Merkel to Get Rabbis’ Award for Support for Jews, Circumcision

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be awarded the Lord Jakobovits Prize for European Jewry for support of the German Jewish community and her stance against anti-Semitism in Europe.

Merkel was also recognized for backing religious circumcision, the Conference of European Rabbis said today in a statement. Merkel will receive the prize at the Great Synagogue of Europe in Brussels on May 22, the group said.

“Chancellor Merkel is a worthy recipient, in recognition of her continuing efforts of inter-communal harmony across Europe, her friendship towards the Jewish community and outstanding contributions to the promotion of tolerance and understanding,” Pinchas Goldschmidt, the president of the conference, said in the statement.

Germany’s parliament last year approved a law allowing male circumcision under medical supervision, responding to an outcry by Jewish and Muslim groups after a court ruled the procedure amounted to bodily harm. Merkel had warned that Germany risked being branded a “nation of buffoons” if it became the only country to prohibit the practice, Bild newspaper reported.

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