Anti-Semitic Comics Used as Propaganda for Circumcision Ban

The proponents of San Francisco’s controversial ballot measure to ban circumcision of boys under the age of 18 have stepped up their attack on the practice’s religion aspects, in the form of a comic book.  San Diego activist Matthew Hess says that he created his comic series, “Foreskin Man,” as a way to boost the national effort to ban circumcision, which is practiced on infants by Jews and on older boys by Muslims.  There are also significant numbers of Christian and secular parents who choose to circumcise their sons. 

The imagery in these comic books, however, is clearly anti-Semitic.  The comic strip’s villain is a mohel, a Jewish official who specializes in ritual circumcision, who breaks into a San Diego home and attempts to forcibly circumcise a baby boy, before being stopped by the blond-haired, blue-eyed superhero, Foreskin Man.

“The (Monster) mohel has a dark complexion, hook nose and is practically drooling at the thought of apparently doing harm to a child,” said Nancy Appel, associate director of the Anti-Defamation League, according to the Associated Press. “He even has claws on his fingertips. He is blood thirsty just like the grotesque Jewish stereotypes that appeared in Nazi propaganda. It’s absolutely a direct parallel.”

Hess, however, denies the fact that the imagery was intended to be anti-Semitic.  Instead, he says that anyone who “[cuts] into the penile flesh of an eight-day-old infant boy” is bound to be a disturbing, villainous character.

Although the federal government may shut the attempted circumcision ban down on the grounds that it is a “deeply important ceremony for two major religions” and the ban would violate their freedom of religion, the ugliness of this anti-circumcision propaganda is breathtaking.  While the medical benefits of circumcision are debatable, the fact that it is a crucially important ceremony for one of the oldest religions in the world means that there is absolutely no way that Hess didn’t know what the implications of his comic book imagery would be.  This kind of advocacy is racist and totally unacceptable.

Photo from Aesop's Flickr photostream.


Cathy C.
Cathy C5 years ago

It's wrong headed of the comic book author to use a Mohel as the villian. Has he never heard of the Holocaust or anti-semitism??? He has poisoned the whole anti-circumcision campaign. I chose NOT to have my boy circumcised and I hoped this movement would result in debate and enlightenment of the issue. But, he ruined it for everyone.

Because of him 'we can't have nice things'!!!

jane richmond
jane richmond5 years ago

Thanks for the post.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin5 years ago

Circumcision is mutilation. Male or female doesn't matter. It's a violation of a child that circumvent any religious tradition. Are we to allow human sacrifice should a religion practice that? This may be extremely essential for that religious order to be able to practice that particular rite. Banning circumcision has nothing to do with anti-semitic/anti-islamitic issues. It's all about protecting children! And, why not ban all religions while we're at it, because they all split people up, cause wars, hunger, poverty, crimes, discrimination, etc.

Pego R.
Pego R5 years ago

Wow Ahron

You've been to Gaza? You have seen all their ease and wealth? How comfortable they are when being kept from their own jobs and homes? How easy it is, then, to buy the products that are made in Israel, since Israel is blockading all other trade and even killing people who try to get in humane assistance?

I love that Israel exists and is a sanctuary for the Jewish world. Goodness knows there hasn't been a lot of that, but that Israel has turned around and committed, openly, so many international crimes against Palestine and Palestinians quite spoils a lot of what they are about.

Almost all the west generally hears is pro-Israeli propaganda. I get my own news sourced from outlets not likely to be owned by war profiteers.

And, of course there is;

Ahron E.
Ahron E5 years ago

Lilithe M.
If you are not anti-Semtic why do you believe Arab propaganda that Isreal treats the Palastinians like crap. Please explore the facts about the Palatinian Israeli conflict. In Gaza today you will not any Israelis. But, the terroist in Gaza keep on sending missles into Isreal. In the past decade they sent in over 8,000 missles. 5 years ago terroist from Gaza kidnaped and Israeli soldiur. Israel responded with a blockade of Gaza, permitted everything in except weapons or matrial to create weapons. Go visit Gaza you will find anything and everthing that you need there. Even a water park and a hotel that charges $400 a night. Life if pretty good for a Palastian as long as he doesn't make war on Isreal. How would you like to live near the Mexican border and exprience missles flying on from Mexicans who want the United States to give California back to Mexico. How would our government respond. With a lot less restraint then the Israelis.

T.L. H.
T.L. H5 years ago

The Mohel needs fingernails to perform the Peri'ah and needs to drink blood to perform the Mezizah so the comic is not that far from the truth.

Peri'ah: After the excision has been completed, the mohel seizes the inner lining of the prepuce, which still covers the glans, with the thumb-nail and index-finger of each hand, and tears it so that he can roll it fully back over the glans and expose the latter completely. The mohel usually has his thumb-nail suitably trimmed for the purpose. In exceptional cases the inner lining of the prepuce is more or less extensively adherent to the glans, which interferes somewhat with the ready removal; but persistent effort will overcome the difficulty.

Mezizah: By this is meant the sucking of the blood from the wound. The mohel takes some wine in his mouth and applies his lips to the part involved in the operation, and exerts suction, after which he expels the mixture of wine and blood into a receptacle (see Fig. 4, below) provided for the purpose. This procedure is repeated several times, and completes the operation, except as to the control of the bleeding and the dressing of the wound.

CHRISTOPHER S5 years ago

Bachmann, a woman, wants to take away the rights of all women to choose what to do with their own bodies... see, you can be a woman and still be sexist and anti-woman. Her anti-choice position also proves my point, the TEAvangelicals are for big government restricting individual rights, and freedom only for big corporations. Odd that you should bash the mainstream media, since they are the ones that keep perpetuating your myth that the tea party is some kind of legitimate grassroots political movement.

Ahron E.
Ahron E5 years ago

Michele Bachmann did not say that. You are dilibertly taking her words out of context. To paraphrase she she during slavery African-Amercan woman were not single mothers as the many are today. I disagress with this. Because master might split up the family by selling one of the parents or even the child.
Your taking proof because of what the media says. The media has its own agenda is left week and do not like the tea party. Of course they will write disparaging about the tea party. It can't be that so many woman would fall into to it if it was sexist.

CHRISTOPHER S5 years ago

Ahron, wrong again. To known the truth, don't listen to the tea party talking points as expressed in the mainstream media, simply go to any tea party event and it will become obvious that you are surrounded by racist, sexist, and homophobic TEAvangelists. It's very scary... Trust me. I would also like to point out the obvious... the presence of self-loathing women, homosexuals, and/or members of ethnic minorities in the tea party, does not, in any way, prove that the tea party is not sexist, homophobic, and/or racist. Tea party caucus leader, and GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann just signed a document that essentially said that African-Americans in the US today would be better off if we return to slavery... I rest my case.

Ahron E.
Ahron E5 years ago

Should a parent pierce her childs ear before the child is 18?
Should a parent tatoo their child before the child is 18?