Sunday, June 05, 2011

Anti-Semitism In the San Francisco Anti-Circumcision Proposal? [Revised and Corrected Posting]

The Jewish Journal reported Friday:
The backers of a ballot initiative in San Francisco aiming to ban circumcision in that city have consistently maintained that their efforts are not anti-Semitic.
But the “Foreskin Man” comic book, which was written and edited in 2010 by the founder of a San Diego group supporting efforts to ban circumcision in San Francisco and Santa Monica, gives further credence to the accusation that so-called intactivists are in fact motivated by anti-Semitism.....
Lloyd Schofield is the official backer of the San Francisco initiative, which uses text from the group, a San Diego-based group established by Matthew Hess. Hess is credited alongside the comic book’s illustrator and colorist on the comic’s website.
In response to a question about his motivations, Hess said that he and his supporters are, first and foremost, human rights activists.
(An earlier version of this posting incorrectly identified the writer of the comic book.)

UPDATE: The Anti-Defamation League on Friday issued a statement condemning "the grotesque anti-Semitic images and themes" in the Foreskin Man comic books. Also, Sunday's New York Times carries an article reviewing the situation titled "Efforts to Ban Circumcision Gain Traction in California." [Thanks to Steven H. Sholk for the lead to the Times article.] 

Update2: Eugene Volokh has posted an interesting discussion of the appropriate approach to evaluating harsh criticisms of religious or cultural figures because of their attitudes or actions that have secular effects-- like the Foreskin Man comic book.