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25 Oct, 2023 18:04

Germany mulls law banning citizenship for ‘anti-Semites’

Officials say they have noted a surge in antisemitic incidents in Germany in recent weeks amid the Israel-Hamas conflict
Germany mulls law banning citizenship for ‘anti-Semites’

Germany’s interior minister, Nancy Faeser, said on Wednesday that a law being considered by the EU state’s parliament would see people found to have engaged in antisemitic acts banned from obtaining citizenship.

“Our draft for the new citizenship law, which we will now discuss in the Bundestag, provided a clear exclusion of antisemites,” Faeser said on Wednesday following a meeting with Israel’s ambassador to Germany, Ron Prosor.

Faeser added that authorities remain “extremely vigilant” about potential threats posed by supporters of the Palestinian militant group Hamas in Germany and that any person found to have violated such regulations would be “prosecuted with the full force of the law.”

Faeser’s comments follow a statement she made on Friday in which she called for Hamas supporters to be deported from Germany. “If we are able to deport Hamas supporters, we must do this,” Faeser said after holding talks with officials at the country’s Federal Criminal Police Office in Wiesbaden.

“Our security authorities have currently placed an even stronger focus on the Islamist scene,” she added, also referencing the recent incident in Brussels in which two Swedish people were shot dead and a third injured by a suspected Tunisian extremist.

Faeser also called for Germans to be vigilant in reporting to authorities of pro-Hamas “propaganda.” Last week, officers in the country searched the home of a 38-year-old German man who had allegedly posted to social media in support of Hamas’ October 7 attack in Israel.

Concerns are amplifying in Germany over a swell in suspected antisemitic incidents, including an attempted petrol bomb attack on a synagogue in its capital, Berlin. Pro-Palestinian demonstrators have also been involved in clashes with police in Berlin and other cities.

Last week, Faeser told reporters that “preliminary figures” from German authorities indicated that more than 1,100 offenses had been recorded in the country in relation to the Hamas offensive. These included “bodily harm, breaches of the peace, incitement to hatred, and damage to property,” police official Juergen Peter added.

However, some members of Germany’s Palestinian population have claimed that laws outlawing demonstrations serve to silence what is already a minority community.