Saxony-Anhalt to refuse citizenship for those rejecting Israel’s right to exist

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.”

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.

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

In a letter to local authorities, the Saxony-Anhalt state Interior Ministry said naturalization is to be denied to foreigners who engage in activities directed at Germany’s liberal democratic order as outlined in the country’s Basic Law. The denial of Israel’s right to exist and antisemitism are included among such activities.

Local authorities have been instructed to deny an applicant’s naturalization request if they refuse to sign the declaration. A refusal is also to be documented in the individual’s application filing for future reference.


Subscribe to the EJC newsletter

Get the EJC newsletter, including the latest statements and news from the European Jewish communities, direct to your inbox.

European Jewish Congress will use the information you provide on this form to contact you. We will treat your information with respect and will not share it with others. By clicking Subscribe, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

browse by community