Affirm Israel’s Right to Exist in Writing if You Want German Citizenship, Migrants Told by Saxony

Published December 8, 2023

A German state has decreed that migrants seeking to become citizens must formally acknowledge the state of Israel’s right to exist as the country attempts to deal with rising antisemitism.

The application process for citizenship naturalisation in the state of Saxony-Anhalt will now require that foreigners commit in writing “that they recognise Israel’s right to exist and condemn any efforts directed against the existence of the State of Israel.”

Those who refuse to do so will not have their applications rejected and a note of their refusal will be logged in their immigration file.

The move was announced this week by the state’s interior minister, Tamara Zieschang, who argued that the policy should be adopted nationwide, German broadcaster Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk reported.

In addition to a formal commitment to Israel’s right to exist, migrants seeking to become citizens in Saxony-Anhalt will also face a process to determine whether or not they hold antisemitic beliefs, which Zieschang argued would violate the German constitution’s requirement to a commitment to a “free, democratic basic order.”



RELATED: A German state mandates the recognition of Israel in citizenship application

Saxony-Anhalt introduces requirement for applicants to affirm in writing that they back Jewish state’s ‘right to exist and condemn any efforts directed against’ its existence

A view of the entrance to the state administration office in Halle, the largest city in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, November 23, 2023. (Hendrik Schmidt/picture alliance via Getty Images via JTA)
Published December 7, 2023

BERLIN (JTA) — Recognizing Israel’s right to exist is now mandatory for those who want to become German citizens in the former East German state of Saxony-Anhalt.

Applicants living in the state will have to confirm in writing “that they recognize Israel’s right to exist and condemn any efforts directed against the existence of the State of Israel.” Saxony-Anhalt’s interior minister, Tamara Zieschang, a member of the center-right Christian Democratic Union party, said Tuesday that the rule went into effect at the end of November.

The new state law is fueled by concerns over antisemitism, which has spiked across Germany and the rest of Western Europe following the Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7.

In its decree, reportedly shared internally at the end of November, Saxony-Anhalt also requires naturalization agents to be on the lookout for antisemitic and anti-democratic attitudes among applicants.



RELATED: German state: Citizenship applicants must support Israel

The state of Saxony-Anhalt has said people who do not recognize Israel’s right to exist cannot become naturalized citizens. The eastern state’s interior minister said Germany’s other 15 states should take similar steps.

One state is requiring aspiring citizens to affirm Israel’s right to exist before getting a German passport Image: Inga Kjer/photothek/imago Images
Published December 6, 2023

The eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt will require individuals seeking to become naturalized citizens to confirm in writing, “that they recognize Israel’s right to exist and condemn any efforts directed against the existence of the State of Israel.”

Speaking on Wednesday, ahead of a meeting of state and federal interior ministers, Saxony-Anhalt Interior Minister Tamara Zieschang called on Germany’s 15 other states to adopt similar rules.

Zieschang previously said her ministry had sent a decree to all Saxony-Anhalt municipalities informing them of the policy in late November.

No citizenship without supporting Israel’s existence 

The decree instructs authorities to pay close attention to whether an applicant exhibits antisemiticattitudes and states that “obtaining German citizenship requires a commitment to Israel’s right to exist.”




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