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How then should reasonable people respond to these unreasonable efforts to make it difficult to practice traditional Judaism? Some have called for a legal response. Perhaps. But fighting these bigoted practices in court plays into the hands of those who are proposing it. In Nazi Germany, respected jurists were able to use the law to justify the most primitive forms of racism. Indeed Nazism operated through the Nuremburg laws and other such anti-Semitic legal enactments, which were declared entirely lawful by the German courts. Efforts to use the law against these manifestations of racism backfired, by legitimating the Nazi’s legalistic undertakings. So let those who seek to challenge these laws do so but not without understanding the downside of such action.
Some may suggest that the alleged science purporting to support these bans be challenged on the basis of scientific truth. Perhaps. But that too may play into the hands of those who would argue that even acknowledging a possible scientific basis for these bigoted proposals lends some legitimacy to them. “Science” too was used to support Nazi racial studies. Should German scientists now conduct “twin studies” on circumcised and uncircumcised siblings? Why is Germany not willing to accept the conclusion reached by the American Academy of Pediatrics following a five year review of the best research, that “the health benefits” of circumcision – including reduction of HIV and papillomavirus transmission – “out weight the risks?”
The best response is to shame the Germans into rejecting this new form of left wing anti-Semitism, by showing them how similar it was to the Nazism they now claim to abhor. This approach will not work in Norway, because Norwegians have forgotten their history and still believe they were victims of Nazism rather than collaborators. Norway’s anti-Semitic laws preventing Kosher slaughter of animals date back to the pre Nazi period and have remained in force since that time. Norway seems to have no shame nor is it capable of being shamed. Many Germans, on the other hand, seem willing to remember the past—at least up to a point. They must confront that past and look into the historical mirror before they once again go down the road of treating their Jewish citizens as second class or worse.
Shame on those Germans who would ban circumcision. Shame on those Germans who do not care enough to rise up in anger against the pseudo scientific bigots who falsely claim to be interested in the sensitivities of children. Praise for those Germans who do stand against the bigotry of their countrymen.
Let other countries with cleaner hands take the lead in conducting real scientific research and in seeking to protect the rights of children and animals. The dirty hands and filthy past of Germany forever disqualifies that country from leading the effort to ban Jewish rituals. For shame!
This article was published in German by the Juedische-allgemeine.
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