Germany's Green Party said Monday that a candidate who had described Jews and Muslims as "arseholes" because they practice male circumcision was withdrawing from a state poll.

Ulf Dunkel had come under fire from the national Jewish spokesman over two anti-circumcision poems he published.

One termed those who circumcise their sons "arseholes" and "blind fanatics." The other included the line: "Sharpen the knife, sing a hymn, cut off the member's foreskin."

Male circumcision, which is rarely practiced in Germany on medical grounds, triggered fierce controversy in the run-up to federal legislation, introduced in mid-December, which confirmed that it is legal for parents to arrange for religiously mandated circumcision.

Michael Jaeger, of the Cloppenburg chapter of the Green Party, said that while Dunkel's name would remain on the ballot in a January 20 election for the Lower Saxony state parliament, the candidate would decline to take up his seat if elected. Dunkel could not be reached for comment.

Jaeger said it was too late to take his name off the ballot because postal voting in the state had already begun.

Dieter Graumann, chairman of the Central Council of Jews, earlier appealed to the Greens to withdraw Dunkel's candidacy. "His works radiate hate-filled arrogance towards Jews and Muslims," Graumann said.