Israel approached Turkey and suggested that the two countries work together to oppose the recent European resolution condemning ritual circumcision, Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed a non-binding resolution earlier this month, in which male circumcision was called a “violation of the physical integrity of children,” encouraging European countries to “clearly define the medical, sanitary and other conditions to be ensured for practices such as the non-medically justified circumcision of young boys.”
Israel has already voiced its opposition to the European resolution, calling it “intolerable.” Israeli President Shimon Peres sent an appeal to Thorbjorn Jagland, secretary general of the Council of Europe, earlier this week, asking him to reconsider the Council’s decision.
In reaching out to Turkey, Israel hopes to lift the European ban on circumcision as well as improve relations between the two countries, which have remained strained since the 2010 Gaza flotilla incident in which nineTurkish citizens were killed in an IDF raid on the Mavi Marmara.
Male circumcision is widely practiced in Muslim Turkey, and the millions of Turkish immigrants in EU countries would be likely to suffer from the resolution condemning the age-old ritual.
The ritual circumcision of boys younger than 18 has come under attack increasingly in Scandinavia and German-speaking European countries both by left-wing secularists and right-wingers who fear the influence of immigrants from Muslim countries.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.