Vice chancellor calls for end of anti-Semitism in Germany in viral video

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Vice chancellor calls for end of anti-Semitism in Germany in viral video
Habeck before bording a plane on Thursday morning. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Soeren Stache

In a widely acclaimed video released Wednesday evening, German vice chancellor Robert Habeck strongly condemned anti-Semitism in Germany and called for solidarity with Jews among all religious groups.


"Anti-Semitism is not to be tolerated in any shape or form. The extent of the Islamist demonstrations in Berlin and in other cities in Germany is unacceptable and needs a tough political response," the Economy Minister and the Green politician said in a video his ministry circulated on X.

The video received two million views by late evening, according to the platform, and was shared thousands of times. Politicians, including from the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU), praised the appeal.

Solidarity needed from Muslims in Germany

Habeck said that a response to anti-Semitism was also needed from Muslim associations in Germany. 

He pointed out that some had clearly distanced themselves from the acts of Hamas and anti-Semitism. "But not all, and some too hesitantly and I think overall too few." 

Muslims in Germany, he said, must clearly distance themselves from anti-Semitism so as not to undermine their own claim to tolerance. "There is no place for religious intolerance in Germany."

Burning Israeli flags is a criminal offence, as is praising Hamas' deeds, he added.

READ ALSO: Germany sees over 1,100 offences linked to Israel-Hamas conflict

"Those who are German will have to answer for it in court, and those who are not German also risk their residence status. Those who do not yet have a residence permit provide a reason to be deported."


Since the attack by the Islamist Hamas on Israel, there have been repeated anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli actions at pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Berlin, among other places.

For this reason, the police have recently repeatedly issued banning orders against certain demonstrations, while other peaceful protests - such as candlelit vigils for victims - allowed to take place.

Anti-Semitism also from other political groups

Anti-Semitism from Germany's Muslim community should not obscure the fact that there is also entrenched anti-Semitism in other groups, even if right-wing extremists are now holding back for tactical reasons, Habeck said.

"But I am also concerned about anti-Semitism in parts of the political left, and unfortunately also among young activists." Anti-colonialism should not lead to anti-Semitism, he said. The death and suffering of the people in the Gaza Strip is terrible. 

"Systematic violence against Jews can nevertheless not be legitimised by this," said Habeck.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock made similar comments on ZDF on Wednesday. 

"Anti-Semitism runs through all social groups, it runs through all nationalities here in Germany. Therefore, any form of anti-Semitism, whether it comes from the right, from the left, from immigrants or from people born here, must be fought," she said in the programme "Was nun, ...?".

UN resolution

In the ZDF broadcast, Baerbock again defended Germany's abstention in the vote on a Gaza ceasefire in the UN General Assembly. 

She said that Germany had a special role to play in keeping the channels of communication open with other actors in the region, such as Egypt and Jordan.


The UN resolution, adopted last Friday by a two-thirds majority, condemns all violence against Israeli and Palestinian civilians, calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all "illegally detained" civilians and demands unhindered humanitarian access to the Gaza Strip. 

It also calls for an "immediate permanent and sustainable humanitarian ceasefire" leading to a "cessation of hostilities". It does not include a clear condemnation of Hamas terror as the trigger for the war.

Habeck also said that the abstention did not mean that Germany wanted to stay out of the conflict, but on the contrary wanted to help find a solution.

‘Argumentatively strong’

Habeck's video met with a broad response on X on Wednesday evening from other politicians. For the second time since October 7th, the day of the Hamas attack on Israel, Robert Habeck struck the right note "like no one else in this federal government", wrote CDU Vice Chair Karin Prien. "A strong, necessary performance".

Former CDU leader Armin Laschet called the video a "necessary, argumentatively strong and well-founded domestic and foreign policy stance of Germany. This must be heard and supported far beyond all party boundaries."


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