An Israeli doctor who tests erectile function in Jewish males says he sees no difference between erectile problems in Orthodox and non-Orthodox men.
The Jerusalem Post quoted Dr. Meir Gavrieli, a senior lecturer in urology at the Hebrew University, as saying that the Israeli Medical Association’s (IMA) new guidelines on male circumcision are not appropriate.
The IMA’s new guidelines, which are based on the results of a survey of 7,000 Israeli men, recommend that circumcision should only be done after a thorough evaluation of risk factors.
They also state that only those with erectile disorders should be circumcised.
Dr. Gavigoris statement comes as the Jewish community and government have been pressing for a ban on circumcision in the country.
The campaign has been backed by Israel’s ruling coalition government, which has said that it will not allow a circumcision of a baby boy without a medical consensus from the health authorities.
Gavrielis statement came after a survey conducted in Israel of 2,400 men, which found that 1 in 6 Israeli males had problems with erections, according to the Jerusalem Post.
In response to the new guidelines the head of the Israeli Jewish community, Rabbi Moshe Kahlon, said the IMA had taken a “biased position” in stating that circumcision was “essential” for Jewish men.
In a statement on the Israeli government’s website, the IBA’s director of medical services, Dr. Yaakov Lior, said that while the guidelines were not intended to be a general recommendation, they “do not exclude circumcision in general” and that circumcision could be beneficial to some patients.
Lior added that the guidelines “do nothing more than to clarify the situation and to provide guidelines for a discussion among physicians, and that this does not mean that we are ready to remove the recommendation for circumcision.”
The Israeli government has been pushing for a mandatory national circumcision of newborn boys for nearly a decade.
In March, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a ban for male circumcision in Israel in a ceremony attended by thousands of Orthodox Jews, who also gathered in Tel Aviv for a mass circumcision ceremony in September.
In an effort to address the increasing rates of male circumcision, the Health Ministry last year released a new guideline that called for a two-year deferral period for men under the age of 18 to have surgery to remove a foreskin.
A survey of 1,000 male Israeli adults by Israel TV’s Alon Shavit in December found that nearly half of the respondents said they were considering circumcising their sons.
Read more about circumcision in Judaism: