German Vice-Chancellor hits Muslim organizations’ silence over Hamas atrocities

Germany’s Vice-Chancellor notified antisemitic offenders that they face legal prosecution and, in the case of non-residents, deportation, in a hard-hitting speech delivered on Wednesday night.

By Ben Cohen, The Algemeiner

“Anyone who is German will have to answer for it in court. If you’re not German, you also risk your residency status,” Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck of the left-wing Green Party in Germany’s governing coalition said in a video posted to the X/Twitter platform.

“Anyone who doesn’t have a residence permit provides a reason to be deported,” Habeck said.

Antisemitic incidents in Germany have risen by more than 200 percent since the Oct. 7 pogrom unleashed by Hamas terrorists who invaded southern Israel from the Gaza Strip. During the last week, opposition politicians have been pushing the government to take more decisive action against Islamist groups in Germany.

In the video, which had racked up nearly seven million views as The Algemeiner went to press, Habeck also criticized Muslim associations in Germany for failing to condemn the Hamas atrocities.

While some groups had distanced themselves from Hamas’ brutal actions, Habeck emphasized that it was “not all of them, and some are too hesitant and I think overall too few.” He described Hamas as a “murderous terrorist group that works for the extinction of the State of Israel and the death of all Jews.”

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Outside of the Muslim community, he continued, antisemitism remained a serious presence on the far right as well as in “parts of the political left” and “among young activists.”

“Anti-colonialism must not lead to antisemitism,” Habeck said. “In this respect, this part of the political left should review its arguments and be skeptical of the ‘great resistance narrative.’”

Invoking the Nazi Holocaust, he added: “The responsibility of our history also asserts that Jews can live freely and safely in Germany. That they never again have to fear to show their religion, their culture openly. But precisely this fear is now back.”

Habeck’s speech met with positive response across the spectrum, including from politicians belonging to the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, which had previously expressed strong criticism of the government and its Interior Minister, Nancy Faeser, for allegedly dithering in the face of a new surge of antisemitism.

Habeck’s words were “strong and necessary,” CDU Vice Chair Karin Prien posted on X/Twitter.

Habeck also criticized the UN General Assembly for passing a resolution last week that called for an immediate ceasefire while making no mention of the Hamas atrocities. While it was correct to urge Israel to avoid civilian casualties in its defensive war against the terrorist organization, he said, it was also “completely nonsensical to ask Hamas to avoid civilian casualties, because the goal of Hamas is to produce civilian victims.”

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The Vice-Chancellor’s remarks won praise from Jewish leaders in Germany. “Thank you again, dear Minister Habeck, we will stay here in Germany,” tweeted Hamburg rabbi Shlomo Bistritzky, while Philipp Peyman Engel, the editor of the Jewish news outlet Judische Allgemeine, stated that Habeck had answered the question that “many of us had hoped for years [to hear] from a federal government politician on Muslim hatred of Jews.”