Steven I. Weiss is reporting rumors of a large, haredi anti-Bloomberg protest at tomorrow's inaguration. The issue? Metzitza b'peh, the medieval oral-to-genital-contact during (some) circumcisions haredim refuse to stop. Weiss also reports rumors circulating in Flatbush and other less-hasidic areas of Orthodox New York of new government controls over any ritual circumcision, MBP or not.
What is this all about? It seems to me NYC's Health Department is about to release more damning information about the dangerous spread of herpes and other diseases through MBP, information – and perhaps specific cases – already shared with haredi leadership, but not shared by that leadership with their communites. If NYC does this, it will expose haredi leadership to serois attacks from within their own communities. That is why these leaders need to quickly recast this as an attack on circumcision itself, and not simply an attack against a dangerous, non-biblical, section of the procedure done only by (some) haredim.
While the actual meat of the rumors are certainly false*, the underlying message is clear – turn genuine concern by the city for the safety of Jewish children into an antisemitic witch hunt aimed at haredim.
More to come, as this developes.
*With the exception of the demonstration, which may take place.