LOS ANGELES - US Jews have urged Germany to overturn a court ruling that bans the circumcision of boys before they are old enough to make their own choices.
A Los Angeles-based Jewish lobby group, the Wiesenthal Center, said yesterday it would be "a stain on today's Germany" to let the ruling stand.
Rabbis from the group said Chancellor Angela Merkel and German politicians should act immediately to reverse the June 26 ruling by a regional court in Cologne.
The German court ruling "is an attack on one of the fundamental principles of Judaism," wrote Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, founder and dean and associate dean of the centre in a letter to Merkel.
"For 3500 years, every male child has entered the Jewish people through the rite of circumcision. We are not talking about a mere custom, but a biblical principle that has defined the Jewish people from time immemorial."
Healthy Jewish boys are circumcised eight days after being born.
The rabbis noted that Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler said that "conscience is a Jewish invention, it is a blemish like circumcision".
"Since the defeat of Nazism, Germany has come a long way, and worked very hard to successfully chart a new course after the horrific legacy of the Holocaust by guaranteeing religious freedom and democracy," they wrote.
"It would be a stain on today's Germany to have this ruling stand," the rabbis added.