The German government has announced that it will not back organizations that operate abroad unless they sign contracts to ensure they don’t engage in anti-Semitic activity. The country’s Commissioner for anti-Semitism made the announcement on Thursday.
Dr. Felix Klein, who took on the newly created post in May and works for the German Interior Ministry, said foreign aid will be conditioned on combating anti-Semitism by having organizations enter into binding contracts.
The official confirmed that these contracts will extend to German-funded projects in Palestinian cities and “all over the world.”
According to the new policy, any organization found to have been promoting anti-Semitic activity or failing to act to ensure that its funding does not support such activity will be denied further aid by the German state.
Dr. Klein also said that he would push for the amendment of Germany’s anti-discrimination law to include that foreign entities would not be allowed to show bias against Israelis on Germany territory.
The official alluded to a case in which Kuwait Airways had to pay a “substantial” settlement to an Israeli woman whom it had refused to board a flight from Frankfurt to Bangkok. A lawsuit filed against the carrier in Germany was dismissed by the court, which said the case did not violate the current language of the law.
Dr. Klein also unveiled a new center to allow German citizens to report acts of anti-Semitism. Germany already operates such a center in Berlin, but the new institution will have an online reporting mechanism and is slated to have offices nationwide.
The official recently noted that Germany adopted the IHRA definition in 2017, but that “our biggest challenge, however, will be to change the views people hold about Jews.” He explained further, “This is a task for all of us, and for the sake of society as a whole — because anti-Semitism is a threat for any democratic, open society.”
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