Germany cannot accept any more anti-Semitic refugees, the leader of Christian Democratic Union said earlier
Germany should introduce “clear” measures to combat anti-Semitism, Friedrich Merz, the leader of the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) – the biggest opposition party – said on Sunday. The politician, who also acts as the leader of the opposition and heads his party’s faction in the Bundestag, called on all anti-Israeli activities in Germany to be “put to an end.”
“Talking no longer helps,” Merz said in a series of posts on X (formerly known as Twitter) as he called for “unequivocal decisions” to be taken to tackle the issue. The list of measures suggested by the parliamentary opposition head includes linking the ability to get German citizenship to a commitment to respect Israel’s sovereignty.
“Naturalization in Germany must be tied to a clear commitment to the freedom of religion and beliefs as well as to the state of Israel’s right to exist,” he said. The CDU head also said that every school child should be obliged to visit a concentration camp museum before graduation and no one should be able to skip such events.
His words came amid an ongoing escalation between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas group based in the Gaza Strip. The Hamas militants launched a surprise attack on Israel on October 7, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians and taking around 240 hostages. West Jerusalem responded with heavy bombardments of Gaza and a ground operation, which claimed more than 11,000 Palestinian lives, according to local health officials.
Israel’s response sparked condemnation in the Muslim world and beyond, with some European nations, including Germany, witnessing massive pro-Palestinian demonstrations. Some of such protests turned violent. On October 19, one such unauthorized demonstration in Berlin ended up in 174 arrests and left 65 police officers injured.
Speaking just two days after that demonstration, Merz called on the government to take even harsher measures.
“Germany cannot accept any more refugees,” he told the Swiss NZZ newspaper at that time, adding that “we have enough anti-Semitic young men in the country.”
The politician also said that Germans were rightfully concerned about the inflow of new arrivals from Muslim nations as there was an “no shortage of warnings” over the recent years that had been “ignored by the politicians.” He emphasized that one should not consider all Muslims dangerous but demanded those, who “do not adhere to the rules of coexistence,” to face a “clear response.”