Israel to avoid Norwegian circumcision debate

Rabbi Joav Melchior, Norwegian circumcision debateOslo. Rabbi Joav Melchior : Berit Roald / NTB scanpix

Rabbi asks Israel to avoid involvement in Norwegian circumcision debate

Rabbi Joav Melchior of Det Mosaiske Trossamfund (Mosaic Religious Community, DMT) asked the Israeli government to avoid interfering in the Norwegian circumcision debate concerning boys.


‘It is not in the Mosaic religious community’s interest that the Israeli government is involved,’ Melchior told the Jerusalem Post newspaper, according to Vårt Land .

Debate in several political party’s

The debate has been raging in the media the in recent weeks, after Fremskrittspartiet (the Progress Party – Frp) included in their program a proposal for a ban of the circumcision of male children.

The Environmental Party (MDG) at first also voted to follow suit, but decided later that they would not support anything that the Progress Party were for.

Several other parties have also debated the topic. Melchior told the Jerusalem Post that the Jewish community in Norway has had ‘extensive talks with Frp and the government here in Norway, and is collaborating with everybody involved in resolving this potentially worrying situation.’

Support from the board

Chairperson of the board of the DMT, Ervin Kohn, said he supports the Rabbi’s clear message to Israel.

‘This is a local Norwegian debate. Israel as a state has nothing to do with it. They don’t know the language, those involved, or the history,’ said Kohn.

‘It’s ok to remind society that we are Jewish Norwegians. Some people believe there is a contradiction between being Jewish and being Norwegian. For example, when someone claims that ‘we are Norwegian, we do not circumcise’. Yes, we Jewish-Norwegians do’, said Ervin Kohn.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today