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Why do countries with long histories of anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry seem to care more about the so-called rights of young children not to be circumcised than do other countries in the world with far better histories of concern for human rights? The same rhetorical question can be asked of countries, such as Norway, that care so much about the rights of animals not to be slaughtered according to Jewish ritual. These questions are entirely rhetorical because every thinking person knows the answer. It’s not because Germans or Norwegians are better people and care more about children and animals than do Americans. It is because they care less about Jews. Or more precisely they care a lot about Jews. They just don’t like them very much and don’t care if they are forced to leave the country because they cannot practice their religions there.
So let no one praise a nation that murdered a million Jewish babies and children for shedding crocodile tears over the plight of the poor little baby boy who, following a many thousand year old tradition, is circumcised a week after birth. Every good person should condemn Germany for what really lies at the heart of efforts to ban circumcision—old-fashioned anti-Semitism, a term coined by Germans for Germans and against Jews.
History is not irrelevant in assessing current policies. The history of Germany (and Norway) in prohibiting Jews from practicing their traditional rituals goes back to a time when overt anti-Semitism was not only acceptable, it was de rigueur. Today, new words replace discredited old ones. Anti-Zionism instead of anti-Semitism. The welfare of children instead of the banning of religious rituals. But it’s all the same. Anyone who falls for the new pseudo scientific nonsense about the evils of circumcision or ritual slaughter is as naïve or bigoted as those who fell for the old pseudo scientific racial claims of Nazism.
Indeed, there is an ugly whiff of “racial superiority” in the implicit assumption underlying these bigoted laws: Namely, that Germans and Norwegians are somehow morally (if not racially) superior to other countries that permit such “barbaric” practices.
So let’s call a spade a spade and let’s call anti-Semitism by its true name.
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