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Press Release

ADL Commends Germany For Passing Law To Keep Circumcision Legal

New York, NY, December 12, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today commended the German parliament for passing a law to preserve the religious freedom of those who practice ritual circumcision.

The new law, which passed with 434 to 100 votes, codifies the right of parents to approve the practice of circumcision by a trained professional.

In May, a regional court in Cologne ruled that the practice was illegal because it constituted “bodily harm,” generating legal uncertainty about circumcision throughout Germany and causing great trepidation for the future of the German Jewish community.

“Circumcision of newborn male infants is a core religious rite of Judaism,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  “This vote marks a milestone in Germany’s commitment to re-building Jewish life and to religious freedom.”

In a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, ADL expressed appreciation for the vote in the Bundestag and hopes that the legislation will provide an example to other countries where religious freedom has come under threat.

“We look forward to holding up Germany as a model to be followed,” Mr. Foxman wrote.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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