JERUSALEM, Israel -- The Israeli Foreign Ministry called on the Council of Europe Friday to immediately rescind its anti-circumcision resolution passed earlier this week.
"Circumcision of male children is an ancient religious tradition of two important religions, Judaism and Islam, and it is also common among some Christian circles," the Foreign Ministry said in its statement.
Muslims circumcise male children up to the age of 10 and some "circumcise" girls, a practice known as "female genital mutilation" since there are no health benefits whatsoever and it relates more to the subjugation of women.
The statement rejected the council's comparison of male circumcision to the "reprehensible and barbaric practice of female genital mutilation as either appalling ignorance, at best, or defamation and anti-religious hatred at worst."
On Thursday, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe a majority decision on a nonbinding resolution alleging, among other things, that male circumcision is "a violation of the physical integrity of children."
The pan-European intergovernmental organization called on E.U. member nations to "clearly define the medical, sanitary and other conditions…such as the non-medically justified circumcision of young boys," the Jewish Telegraph Agency reported.
The council further asked Europeans to "initiate a public debate" to ensure that such practices would not take place until a "child is old enough to be consulted."
In Judaism, newborn boys are circumcised on the eighth day after birth according to a biblically mandated commandment known as the Abrahamic covenant, signifying the eternal relationship between God and the descendants of Abraham (see Gen. 17:10-14).
For Jews, banning circumcision is tantamount to the most heinous anti-Semitic act because the practice represents the essence of Judaism. It is mandatory for every male child to be circumcised, symbolically initiating him into the Jewish people.
During the Nazi reign of terror, when being identified as a Jew meant a death sentence, it was worth the risk because in Judaism, it is inconceivable not to circumcise male babies.
A 2012 ruling by a German court banning infant circumcision was later reversed.
Citing a paper by the American Academy of Pediatrics issued in August 2012, the statement said the council's claims that circumcision harms the health and body of your boys as "false" and not based "on any scientific evidence."
And indeed, medical research shows that male circumcision benefits men and women.
Dr. Bob Wiskind, a pediatrician in Atlanta, Ga., and president of the Georgia chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, is strongly in favor of infant male circumcision for its hygienic benefits."
Dr. Wiskind says uncircumcised males have 10 times the number of urinary tract infections and wives whose husbands are circumcised have notably lower rates of cervical cancer.
The Foreign Ministry called on the European council "to act without delay" on a resolution that "fosters hate and racist trends in Europe."
"The resolution of the PACE constitutes, therefore, an intolerable attack both on the respectable and ancient religious tradition that lies at the base of European culture and on modern medical science and its findings," the statement read. "This resolution casts a moral stain on the Council of Europe and fosters hate and racist trends in Europe. We call on the Council of Europe to act without delay in order to annul it."