Denmark Party Wants To Ban Circumcision

Leftist Social Liberals Cite Children's Rights

Debate has grown over ritual circumcision in Denmark, normally known as a bastion of tolerance.
Debate has grown over ritual circumcision in Denmark, normally known as a bastion of tolerance.

By JTA

Published September 18, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A left-wing Danish political party is seeking to outlaw ritual circumcision in Denmark.

The Social Liberal Party, a small coalition partner of Denmark’s ruling Social Democrats party, adopted the anti-circumcision stance this week following an internal vote by delegates during a party congress in Nyborg, 75 miles west of Copenhagen, according to the news site etik.dk.

A large majority of hundreds of delegates from the party — Denmark’s 6th largest with 17 out of 179 seats in parliament — passed the motion to oppose all non-medical circumcision of underage boys, the website reported.

The ban was necessary “because we do not protect those who cannot protect themselves, namely children,” said Christian Holm Donatzky, a local politician for the party from Helsingor, a city located 25 miles north of Copenhagen.

The left-leaning Social Liberal Party is one of several anti-circumcision parties in Scandinavia, where the custom has come under attack from left-wing secularists as well as supporters from the right-wing who fear the influence of massive immigration from Muslim countries.

Last year, Norway’s Centre Party also announced it opposed circumcision as did Finland’s third largest party, True Finns. The announcements last year followed a ruling by a German court in Cologne that ritual circumcision amounted to a criminal act. The ruling was overturned, but triggered temporary bans in Austria and Switzerland.

Lene Rachel Andersen, a well-known Danish Jewish author and journalist, wrote an Op-Ed following the vote August 15, warning that a ban would mean the demise of Danish Jewry.

“Within two to three years, religious Jews will move away move from Denmark.” This, she wrote in her Op-Ed for the website religion.dk, will mean “the heart of religious life would disappear.”

In 2003, Denmark’s Children’s Ombudsman, a government body, classified circumcision as a children’s rights violation — a position shared by its counterpart organizations in Finland and Norway.

The World Jewish Congress estimates that there are about 6,400 Jews living in Denmark.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war? http://jd.fo/f4VeG
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.