- Fore[skin]word -

There is a growing movement against male genital cutting (circumcision) worldwide, most notably in America where the harms of male genital cutting have only recently been publicised.  As Uncle Semite sees it, most Jews - a healthy number of doctors and journalists among them - wish to retain their tradition of male genital cutting, and know that as long as circumcision is practised by enough parents (both Jewish and Gentile), it will be difficult to outlaw in any particular country.  Going further, Uncle Semite believes that many Jews promote circumcision so that Jewish boys and men will not “stand out” in the event of any future Jewish Holocaust, and Jewish paediatricians have volunteered as much to Uncle Semite in person.

Those who find the above far-fetched and who doubt that doctors and journalists would let their religious beliefs colour their professional opinion are invited to explain the high correlation between any given journalist’s or doctor’s Jewish ethnicity and his/her frequent support for circumcision as seen in otherwise-credible sources in the media and on the Internet.

Uncle Semite, June 2007


Rabbi(s), onlookers crowded around exposed baby

Yahood vs. Manhood

The photo above was taken at a "bris," where a mohel (pronounced "/moil/") is about to perform a Jewish ritual circumcision.  In general, circumcision involves the removal of not just healthy skin, but muscle tissue, thousands of nerve endings, blood vessels, and a band of soft ridges comprising the primary erogenous zone of the intact male body.  The day depicted above is the last day the child shown will have a normal, natural penis and a normal, natural body.

READ: Men's Health "Did Circumcision Ruin Your Sex Life?"
(www.noharmm.org - non-Adobe version)


Rabbi bent over baby, sucking blood from circumcision wound

Cut and Taste

The event depicted above is the overwhelmingly less common (and decidedly more gruesome) "metzitzah b'peh," where blood from the circumcision wound is sucked directly from the penis by the attending Mohel (versus using a sterile glass tube).  Although uncommon overall, it is not uncommon in an orthodox Jewish bris.  In 2005, a New York mohel infected with herpes in turn infected three babies, including one who died as a result, and another who suffered brain damage.


NYC Mayor Bloomberg in conference room full of Chasidic Jews

A Munchkin among Mentchen

Here, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg meets with prominent members of the Satmar Chasidic community about the death of the aforementioned child.  The Bloomberg administration then turned the matter over to a rabbinical court instead of a court of law, which was itself regarded as a questionable decision.  The rabbinical court, in turn, did nothing.


A "Modern, Medical" Circumcision

Many Jewish boys are circumcised like the boy in the video above - in a hospital under reasonably hygienic conditions.  Pretty much the same important structures - muscles, nerve endings, blood vessels, erogenous tissues - are removed from a Jewish newborn during a ritual circumcision as are removed from any other baby boy during a hospital circumcision.


So What's the Big Deal?


At this point you might be asking yourself the following question: Why is Uncle Semite condemning Jews for performing an act on their own children when many non-Jews do the same every day?

READ: Men's Health "Did Circumcision Ruin Your Sex Life?"
(www.luckystiff.org - requires free Adobe Reader)

Answer: In their zeal to protect genital cutting of their own non-consenting children, far too many Jews strive to preserve this mutilation for ALL children, often by Jewish reporters / doctors / organisations over-reporting the "benefits" of circumcision or by withholding information on its harms.  Here are just a few examples:

  • Terry GrossNPR - An overwhelming percentage of Jewish hosts, guests, and underwriters, along with an apparent unwillingness to do stories critical of circumcision (and an eagerness to offer pro-circumcision viewpoints and coverage of anything even remotely Jewish in nature) distinguishes Hebrew National Public Radio from its peers - or at least all its peers except PRI.  Searching NPR's website reveals no record of a critical story about circumcision since February 2001, and even then the author interviewed on NPR's Fresh Air segment on that episode waffled in his position.  Considering the number of well-established anti-circumcision organisations and authors available for interviews in 2001, Terry Gross could have easily found others better able to speak critically on the subject had she wanted to.
       You can hear about an Israeli Tax Museum or "Hanukah Harry" on NPR, but you won't hear about one of the most controversial procedures in children's health today.
  • Sheri FinkPRI - In a radio piece from Public Radio International's The World, reporter Sheri Fink went as far as to liken circumcision to a "vaccine," a dangerous statement which could encourage circumcised men to be less cautious sexually.  The audio is seemingly no longer available from the theworld.org website; only a gushing pro-circumcision update to the original story can be found.  As a side note, any reader concerned that some small minutiae of Jewish existence might somehow be overlooked by The World will find comfort in today's home page.  (NB: The highlighting in red is mine, but otherwise, that was the exact home page the day I visited.)
  • Edgar SchoenSHO - Penn and Teller's award-winning "Bullshit!" SHOWTIME series kicked off their third season with an episode clearly critical of circumcision.  The opposing viewpoint was represented by Drs. Edgar Schoen and Elizabeth Lyster, who promoted genital cutting.  Dr. Schoen wears an oversized bow tie and reads his own "penis poetry" during the show.  Please rent Season 3 of Penn and Teller's Bullshit! series or look for a preview of this particular episode on YouTube or via your favourite BitTorrent site.
  • LLL - Well-placed Jews in La Leche League kept the United States' largest anti-circumcision group, NOCIRC, from having a booth at La Leche League's 2003 conference after NOCIRC's application had already been accepted and fees paid.  The first two paragraphs of an open letter to La Leche League from NOCIRC of Michigan follow:
       "In a shocking display of mixing with religious causes, La Leche League’s Board of Directors has let a small group of Jewish women defeat the free exchange of information on circumcision’s negative impact on breastfeeding success.
       "In April of 2003, NOCIRC signed a contract with La Leche League International as an exhibitor and paid for exhibit space for your international conference held last July. Shortly before the event, your board of directors vetoed our admission as exhibitors. Word of our attendance had spread to a few powerful Jewish women in your organization who objected to our very presence."
       Never mind that circumcision can directly interfere with breastfeeding, while advocacy groups with little connection to breastfeeding were allowed to participate at the conference.  If you haven't already, please take a moment and read the one-page La Leche League open letter on page 3.
  • William SaletanMSN - As already mentioned on Shitler's List, MSN's Slate online magazine featured an article subtitled "The Case for Genital Mutilation" by William Saletan.  Not content with incomplete or outright faulty reporting, Mr. Saletan goes as far as to attack children's rights activists for their efforts to provide American baby boys the same federal protection baby girls have enjoyed since 1996.
  • Tina RosenbergNYT - In a recent piece in the New York Times Magazine, we are treated to a piece by Tina Rosenberg, repeating the inaccurate and somewhat dangerous metaphor of circumcision as "vaccine."  In her story for The Times, Ms. Rosenberg puts forth circumcision in the context of a vaccine fully seven times, while clarifying that circumcision is not actually a vaccine only twice.  As you might expect, this leaves the reader with [her] desired impression.   Ms. Rosenberg notes that circumcision may not only protect men, but these men may be "less likely to infect their wives" as well.  One wonders if Ms. Rosenberg would offer genital cutting to her own two daughters mensch-ioned in the story if it protected not just them, but their future husbands.

Again, these are but a few examples to get you started.  The most important source you should add to the above is:

  • YOU - The next time you read a story discussing circumcision or Israel or American intervention in Iraq / Iran or neo-conservative viewpoints or whatnot, note the name of the author and any experts interviewed / cited and look them up on the Internet for hints of their ethnicity.  If you want to practice beforehand with some low-hanging fruit, simply tune in to HNPR or pick up a copy of Newsbeak.

READ: Men's Health "Did Circumcision Ruin Your Sex Life?"
(www.noharmm.org - non-Adobe version)