I didn't have time to finish off my last post, on racist graffiti. Here's my conclusions. First, that hate transcends lines of ethnicity, race and politics. Second, that the zero sum comparison/competition between different victimologies is on a hiding to nowhere because of the intimate connections and overlaps between different hatreds.
As reported and discussed at Mystical Politics, a German district court (Cologne/Koln) has banned circumcision, or, more strictly, ruled that the "fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed thefundamental rights of the parents" and that doctors carrying out circumcision are committing grievous bodily harm. While there are forms of circumcision that do constitute GBH and quite rightly should be treated heavily by the law (link h/t Jogo), the Cologne ruling is outrageous, and racist (against Jews and Muslims) in effect.
On this topic, I whole-heartedly agree with the Torygraph's pet right-wing Marxist contrarian Brendan O'Neill, who asserts that the rebranding of circumcision as 'child abuse' echoes the ugly anti-Semitism of medieval Europe. He goes further: "The labelling of religious practices as “child abuse” is the most cynical tactic in the armoury of today’s so-called New Atheists." Two so-called (I think it's him that calls them it, not what they call themselves) "New Atheists" who have robustly hit back are Zinnia Jones and Ophelia Benson, both very smart people, but I'm not convinced by their response.
Lining up with Jones and Benson is Larry Derfner of +972, who supports the ban. One tweeter summarised this as "or How to Lose Jewish Friends and Alienate Jewish People", and indeed as if +972 and the Israeli left are not marginal and out of touch enough in the global Jewish community, this is rather bad politics for them. Note this almost Atzmonesque and rather racist sentiment: "this point has to be made loudly and repeatedly to all Jews, Muslims and other tribal types who feel they have no choice but to put their sons through this." In other words, thank the enlightened Aryan goyim for rescuing these backward Semites from their barbaric practices.
This weekend's links
Francis Sedgemore/Lewisham NUJ: NUJ helps win Living Wage for London science interns; Charlie Brooker on Clive James, and a vintage letter from James about Pankaj Mishra (h/t Shiraz Socialist); Eric Lee and Paul in Lancs on Bomber Command; James B on internet piracy; fighting to commemorate the Munich Olympic massacre; Reuben: The pwnership of a Tory minister does not negate the awfulness of Jeremy Paxman; my first and last cassette LPs; Flesh on Greeking the EU; Marko v Ed on Croatian immigrants swamping the UK; Sarah AB on Maya Sela v Alice Walker on boycotting Hebrew translation; Alan Johnson on the Jihad at home; Adar Primor brilliantly summarises the rise of the European right, and concludes with two paragraphs of pure bullshit; the Soupy One on Stephen Sizer; Moshe Dayan's lesson for the Israeli left; Civil liberty or old-fashioned antisemitism?; Libya's Islamists; and that's probably more than enough for now.