Israel against the Council of Europe: The Foreign Ministry
is calling on the Council of Europe to immediately rescind a resolution
calling male ritual circumcision
a "violation of the physical integrity of children."
In a harsh statement, the ministry said: "This resolution casts a moral stain on the Council of Europe, and fosters hate and racist trends in Europe."
It was noted that "Circumcision of male children is an ancient religious tradition of two important religions, Judaism and Islam, and it is also common among some Christian circles."
"Any comparison of this tradition to the reprehensible and barbaric practice of female genital mutilation is either appalling ignorance, at best, or defamation and anti- religious hatred, at worst."
The Foreign Ministry said that "claims that circumcision harms young boys’ health and body are false, and do not rest on any scientific evidence."
The statement quoted an official paper by the American Academy of Pediatricians showing the health benefits of newborn male circumcision.
'The resolution of the PACE constitutes, therefore, an intolerable attack both on the respectable and ancient religious tradition that lies at the base of European culture, and on modern medical science and its findings."
At the end of a debate in Strasbourg, the Parliamentary Assembly ruled overwhelmingly that male circumcision and female genital mutilation are forbidden, unless the child is over the age of 15 and has given his or her consent to the practice.
The council passed the resolution based on a report by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, by a vote of 78 in favor and 13 against, with 15 abstentions.
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