German Justice Minister calls to ban 'antisemites' from becoming citizens

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German Justice Minister calls to ban 'antisemites' from becoming citizens
Marco Buschmann (FDP), Federal Minister of Justice, Bundestag, speaks in the plenary session of the Bundestag in September. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Kay Nietfeld

The Federal Justice Minister has added his voice to calls to ban those who engage in antisemitic behaviour from becoming German citizens.


Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann of the FDP has taken a definitive stance against anti-Semitic behaviour, stressing Germany's historic responsibility towards its Jewish population.

Speaking to "Bild am Sonntag", Buschmann said there would be tough measures against naturalising immigrants showing antisemitic behaviour.

"We are taking precautions against naturalising antisemites," he said. In his vision, even minor offences, such as insults, would be scrutinised to determine if they have an antisemitic motive.

The FDP politician said that those found to harbour anti-Semitic motives would then be ineligible for German citizenship. In no uncertain terms, Buschmann added, "Anyone who agitates against Jews has a particularly strong motive for deportation and should certainly not receive a German passport."

His comments were echoed by his FDP colleague Christoph Meyer who, speaking to the Tagesspiegel said that antisemites should have no right to naturalisation.

"If we say that the right to exist and the security of Israel is German raison d'être, we have to bring it to life", he said. 

READ ALSO: German Chancellor vows to tackle anti-Semitism

Since the October 7th surprise attacks by Hamas on Israel, Germany has witnessed a surge in anti-Semitic incidents. The alarming trend has fueled the urgency to address the issue head-on, with Chancellor Scholz vowing to "defend and protect" Jewish life in Germany.

Expressing his dismay, he highlighted the disturbing spread of anti-Semitism "around the world and, shamefully, also here in Germany" in the wake of the recent events in the Middle East.

Last week, the Christian Democratic (CDU) opposition leader, Friedrich Merz, proposed that the upcoming citizenship reforms should include a requirement for immigrants to sign an agreement recognising Israel's right to exist as a prerequisite for German citizenship.


As it stands, the draft citizenship law states that naturalisation is not possible for foreigners who, through their actions, deny the equality of men and women as stipulated in the Basic Law.

This includes "anti-Semitic, racist, xenophobic, or other actions that transgress human dignity as protected by the Basic Law."

READ ALSO: CDU leader calls for German citizenship to be allowed 'only with recognition of Israel'

Despite these safeguards, the CDU, which constitutes the largest opposition faction in the Bundestag, has expressed scepticism over the current government's citizenship propositions. They contend that the coalition is attempting to diminish the value of the German passport and dilute the criteria for integration.

The first reading of the draft bill in the Bundestag is expected to be held in the second week of November.


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