Standing Against Antisemitism

Statement Opposing Antisemitism Within The Genital Autonomy Movement

 

April 28, 2022

 

Introduction

We, the undersigned, are disturbed by a rise in antisemitic expression within the genital autonomy movement. Especially in this era of rising hate crimes against Jews, we must be vigilant against allowing such ideas to proliferate within our movement.

We strongly believe that criticizing the practice of penile circumcision DOES NOT, in and of itself, constitute antisemitism. And we also believe that any incorporation of antisemitic expressions into such criticisms undermines the genital autonomy movement. It gives people of good faith reason to reject our cause while supplying people of bad faith with ammunition to use against us.

Jewish people are as capable of expressing antisemitism as non-Jews, and while it’s fairly straightforward to identify certain generalizations about Jews or Judaism as bigotry, it can sometimes be tricky to identify an expression as antisemitic. To help our movement better avoid antisemitism, we offer a working definition and examples.

Our definition and examples are designed to be useful to people within the genital autonomy movement and are by no means comprehensive. People of good faith can sometimes disagree about what constitutes antisemitism, but there is a consensus about a certain set of ideas and we will limit our examples to these.

 

Working Definition

Antisemitism is a longstanding form of bigotry that targets Jews and Judaism. Like other forms of bigotry, it paints a group of people with negative, sweeping generalizations. Antisemitism consists of anti-Jewish beliefs, attitudes, and actions. It can be manifested in words, visual images, and deeds. Antisemitism can be direct, indirect, explicit, or coded.

 

Some examples of statements that DO NOT express antisemitism:

  1.  “It should be illegal to cut the genitals of any child, male, female, or intersex for non-medical reasons.”
  2. “The circumcision of Jewish babies for religious reasons violates the baby’s right to bodily integrity.”
  3. “Jewish babies feel pain and some Jewish babies grow up to be Jewish men who are angry that they were circumcised.”
  4. “Some Jews have been influential in the promotion of circumcision, and some Jewish organizations have fought legislation designed to protect infants from penile circumcision.”
  5. “Metzitzah b’Peh is a dangerous religious practice that puts Jewish infants at risk.”
  6. “Many Jews associate circumcision with Jewish identity.”

 

Some examples of antisemitic statements related to penile circumcision:

  1. Blaming the Victim
    “The historical persecution of Jews was a reasonable response to their practice of circumcision.”
  2. The Myth of Jewish Power
    “The Jewish people manipulated the United States into adopting the practice of circumcision.”
  3. The Dual Loyalty Accusation
    “Jewish critics of circumcision who speak out against antisemitism can’t really be committed to ending the practice of circumcision.”
  4. The Conspiracy Theory of Control
    “The Jews control the media, the medical establishment, and the legal system and are pulling the strings behind the scenes to perpetuate the practice of circumcision.”
  5. The Mischaracterization of Metzitzah b’Peh
    “Metzitzah b’Peh constitutes cannibalism, vampirism, and pedophilia.”
  6. Defamatory Essentializing
    “Judaism embodies systemic pedophilia.”

 

Conclusion

While all human beings make mistakes, we are not forever defined by those mistakes. Even those within our movement who at times have fallen into the trap of perpetuating antisemitic attitudes, or who simply have failed to confront antisemitism when it has occurred, are encouraged to approach the cause of genital autonomy with as great a commitment to respecting the diversity and value of all human beings as they bring to the cause of genital autonomy itself.

There is no room in our movement for antisemitism or any other form of bigotry. The work of protecting children from genital cutting is just too important to allow such hatreds to derail all our efforts. We have a moral duty to speak out against antisemitism within the genital autonomy movement. We believe that doing so, now more than ever, is imperative both for the health of our movement and for the betterment of our society.

