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New German Citizens Must Now Affirm Israel’s ‘Right To Exist’

As the war in Gaza continues, Western governments are pursuing increasingly disturbing avenues of eradicating ideas and speech that challenge pro-Israel narratives. In the latest demonstration of such an over-the-top policy, German law now requires applicants for citizenship to affirm that the State of Israel has a “right to exist.”  

“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 interior ministry told the Financial Times. The new law took effect on Thursday. Two days earlier, interior minister Nancy Faeser said:  

“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. But we have also made it just as clear: anyone who does not share our values ​​cannot get a German passport. We have drawn a crystal-clear red line here and made the law much stricter than before.”

Somehow, “sharing German values” now includes embracing a very specific political stance about a single foreign country that’s 1,900 miles away.

Whatever your opinion about Israel, the idea that any country on Earth has a “right to exist” is profoundly problematic. “After all, what is a country — or, in more precise terminology, a state — other than a political arrangement?” asked Brian McGlinchey at Stark Realities. “And why would any political arrangement be deemed as having ‘rights,’ much less a supposed right to never be altered or cancelled?” 

In March, Germany weekly Der Spiegel reported that the applicants for German citizenship would also have to memorize the year of Israel’s founding and Germany’s punishments for denying the Holocaust

The German government said its new requirements are necessary to counter a claimed spike in antisemitic incidents. As the Times reports, “Antisemitic incidents logged by [Germany’s commissioner for fighting antisemitism] increased 83 per cent, year on year, in 2023 to 4,782.” 

In an elaboration that should give readers pause, the Times further notes that “the vast majority” of the claimed incidents were “acts of publicly documented hate speech.” Note that, in 2017, Germany officially adopted the controversially-expansive definition of antisemitism promoted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). Among that definition‘s examples: “claiming that the existence of the State of Israel is a racist endeavor” and “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination” — in other words, the supposed “right” of the State of Israel to exist. 

Put it all together, and Germany’s surging count of “antisemitic incidents” in 2023 is doubtlessly driven in large part by mere political speech, made in response to the Gaza war, that include any demands for a new political order in what is now Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, or assertions that the State of Israeli is a racist undertaking. Every sign, sticker and speech that says “Zionism is Racism” or “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” can therefore be counted as an “antisemitic incident.” (Of course, that’s not to deny there are bona fide antisemitic incidents in the totals.)

Germany’s new requirement that prospective citizens affirm the State of Israel’s “right to exist” is just the latest of many examples of thought-policing by Western governments on that country’s behalf.

As Israel began its attack on Gaza in response to the Oct. 7 Hamas invasion of southern Israel,  Germany and France banned pro-Palestinian protests. This month, Germany designated the “Boycott, Divest, Sanction” (BDS) movement — which targets Israel — as an “extremist movement.” Like the protests that targeted apartheid South Africa in the 1980s, BDS activists advocate economic pressure to bring about a new political order in Israel. 

Here in the United States, that same expansive IHRA definition was incorporated into the Antisemitism Awareness Act passed by the House of Representatives in May. It exposes colleges to federal punishment if students or professors make a forbidden statement or argument about Israel. Though it sailed through the House on a 320-91 vote, it has yet to be taken up in the Senate.  

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ZeroHedge

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