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.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.

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Rafael López