“We have drawn a crystal-clear red line here and made the law much stricter than before.”

Applicants for German citizenship will have to acknowledge “the right of the state of Israel to exist,” as part of a new law that takes effect on Thursday.

“New test questions have been added on the topics of antisemitism, the right of the state of Israel to exist and Jewish life in Germany,” the German interior ministry said on Tuesday.

The legislation is part of a broader overhaul of Germany’s nationality criteria, reported the Middle East Monitor (MEMO).

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“Anyone who shares our values and makes an effort can now get a German passport more quickly and no longer has to give up part of their identity by giving up their old nationality,” said Nancy Faeser, the Interior Minister, on Tuesday.  “But we have also made it just as clear: anyone who does not share our values ​​cannot get a German passport.”

Fraser reportedly stated: “We have drawn a crystal-clear red line here and made the law much stricter than before.”

The new citizenship test will include questions on Judaism and Jewish life in Germany, and require an explicit declaration regarding the state of Israel’s right to exist.

Rights Experts Concerned

This requirement has reportedly raised eyebrows among legal experts and human rights advocates, who question the legality and ethical implications of mandating political positions on foreign states as a prerequisite for citizenship.

It is argued that this move is part of a broader crackdown on pro-Palestine activism in Germany, the MEMO report said.

Germany is one of many Western states to adopt the controversial International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.

Critics, said MEMO, argue that the reported rise in antisemitism is misleading, largely due to the adoption of the IHRA definition which conflates legitimate criticism of Israel and Zionism with anti-Jewish hatred.

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As a result, the statistics on antisemitic incidents may be inflated artificially because they could include cases of political speech or protest against Israeli policies that could not reasonably be considered anti-Semitic, the report added.

The government’s approach has already prompted controversy in academic circles.

Earlier this month, Sabine Döring, Germany’s junior minister for higher education, was forced to resign after her ministry explored options to defund research by German academics who had signed a letter criticizing a police crackdown on anti-Israel student protests.

Arms Supplier

Since 7 October last year, Germany has taken an aggressive stance in its defense of Israel and its military onslaught in Gaza.

The country is the second largest supplier of arms to Tel Aviv, having approved arms exports to Israel worth €326 million ($354 million) in 2023, ten times more than in 2022.

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In April, the government banned British Palestinian surgeon Ghassan Abu-Sitta from entering Germany to address a Berlin conference about his work in Gaza. A month later, Abu Sitta won his legal challenge against the ban.

Germany’s new citizenship law echoes draconian steps in the US where as many as 35 states have enacted laws or executive orders that prohibit state agencies from contracting with or investing in companies that boycott Israel, reported MEMO.

Such measures have been described as a loyalty test imposed on US citizens which threatens the First Amendment in the service of an alien state, Israel.

Ongoing Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 37,765 Palestinians have been killed, and 86,429 wounded. Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

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Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.


The post New German Citizenship Law – Applicants Must Declare Israel’s ‘Right to Exist’ appeared first on Palestine Chronicle.

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