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, JoséManuel Barroso, President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy and Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjürn 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.


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.


Kantor Center Antisemitism Worldwide Report 2019 – The Coronavirus Crisis is Reviving ‘Blood Libels’ Against Jews

EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor said that already in the first few months since the global breakout of the coronavirus, there has been a rise in antisemitic manifestations relating to the spread of the disease and the economic recession triggered by the pandemic at the release of the Antisemitism Worldwide Report 2019. The total number of major violent incidents monitored in 2019 was 456, an 18% rise from 2018.

Message from Moshe Kantor

EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor announced a series of important measures to provide support and assistance to Jewish communities and other people in need to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus crisis.

EJC expresses outrage at mass display of public antisemitism at Aalst Carnival

EJC expresses outrage at the appalling mass display of open antisemitism during carnival celebrations in the Belgian city of Aalst and stands in solidarity with its affiliate, the Coordinating Committee of Belgian Jewish Organisations (CCOJB).