By COLlive reporter
The Forward, the liberal Jewish newspaper, ran an editorial on Friday, April 25, 2014 titled: “Hey Mr. Mayor, Remember Your Promise.”
They wrote as follows:
“Hey, Mr. Mayor! When you were the public advocate of the City of New York — an office with little more than a megaphone — you criticized city agencies for failing to respond to Freedom of Information Law requests. Government, you said, must be held accountable!
“Now, Mr. de Blasio, you’re the mayor, and it’s time for you to follow your own advice. Especially when it concerns the health of the most vulnerable citizens of your great city.
“As our Paul Berger reports, the city health department appears not to be enforcing its own rule requiring written parental consent before a controversial circumcision rite called metzitzah b’peh, known as MBP, is performed on an 8-day-old infant. What’s more, one of the city’s big-deal mohels, Rabbi Avrohom Cohn, chairman of the American Board of Ritual Circumcision, is flouting the rule with apparent impunity.
“The Forward’s attempt to get a response from the city — eight emails, four phone messages, one FOIL request on appeal — have gone unanswered. So we’ll remind you of a few other numbers. Since 2000, 14 infants have been infected with herpes during MBP. Two died. At least two others suffered brain damage.
“You want that on your conscience? Are you listening, Mr. Mayor?”
In response, Mendy Hecht, a Monsey-based writer, editor and columnist emailed the Forward the following (with hopes that it will get published or receive a reply):
Hey, editorial board!
How many Jewish babies are circumcised in the greater New York area every day?
Considering the size of our community, I might even say 1,000. But for now, to simplify things, let’s say 100. I mean, counting Monsey and upstate, the Five Towns, the Five Boroughs, and New Jersey, you’ve easily got 100 a day right there.
Now: 100 a day x 365 days a year = 36,500 new Jews a year.
Now let’s get straight to the point: What is the percentage of those 36,500 yearly circumcisions who contract herpes?
Let’s see: 14 cases of herpes from 2000 to 2014. That averages to one a year.
One. Out of 36,500. Each year.
What percentage is 1 out of 36,500? An extremely, extremely small number. And this is what the Forward is busy with?! This is a Jewish newspaper?!
This is little more than another salvo in the ongoing demonization of Orthodox/Chassidic Jews. And from an ostensibly Jewish newspaper, no less. For shame. You editors need a refresher course in Jewish history: Persecution always began when demonization and delegitimization was met with silence instead of getting rightfully slammed down. Once accepted, it proceeded past that first step to things worse… and worse… and worse.
Where is the ADL on this? If this isn’t defamation, I don’t know what is.
For all his foibles, Mr. de Blasio is rightfully ignoring this transparent witch-hunt. But, dear Forward editorial board, let’s say that, thanks (but no thanks) to your “crusade,” MBP gets banned…
Do you want that on your conscience? A sacred Jewish ritual banned, partly because of agitation by a Jewish newspaper?