Rabbis appeased – and infant boys suffer the consequences

Rabbis appeased – and infant boys suffer the consequences March 10, 2017

Several years ago Orthodox Jews in New York city kicked off when an attempt was made to regulate a ‘sacred’ ritual  – metzitzah b’peh – that involved mohels (circumcisers) sucking the penises of newly-mutilated infant boys.
A parental consent form was introduced after a number of babies were infected with herpes, but rabbis screamed that this violated their religious freedom, and launched a lawsuit against the administration, which quickly backed down. In 2015, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the consent form was to be scrapped – and Jewish religious leaders were cock-a-hoop.
Crowed prominent Brooklyn Rabbi David Niederman, whose Central Rabbinical Congress pressed the lawsuit:

I’m thankful to Mayor de Blasio and his entire administration …. for doing what it is right, eliminating this consent form, which was intrusive and violated our freedom of religion and speech. It’s a victory for religious freedom and a victory for public policy.

The Mayor’s office said in a statement:

While the de Blasio Administration continues to believe that MBP carries with it health risks, given the sacred nature of this ritual to the community, the administration is pursuing a policy centered around education of health risks by the health care community and respect for traditional practices by the religious community.
Increasing trust and communication between the City and this community is critical to achieve the Administration’s ultimate goal of ensuring the health and safety of every child, and this new policy seeks to establish a relationship based on engagement and mutual respect.

Not surprisingly, this new approach has done little to protect infant boys.
It’s now being reported that there have been six reported cases of infant herpes linked to metzitzah b’peh circumcisions in the three years since the city eased rules – the most recent being the case of a boy who was admitted
to hospital with a rash and blisters on his genitals, buttocks, inner thigh and ankle after being circumcised when he was eight days old.
De Blasio confirmed the incident  on Wednesday.

We’re right now in the process of identifying the mohel and we expect full cooperation from the community. We literally heard about this case at some point in the afternoon yesterday [Tuesday].

Two similar cases were reported in 2016 and three in 2015, the year that the city’s Board of Health — under de Blasio’s direction — voted to ease regulations on the oral post-circumcision practices.
Under Mayor Bloomberg administration, Jewish parents were required to sign a consent form before the controversial ritual, which has been linked to two deaths and two cases of brain damage since 2000.
In 2015, the city’s Health Department took a new tack, distributing pamphlets and posters warning of the procedure’s risks to doctors and hospitals serving Orthodox families.
Health officials said in Wednesday’s alert.

Despite these efforts, parents of case-patients infected have not reported seeing the pamphlet or poster.

There have been a total of 18 cases of infant herpes linked to ritual circumcisions since 2006, when health providers were first mandated to report infections.
In 2012 it was reported that parents in Israel were increasingly choosing not to have their sons circumcised.

Dr Avshalom Zoossmann-Diskin, one of the most vociferous objectors in Israel to circumcision and the founder of Ben Shalem – an organisation which fights circumcision – says that in his many years of anti-circumcision activism he has encountered only one harsh response.
That was in 1999, in connection with a petition he submitted to the High Court of Justice against circumcision on the grounds that it violates the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Freedom, the Children’s Charter of Rights and criminal law. After the petition was rejected, the Interior Minister at the time, Eliahu Suissa ?(Shas?) stated that ‘the petitioner should be thrown out the window’.

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  • barriejohn

    It amazes me that when people are doing the things that their god commands them to do, they don’t seem to be protected from any adverse consequences. Is he unable to protect the faithful; is he ignorant of what is happening; or does he just not care?

  • Johan

    Primitive. Barbaric. Deviant. Perverted. Dangerous. Indecent. Do these people not realise that this kind of behaviour forces normal people to revile them? I mean revile with a vengeance.
    The abominable ritual must be banned.
    Infractors locked away for several years.
    Parents to be heavily fined say 50% of annual net earnings.

  • ray metcalfe

    Take away the religious tittle and the garb all you have is a pervert. They would be arrested and tried except it is allowed because of religious freedom. Sick sick sick

  • Johan

    A more appropriate punishment for guilty mohels is circumcision right to the base of the penis done on them without anesthetics. Or even total sex change to the unclean female sex with all the necessary surgery and hormonal treatment.
    And why to mohels is menstrual blood so disgustingly horrid and yet the blood and amputated foreskin of baby boys so delectably toothsome?

  • Angela_K

    Once again a “sincerely held belief” keeps perverts and child abusers out of jail. I’m surprised the catholic priests with their penchant for young boys aren’t in on this.

  • sailor1031

    YHWH does seem to have a fixation about foreskins. If he didn’t want people to have them why did he create them? And does he have a collection of specially good ones somewhere; say in an old coffee can, like any real collector would?

  • Matthew Carr

    Pedophilia remains a serious medical condition for which there is no cure. The only productive treatment involves smearing the patient’s genitals with honey and burying them up to their necks in a fire ant hill.

  • tonye

    Jewish parents that allow this, and I cannot think of another word, barbaric practice should be charged as encouraging and aiding paedophilia.
    I think, with that stigma attached to them, they would think twice about this prehistoric practise.

  • Grown men mutilating the penis of male infants and sucking the blood from the wound.
    Do it for fun, do it for Postman Pete, do it for money, do it for an audience, do it for an audience – go to prison (if you’re lucky).
    Do it for religion – get social approval.
    Religion is hard to define in a way that includes all religion. But I’m pretty sure “socially approved child sacrifice” comes close.

  • Brummie

    Genital mutilation of children, for non-medical reasons, is always wrong and should be illegal. It is simply child abuse.

  • L.Long

    This will make the anti-Semites happy! More of the young will die off!

  • Johan

    Imagine if in the middle of the night you woke up went to your nursery room and found someone with a scalpel and the foreskin and blood of your baby boy in his mouth. Just think of that horror for a few seconds. How would you react?
    What would happen to the evil bastard?

  • L.Long

    Right John! Now imagine you just gave the monster permission to do so!!!!

  • Vanity Unfair

    Imagine that the child was admitted to a hospital and left suffering from herpes. What would the parents do? Especially in the USA, I think that there would be lawsuits claiming very large amounts in damages. Why is that not the case here?

  • John the Drunkard

    That’s the worst part. Genital mutilation is inexcusable, even though it was so common in the U.S. that many grown women have never even seen an intact man…
    If routine hospital circumcisions were done without minimal sanitary practices, the hospitals would face serious discipline. But mohels, (thanks religion) don’t even have to be screened for herpes. Considering the pressure the Orthodox clans exert for secrecy and obedience, its likely that the reported cases are a tiny fraction. And how many OTHER infections might these poor boys be exposed to?

  • Robster

    I say get out the really big knife and do what’s required to stop these unfortunates from reproducing.

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    I concur with all the sentiments expressed above. This practise is barbaric & if it weren’t for religion being involved would have been banned a long time ago. It’s time it was stopped.

  • Michael Glass

    Everybody has been venting here about the ritual, but it’s harder to work out what is do about this repulsive custom of sucking blood from a baby’s penis.
    Here are some proposals to strictly control ALL circumcisions and ALL circumcisers:
    1 Unqualified people should be banned from circumcising anyone!
    2 Qualified but incompetent circumcisers should be banned from circumcising anyone else!
    3 Strict and thorough record-keeping will help to find out who the incompetent operators are, and weed them out. This could be done by issuing a certificate of circumcision to the person circumcised and establishing a centrally maintained and mandatory register of all circumcision procedures, to:
    a) record the names of the circumciser and the medical or other establishment where it occurred;
    b) document whether the circumcision was for medical or non-medical reasons
    c) document any complications arising during, or after the procedure;
    d) allow for updates to the register if further complications are encountered later;
    e) allow the person circumcised to contact his circumciser and/or the medical facility where the procedure occurred and, if necessary, take legal action.
    4 Dangerous traditional practices such as metzitzah b’peh (oral suction of the circumcision wound) must be discouraged by public education and other suitable measures.
    5 Before anyone is circumcised, an independent doctor must certify in writing that the person is free of any bleeding disorders and any other contra-indications and is strong enough to withstand the surgery.
    6 Before a child is circumcised, both parents must give informed and written consent to the surgery. No child should be circumcised for social or religious reasons against the objection of a parent.
    7 If a man or an older child is forcibly circumcised against his will, this must be treated as a sexual assault, and the perpetrator prosecuted accordingly.
    8 Anti-discrimination laws need to be amended to ban any discrimination based on the presence or absence of a foreskin.
    These rules would give more protection to those who undergo circumcision and protect the rights of all, whether circumcised or not.

  • Daz

    @Michael Glass
    Agreed, with one amendment. Your #6 should read “No child should be circumcised for social or religious reasons.”