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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Orthodox Rabbis Fear Circumcision Clampdown Could Spread Across Europe

Berlin - A group of orthodox rabbis is warning that the ancient Jewish practice of infant male circumcision could face further clampdowns in Europe after some hospitals in Austria and Switzerland recently suspended the procedure.

This follows a regional court ruling in Germany last month that concluded that removing the foreskin amounts to criminal bodily harm. The Cologne court ruling doesn’t amount to a ban.

But the Conference of European Rabbis said Wednesday its fears are being realized that the verdict could have a knock-on effect across Europe.

The group’s president, Pinchas Goldschmidt, told The Associated Press that Jewish leaders are seeking out government officials and lawmakers to explain the important role circumcision plays in their faith.

Germany’s government says it wants to clarify the law to ensure the practice is legal.

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