NYC mayoral candidate Bill Thompson is told by a haredi leader that a "red line" issue for the "rank-and-file" haredi man on the street is metzitzah b'peh (MBP), the direct mouth-to-bleeding-penis-sucking done primarily by haredi mohels after cutting off a baby's foreskin. MBP transmits diseases, including herpes, and can – and has – killed and maimed babies.
The city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene passed an requirement for all parents and moehls that mandates that parents must sign an informed consent form provided by mohels before the circumcision if MBP is to be performed on their child.
Agudath Israel of America, the Central Rabbinical Congress (based in Williamsburg), a mohel's organization (based in Crown Heights), and several mohels individually are suing the city in federal court to try to have the requirement voided.
So far, the haredim have lost every legal challenge regarding this issue that they have brought.
And while they have been busy suing the city and lying about the "safety" MBP to their haredi "rank-and-file," another baby was hospitalized with herpes transmitted by a mohel during MBP.
Even so, this has not caused haredi leaders to face reality, and his has not caused them to admit the truth to their haredi followers.
Instead, they're busy trying to coerce candidates for mayor to reverse the informed consent requirement.
Here's a video of haredi leaders trying to do that with candidate Bill Thompson.
To his shame, Thompson accuses Mayor Michael Bloomberg of refusing to talk over the informed consent decision with haredi leaders – forgetting or simply not knowing that these very same haredi leaders broke an agreement reached with the city in late 2005 early 2006 after the first New York MBP deaths were made public.
Thompson also disregards the fact that the entire process of requiring the informed consent now was well-publicized and open for public comment before it was adopted.
Health decisions should not be backroom political deals. Instead, health decisions should be made by qualified medical professionals and public health specialists. But haredi leaders leaders want another backroom deal to be made now in this case, just like the backroom deal that was made to great ineffectiveness in early 2006. And Thompson appears to be willing to go along with that demand: