Foreign Minister Børge Brende - Norwegian Prime Minister's Office
“The Norwegian government recognizes the importance of ritual male circumcision for the Jewish community in Norway," foreign Minister Børge Brende wrote in a letter to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish campaign group. "It will not propose a ban on ritual circumcision."
Norway's Health Minister Bent Hoie announced this month that the new right-wing government would bring in new legislation on non-medical circumcision of boys under 18 before April 20 next year.
His announcement followed an article by the country's Children’s Ombudswoman Anne Lindboe in the Aftenposten newspaper arguing for a ban on the grounds that non-medical circumcision violates the rights of minors.
Last week, Lindboe told the newspaper that Jews would stop circumcising children if understood fully what they were doing.
“With good information about risk, pain and lack of health benefits of the intervention, I think parents from minorities would voluntarily abstain from circumcising children,” she said.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which is devoted to tracking down and bringing to justice perpetrators of the Nazi Holocaust, welcomed the letter, saying it sent “a clear message to Dr. Anne Lindboe, Norway’s children’s ombudswoman and other Norwegian figures who continue to publicly express their opposition to brit mila.”