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German draft bill aims to allow deportation of migrants with anti-Semitic views

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been tipped as frontrunner for the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts in Europe's recent migrant crisis
Bernd Von Jutrczenka (DPA/dpa Picture-Alliance/AFP/File)
Study by American Jewish Committee in Berlin found wide-spread anti-Semitism among Syrian, Iraqi refugees

Germany plans to review a draft bill that would allow authorities to revoke the residency permits of migrants with anti-Semitic views. Chancellor Angela Merkel's party intends to introduce the draft legislation ahead of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27.

“Who rejects Jewish life in Germany cannot have a place in our country,” reads the draft bill, according to the German daily newspaper Die Welt. It also defines “unrestricted acceptance of Jewish life” as the “benchmark for successful integration.”

The proposal by Merkel's party CDU and its Bavarian sister-party CSU urges the Bundestag to revise immigration law so as to give more weight “to the call for hatred against a part of the population.”

It also asks the parliament “to counter the danger to peaceful coexistence posed by intellectual arsonists early on by classifying this behavior as a particularly serious cause for expulsion”.

Guenter SCHIFFMANN (AFP/File)

Approving the draft bill would not lead to automatic deportation of those accused of anti-Semitism, but it could harm one's chances of gaining a permanent residency permit or lead to an existing permit being revoked, stressed the report.

“We must resolutely oppose the anti-Semitism of migrants with an Arab background and from African countries,” stated Stephan Harbarth, deputy chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, in comments to Die Welt.

“It is a very positive sign, that parts of German politics obviously understand that anti-Semitism of migrants is not only a threat to Jews but to the whole society,” said Elio Adler, founder of WerteInitiative, a Jewish advocacy group.

“They understood that they simply do not want such people here,” Adler told i24NEWS. Anti-Semitism, he argues, could be used an indicator of how well a person fits into the German way of life.

TOBIAS SCHWARZ (AFP)

“It is yet unclear what kind of judicial adjustments need to be made and what legal changes this initiative has in mind, but we are positively looking forward to learn more,” he said.

"It is essential to set boundaries on anti-Semitic outbursts in Germany to signal that such behavior will not be tolerated," Deidre Berger, director of the American Jewish Committee (AJC)'s Berlin branch, told i24NEWS. "Often, too little has been done to stop such manifestations in the past and reactions came too late."

"Reinforcing and strengthening existing legislation should embolden police and law enforcement authorities to undertake to the utmost extent prosecution of such cases," she added.

A recent study conducted by the AJC Berlin, based on interviews with 68 refugees from Syria and Iraq, found wide-spread anti-Semitic thought patterns and stereotypes, even when the interviewees emphasized their “respect” for Judaism or the importance of the peaceful coexistence of Muslims, Christians and Jews in their home countries.

Interviewees also expressed a fundamentally negative image of Israel, which they consider to be “natural” and as a matter of course questioned.

Polina Garaev is i24NEWS' correspondent in Germany.

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