Authors:

David Balashinsky, PT, BalaBlog
Lisa Braver Moss, BA, President and Co-Founder, Bruchim
Tim Hammond,Whose Body Whose Rights? | Co-Founder, National Organization of Restoring Men | Independent Researcher, Global Survey of Circumcision Harm
Ryan McAllister, PhD, Elephant in the Hospital and UnBreaking Birth
Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon, Cut: Slicing Through The Myths of Circumcision, Co-founder, Bruchim
Rebecca Wald, JD, Celebrating Brit Shalom, Executive Director, Bruchim

 

Organizations:

Attorneys For The Rights Of The Child

Beyond The Bris

Brit Shalom l’Alliance sans Souffrance

Bruchim

The Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project

Doctors Opposing Circumcision

Droit Au Corps

Genital Autonomy Legal Defense and Education Fund

National Organization of Restoring Men

Your Whole Baby

 

Individuals:

Peter W. Adler, MA, JD, Circumcision Is A Fraud: And The Coming Legal Reckoning

Carrie Agnese, MSEd, Board Member, Your Whole Baby

Kira Antinuk, RN, BScN, MN Executive Director, Children’s Health; Human Rights Partnership

Carole Anne Babyak, Board Member, Bloodstained Men

Sunshine Bagoyo, Board of Directors, Your Whole Baby

David J. Biviano, PhD, Board Member, Genital Autonomy Legal Defense and Education Fund

Glen Callender

Norm Cohen, Executive Director NOCIRC of Michigan, Inc.

George C. Denniston, MD, MPH, Founder and President, Doctors Opposing Circumcision

Max DuBoff, Board Member, Bruchim

Ulf Dunkel, IntactiWiki

Laurie Evans, M.A., Founder/Co-Director NOCIRC Center NY Hudson Valley

John V. Geisheker, JD, LLM, Executive Director and General Counsel, Doctors Opposing Circumcision

Ronald Goldman, PhD, Circumcision: The Hidden Trauma, Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective, Founder and Executive Director, Circumcision Resource Center, Founder and Director, Early Trauma Prevention Center

Gregory J. Hartley, BS, Your Whole Baby / Intact America

George Hill, Vice-President for Medical Science and Bioethics of Doctors Opposing Circumcision

Elana C. Johnson, Director of Equity, Your Whole Baby, Bruchim Leadership Team

Robert Clover Johnson

Brother K, Founder and Board Member, Bloodstained Men

Andrew S. Kohler, PhD

David J. Llewellyn, JD, Law Office of David J. Llewellyn

Gillian Longley RN, BSN, MSS, Board Member, Doctors Opposing Circumcision

Ron Low, BS, MBA President, TLC Tugger Foreskin Restoration Devices

Jennyfer Park, Co-Vice President, Your Whole Baby

Taryn Pinstein, Board Member, Bruchim

Miriam Pollack

Mark D. Reiss, MD

Larissa Remennick PhD, “Joining the Tribe: Adult Circumcision Among Immigrant Men in Israel and its Traumatic Aftermath”

Lauren Sardi

Tora Springer RN MSN MLS BS

Rebecca Steinfeld, PhD

Michelle Storms, MD, Board Member, Doctors Opposing Circumcision

Dan Strandjord

Sarah E Strandjord, MD, FAAP

J. Steven Svoboda, Esq, Executive Director, Attorneys For The Rights Of The Child

Gabriel Symonds, MB, BS, An English Doctor in Japan, Board Member, Doctors Opposing Circumcision

John W. Travis, MD, MPH, Board Member, Doctors Opposing Circumcision

Lucy Viegas, PhD, University of Edinburgh, Climate Risk Consultant, Science Educator

Katie Ward, IBCLC, MSEd, President & Executive Director, Your Whole Baby

Michaelle Wetteland, RN (retired), Board Member, Doctors Opposing Circumcision

David Wilton, Board Member, Attorneys For The Rights Of The Child

Hugh Young, The Intactivism Pages

 

Are you a leader or influencer in the genital autonomy movement? If you’d like to add your name to this statement, or you have any questions, write us at:

StandAgainstAntisemitism@gmail.com