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Israel denounces anti-circumcision resolution

Israel Friday denounced a resolution by the Council of Europe urging the EU member states to consider banning circumcision, calling on the body to rescind what it said fosters "anti-religious hatred".



Jerusalem: Israel Friday denounced a resolution by the Council of Europe urging the EU member states to consider banning circumcision, calling on the body to rescind what it said fosters "anti-religious hatred".

A statement issued by the Israeli foreign ministry underscored that the circumcision of male children is an ancient tradition shared by both Jews and Muslims, Xinhua reported.

"Any comparison of this tradition to the reprehensible and barbaric practice of female genital mutilation is either appalling ignorance, at best, or defamation and anti-religious hatred, at worst," the ministry said.

The resolution, passed Tuesday by the Council`s Parliamentary Assembly, said ritual circumcision constituted "a violation of the physical integrity of children."

It called on member states to "initiate a public debate... and reach a large consensus on the rights of children to protect against violations of their physical integrity" in accordance with human rights.

Circumcision involves the surgical removal of the foreskin from the penis.

For thousands of years, the brit milah ("covenant of circumcision") ceremony has been performed on eight-day-old Jewish male infants.

Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the resolution "casts a moral stain... and fosters hate and racist trends in Europe", calling on the Council to annul it without delay.

The 47-member Council is not affiliated with the EU and its resolutions are not legally binding.

IANS

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