Mum fined for refusing to circumcise son

Last updated 06:55 28/11/2013

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An Israeli mum has been fined US$140 a day (NZ$172) for refusing to circumcise her son.

The Rabbinical Court in Jerusalem rejected an appeal on Monday by an unidentified woman for defying Jewish law - halacha - the Times of Israel reported.

The penalty was initially handed out by a smaller rabbinical court earlier this year at the request of the woman's estranged husband who has demanded the circumcision take place.

The woman's lawyer said the court had no authority to force the woman to have the procedure carried out.

The woman said she will still not circumcise her son and cannot afford the fine, which has now reached US$700 (NZ$860).

"I've been exposed to a lot of material regarding circumcision and I have decided not to circumcise my son," the woman told as Israeli television channel.

"I have no right to cut his organ and mutilate him. And the court has no right to force me to do so," she went on, vowing that she would not pay the fine

"I don't have the means, I'm not working."

The court also addressed some of the criticism of circumcision coming from European governments and expressed concerns about the precedent this incident could set, should an Israeli Jewish woman be allowed to forgo the custom.

The Council of Europe assembly members passed a resolution in October against non-medical circumcision of boys and Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Iceland issued a joint resolution in favour of banning the ritual circumcision of minors.

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