(JTA) — The leader of Norway’s second-largest party made conflicting statements about her position on efforts to outlaw non-medical circumcision of boys younger than 18.
Siv Jensen, the leader of the Progress Party — a junior coalition partner of the ruling Conservative Party — voted in favor of a motion opposing ritual circumcision during the annual party convention held on June 6 north of Oslo.
Jensen, who is Norway’s finance minister, later said she had intended to vote against the motion, which passed with a comfortable majority, explaining the voting was “confusing.” She also said that she “respects the will” of the majority of party members who voted in favor of the ban.
Yet during a meeting Monday in Oslo with a rabbi from Belgium and another rabbi from the Netherlands, Jensen said she would not advance prohibitions on the ritual.
“I want to re-assure that it is not on the government agenda, not on my party’s agenda and is not on my personal agenda,” Jensen on Monday reportedly told Rabbi Menachem Margolin from the Brussels-based European Jewish Association and Dutch Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs.