A regional court in Cologne, Germany has banned circumcision in a heavy-handed ruling that has raised the ire of Jews, Muslims and many others who opt to circumcise their male children.
Monday, an Israeli parliamentary committee protested the ruling reminiscent of the Holocaust era in Germany at a special meeting. The decision to ban ritual circumcision infringes upon religious freedom and evokes memories of the worst chapter in German history, in the view of Jews and many others, according to a CBS report.
During World War II, about six million Jews were killed by German Nazis and their collaborators. The Jewish population in Germany has rebounded to some degree.
"Circumcision is one of the pillars of Judaism, and the last time it was restricted was in Germany during its darkest hour," Committee Chairman Danny Danon said at the meeting with the German ambassador, which was open to reporters.
Danon said that Israel would not tolerate restrictions on the practice of Judaism anywhere in the world, "and certainly not in Germany."
Meanwhile, a German Justice Ministry spokeswoman, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Monday that action may be needed that would protect religious traditions in view of the court ruling.
German ambassador to Israel Andreas Michaelis told the Israeli lawmakers that German officials were attempting to deal with the issue in a constructive way. He said the ruling doesn't apply at the national level.
"It's clear that the ruling prohibiting circumcision is more sensitive in Germany because of the Holocaust," Michaelis said. He noted that the Jewish community in Germany, practically wiped out during the Holocaust, is a growing segment of the German population.