"…whether it’s the Upper East Side transfer station or going into a synagogue–as I did last week–and saying that practices around circumcision that are done in particular ways that are unhealthy for children aren’t gonna continue without proper notification. You just have to stand up sometimes, even if gets you booed…"
File photo: A Chabad mohel performs metzitzah b’peh last fall in Brooklyn
Quinn Tells Other NYC Mayoral Candidates To Stop “Pandering” To Haredim Over Circumcision
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
New York City’s City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was a guest on WOR radio’s John Gambling Show this morning and accused her fellow mayoral candidates of “pandering” to the haredi community over metzitzah b’peh (MBP), the direct mouth-to-bloody-penis sucking done by many haredi (and some Zionist Orthodox) mohels immediately after removing the baby’s foreskin, Politicker reported. The practice has killed and maimed babies and left others with Herpes Simplex 1 infections that, barring an advance in medical care, will last their lifetimes.
“You know what else is wrong, John? Going into communities and pandering and telling them what they want to hear just so you can get their vote. That’s not leadership and that’s not being a mayor,” Quinn said.
“Careful, Madame Speaker. Because there’s a lot of that going on right now,” Gambling warned.
But Ms. Quinn did not back down.
“You gotta say, ‘fair’s fair.' And it won’t make people happy, and I get that. But whether it’s the Upper East Side transfer station or going into a synagogue–as I did last week–and saying that practices around circumcision that are done in particular ways that are unhealthy for children aren’t gonna continue without proper notification. You just have to stand up sometimes, even if gets you booed, as supporting [Police Commissioner] Ray Kelly has done for me in some places and as has supporting the Inspector General bill has done for me in other places–’cause you have to lead, not seek votes,” Quinn responded.
Haredim – led by a the haredi umbrella organization Agudath Israel of America, Satmar, a mohels group and several individual mohels – have sued New York City to try to force it to stop requiring that parents sign an informed consent form before MBP can done on their child.
The lawsuit has met with no success so far – the informed consent requirement is still in place while the suit is winding its way through the courts, despite haredi attempts to have it stayed until the case is heard and a ruling is issued – and it is not thought to have much chance to succeed.
Haredi hopes have shifted from the suit to the mayoral election in which haredim hope that their bloc votes will persuade candidates to promise to abolish the informed consent requirement once elected.
So far, all of the Democratic candidates except Quinn have been receptive to haredi demands, with most agreeing that a compromise between haredi leaders and the city that could involve eliminating the informed consent requirement should be worked out.
Only Quinn has said that the lives and health of the children must be the city’s first priority.