The fight over the controversial San Francisco ballot measure to ban circumcision for boys under 18 is getting some pushback from the nation’s capital. Rep. Brad Sherman says he will introduce legislation to prevent cities from banning the practice:
“Male circumcision has been practiced for thousands of years and is a deeply important ceremony for two major religions,” Sherman said. “Circumcision is obligatory for Jewish-born males — it must be performed on the eighth day after birth and is only postponed in the case of threat to the life or health of the child. Muslim parents also circumcise their male children.” …
“Congress has a legitimate interest in making sure that a practice that appears to reduce disease and healthcare costs remains available to parents,” he said. “And, nothing in my bill prohibits statewide law ensuring that male circumcision occurs in a hygienic manner.”
The activists fighting to ban circumcision in San Francisco — a group calling themselves “intactivists” — has been hit with accusations of anti-Semitism recently, after they published a comic book called “Foreskin Man.” One of the characters, “Monster Mohel” is presented as a demonic-looking, Orthodox Jewish man who forcefully snatches screaming babies away from their terrified parents.
Nancy Appel, ADL associate regional director, told the Jewish Chronicle the comic book campaign “reaches a new low and is disrespectful and deeply offensive.”
“Some of the imagery calls to mind age-old anti-Semitic canards such as the blood libel, the accusation that Jews ritually murder Christian children,” she said.
Meanwhile, Matthew Hess, the intactivist who drew the comic, told the Sacramento Bee, “I’m not attacking Jews; I’m attacking one thing they do.”
He also added he was happy with the attention the comic was getting. “It’s doing what it was designed to do – getting people to talk about it,” he said.
And now that the debate is moving from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., the issue is sure to get even more attention.