European Rabbonim Turn To Israel For Assistance In The Battle For Religious Freedom For Jews


It is worrisome as being an Observant Jew in Europe is becoming increasingly difficult. There have been laws passed limiting or banning shechita, and on Shabbos, bris milah has been banned in Norway for children under the age of 16, at which time they can give consent should they choose to. This was preceded by votes in Belgium banning both shechita and milah.

Regarding the Norwegian bill, it was decided that performing a bris milah on an event results in both physical and mental harm to the child and this legislators agree is a violation of a children’s rights and they must act to protect the young children incapable of acting on their own behalf.

Director-General of the European Jewish Association (EJA) Rabbi Menachem Margolin has sent letters to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennet calling for assistance. Margolin is asking the ministers to establish a committee that will work with Jewish organizations and governments in the prevention of additional anti-Jewish legislation in European countries.

‘I have no doubt that the State of Israel – the State of the Jewish People cannot remain indifferent to it and I call on you to exert all your political influence in order to prevent the exclusion of Jews from life in various European countries” Margolin stated.

Margolin also signals he is unwilling to accepted the latest vote in Norway as a fait accompli and his organization plans to fight what they call a “disgraceful and anti-Semitic bill”, making a point to add the new legislation does not affect Muslims, since they aren’t obligated to perform bris milah and if they will they can do it at a later age. Hence, he feels this is directed exclusively at Jews.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. This is such nonsense!
    Either threaten that no Jew can ever live in Norway if they ban Bris Milah (not good on humanitarian grounds) or team up with the Muslims – most govts are so terrified of Muslims (not wanting planes to fly into their office buildings) they’ll do anything to placate them.
    Whatever, who wants to live in a place where Shabbos goes out in summer about five minutes before it comes in … and doesn’t happen at all in winter!

  2. From WIkipedia statistics in the U.S.:

    In 2005, about 56 percent of male newborns were circumcised prior to release from the hospital according to statistics from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality … Citing three different data sources, most recent rates were 56.9% in 2008 (NHDS) 56.3% in 2008 (NIS), and 54.7% in 2010 (CDM).

    From the World Health Organization website:

    > There is compelling evidence that male circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men by approximately 60%.

  3. They are probably better turning to American Jews for help. For starters, Europeans don’t especially like Jews (that is why they tried to wipe us out back in the 20th century). Second, Israel is among the Europeans’ least liked country. In addition, most Europeans are also very anti-Muslim, so from their perspective it is “killing two birds with one stone” to ban something that Judaism and Islam have in common (note: except for the part about world conquest, Islam has more in common with Judaism than any other religion).

    On the other hand, Europeans get nervous when Americans insist that we (Americans) have more freedom then they do, and unlike the Israelis, Americans have real economic power. And American has a long tradition of religious freedom going back to the time when most Europeans were still very unfree (e.g. serfs).