Joint statement by the Nordic Jewish Communities concerning the proposed anti-circumcision legislation in Iceland

We, the Jewish Communities in the Nordic countries strongly protest the proposed legislation banning Brit Milah, the Jewish tradition of neonatal circumcision of boys.

Iceland would be the only country to ban one of the most central, if not the most central rite in the Jewish tradition in modern times. But it would not be the first time in the long tradition of the Jewish people. Throughout history, more than one oppressive regime has tried to suppress our people and eradicate Judaism by prohibiting our religious practices.

Iceland does not have an organized Jewish Community today. Banning Brit Milah will be an effective deterrent and will guarantee that no Jewish community will be established.

This letter might be perceived as meddling in Iceland’s internal affairs. And why should we care? The reason is that you are about to attack Judaism in a way that concerns Jews all over the world. If any country with next to no Christian inhabitants would ban a central rite in Christianity, like communion for instance, we are certain that the whole Christian world would react as well.

We urge you to vote against the bill banning Brit Milah and rather look to Norway’s legislation effective from January 2015 protecting the the Jews’ right to Brit Milah.


Dan Rosenberg-Asmussen
The Jewish Community in Denmark

Ervin Kohn
The Jewish Community of Norway

Yaron Nadbornik
Central Council of Jewish Communities in Finland

Aron Verständig
Council of Swedish Jewish Communities


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