision, Prime Minister rejects restrictions

The Danish Patient Safety Authority has issued new guidelines on the circumcision of infant boys, stating that it should take place under local anesthesia.

The new guidelines would be fully incompatible with Brit Milah, and come in the wake of a citizens’ proposal for a ban on circumcision of boys under the age of 18, which received the necessary 50,000 signatures to be debated in the Folketing, Denmark’s Parliament.

Henri Goldstein, president of the Jewish community in Denmark, the country’s EJC affiliate, described the possible ban Brit Milah “the biggest crisis for the Jewish community in Denmark since World War II, when we had to flee to Sweden.”

Denmark’s two biggest parties, the ruling Social Democratic party and the opposition liberal Venstre Party emerged in September as opponents of the ban. A coalition of minor parties support the ban.

“The question of a possible ban on the non-medical circumcision of boys can not be regarded abstractly, but must be seen in the light of the consequences for the Jewish community”, said Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

“It is of no use to regard this as standalone matter, without the historical context,” the Prime Minister added. “The Jews have been persecuted in Europe for many hundreds of years. It culminated in the darkest chapter in Europe’s history, in the Holocaust.

“That is why we have given a promise to stand with the Danish Jewish community, and I intend to keep that promise, and therefore a ban is not the right move,” she concluded.

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