Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative government has taken the initiative to restore religious freedom in Germany in the matter of infant circumcision (“German Court Opens the Sluice-Gate for Anti-Semitism,” July 2). That shows real leadership. Judging from opinion polls and media commentary, a German court’s ban on infant circumcision has strong popular support, for what seems to be very bad reasons. But Germany’s Chancellor took a strong stand on moral grounds, and appears to have closed the sluice gate. Reports Der Spiegel:
Responding to intense international pressure from Jewish and Muslim groups alike, Germany on Thursday moved to send a signal that the country will continue to allow the tradition of circumcision for boys despite a court ruling that critics said could make Jewish life in Germany impossible. In recent days, Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that Germany would become a laughing stock for the rest of the world if it allowed any ban on the circumcision of boys to stand. he resolution is not legally binding, but it was passed to send a message to religious communities in Germany and abroad that a controversial June court ruling would not be allowed to stand.
Three weeks ago, a Cologne regional court ruled in a case involving a Muslim boy that the child’s circumcision had been tantamount to bodily injury and was therefore a punishable crime. The decision drew immediate criticism from Muslim and Jewish groups in Germany. One prominent rabbi described the ruling as the worst attack on Jewish culture in Germany since the Holocaust and warned that Jewish life would no longer be possible in Germany if the ruling became a precedent.
Angela Merkel is also a steadfast friend of the State of Israel. Her government just delivered a fourth Dolphin-class submarine to the Israeli Navy.