*** He criticizes Norwegian draft banning the procedure before a person reaches 16 years
Moscow, May 10, Interfax - Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar sees anti-Semitism in a draft banning circumcision before the age of 16, suggested by the Party of Progress, which forms governing coalition of Norway.
"Jews have made circumcision to boys on the eighth day of their life for almost four thousand years. Many Christians also took up the tradition in last several centuries. No one never mentioned the harm inflicted to children by this procedure," Lazar was quoted as saying by his press service.
According to the rabbi, in all times from Roman emperors to Soviet anti-religious activists - "demagogical statements about the harm of circumcision for children were used to assimilate the Jews who wished to remain Jews, or to demonize Judaism in the eyes of people around."
"Today we see the next attempt of a such kind hypocritically disguising in care for "the rights of children." I hope that Norwegian government will remember that religious freedom is one of the basic rights of the Norwegian Constitution and another anti-Semites' attempt to cancel the oldest commandment of the Jewish people will share the destiny of the previous ones," the chief rabbi said.