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Germany demands new citizens accept Israel’s right to exist

The move has drawn a ‘crystal clear red line’ against antisemitism and racism in the country.
TJI Pick
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Berlin Brandenburg Reuters Oct 8 leisa Johannssen

Israel supporters at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

Published: 4 July 2024

Last updated: 4 July 2024

People applying for naturalisation in Germany will now be required to affirm Israel’s right to exist, under changes to the country’s citizenship law.

The legislation, which came into effect Thursday, is part of a larger citizenship overhaul, as the government grapples with rising antisemitism, a surge in popularity for the far right, and fierce debate over its response to Israel’s war in Gaza.

“In response to increasing antisemitism in Germany, the list of questions in the naturalisation test has been expanded. New exam questions have been added on the topics of antisemitism, the right of the state of Israel to exist and Jewish life in Germany,” a statement from the interior ministry said.

The legislation is being introduced nationwide after the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt also required citizenship applicants to recognise Israel’s right to exist in December.

The implementation of the law on a federal level was advocated by the centre-right Christian Democratic Union party last year. The idea was well-received by other parties in the Bundestag.

“We have also made it just as clear: Whoever doesn’t share our values, will not be able to get a German passport. Here we have drawn a crystal clear red line and made the law much stronger than before. Antisemitism, racism and other forms of contempt for humanity rule out naturalisation. There is no tolerance for that,” said Germany’s Interior Minister Nancy Faeser.

The reform comes as a new report from RIAS, an organisation monitoring antisemitism in Germany, found that antisemitic incidents in the country rose around 83% last year, significantly increasing after the attack on Israel on October 7 and resultant Gaza war.

Incidents include everything from antisemitic graffiti and threats to violent attacks.

READ MORE

Germany demands new citizens accept Israel’s right to exist (CNN)

Comments1

  • Avatar of Barney

    Barney7 July at 03:45 pm

    so Germans can agree Israel has the right to exist – but that its actual existence can only happen as a result of a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians ? no ??

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