German state will require applicants for citizenship to declare support for Israel

Applicants for citizenship in the eastern German state of Saxony Anhalt are now required to declare their support for Israel’s right to exist.

The new legislation comes in the aftermath of Hamas’ cross-border terror attack on October 7 and amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

The decree states that Israel’s right to exist is Germany’s “Staatsräson” or “reason of state,” according to German news agency DPA, who has seen the document.

“Acquiring German citizenship requires a commitment to Israel’s right to exist,” the decree states. It adds that applicants must 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, said in the letter to the state’s cities and districts that, during the naturalization process, attention should be paid to “whether there are indications that anti-Semitic attitudes exist,” German newspaper Tagesspiegel reported.

Citizenship must be denied if applicants have made efforts that go against the free, democratic order, including anti-Semitic crimes and the denial of Israel’s right to exist, the letter says.

Since October 7, German officials have repeatedly stated that Israel’s security is Germany’s “reason of state.”

In an address to the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, in the aftermath of the attacks, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said: “At this moment, there is only one place for Germany. That is the side of Israel.

“That’s what we mean when we say the security of Israel is Germany’s raison d’etre [reason of state].”

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