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He wanted everyone to know that some of his best friends are Jewish. “I love my Jewish friends,” he tweeted to the horror-film director Eli Roth in what he imagined was an apology. “I love the apples and the honey and the funny little hats.”

His reference to Jewish diet and the yarmulkes worn by Jewish men won him no accolades, and when the exchange went viral on the Internet he tried an all-inclusive apology, not only to Jews but to Muslims, Hindus, whirling dervishes and everyone his press flacks could think of.

“I have a deep and abiding love for all people of all nationalities,” the semi-chastened actor said. “I realize that some will interpret this debate as me mocking the rituals and traditions of others. I am very sorry.”

Worldwide, only about 30 percent of men are circumcised, and less than that in Africa, where AIDS is endemic. This percentage rises to 80 percent in the United States, so this ought to be a slam-dunk for opposition to a ban.

But slam-dunks are rare in politics, and California voters are notorious for whoring after the new thing.

• Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.