And This Will Really Get Elmo Going ...

Israeli doctors are training African doctors in the science of adult male circumcision, as a means to prevent the spread of AIDS. Sounds like a good thing, except if you don't like Israel or circumcision. Conspiracy-mongers, start your engines!

A group of Israeli experts on performing circumcision have taught African women doctors to circumcise men to reduce the risk of HIV infection.

The effort is part of the Operation Abraham project headed by Dr. Inon Schenker.

This was revealed on Sunday in a report summarizing 18 months of activity by the project, which includes 14 African countries. Using local anesthetic, the female doctors - who had little experience in the operation - learned to remove the foreskins using only local anesthetics in a community clinic, even though the surgery was on adult men. At present, they perform some 100 of the operations every day.

The Israeli project has trained 17 medical teams at 13 hospitals in KwaZulu- Natal in South Africa.

Schenker, a veteran AIDS prevention specialist based in Jerusalem, said that each circumcision performed prevents five cases of HIV infection in a continent where AIDS is endemic. The Israelis were accepted because of the country's long experience with performing ritual circumcision on adult immigrants who want to become formally Jewish. The project has been recommended by the World Health Organization and UNAIDS for reducing the spread of HIV.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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