A man wearing a yarmulke looks at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
BERLIN – A prominent lawmaker from the Christian Democratic Union party, Armin Schuster, advocated on Monday for the extradition of foreigners living in Germany who torch Israeli flags.
”When foreigners living in Germany burn Israeli flags, there should be a given legal foundation for their immediate expulsion,” Schuster told Die Welt newspaper.
Schuster is an expert on domestic affairs for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.
Mass anti-Israel rallies in Berlin, where the Israel flag was burned in response to the US declaring Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital, shined an uncomfortable light on Merkel’s efforts to combat rising antisemitism and her immigration policies.
The Federal Republic bans the burning of the German flag but does not prohibit the burning of foreign flags. Schuster’s recommendation would mean a change in German law.
According to Die Welt, the residency law for the expulsion of foreigners is permitted when a foreigner is convicted of a crime with a four-year sentence. The expulsion of a foreign resident can also take place if the resident illegally uses dangerous narcotics.
The Free Democratic Party rejected Schuster’s proposal.
The chairman of the FDP, Stephan Thomae, told the paper that the “reflexive call for a sharpening of the law is the wrong way and helps nobody.”
The Green Party’s Konstantin von Notz opposed Schuster’s idea, saying: “We still do not know which nationality the people have who burned the flags and whether it deals with German citizens.”
The Green Party said the measure would stoke resentments.
In 2013, the Green Party passed an initiative calling for Israeli goods to be sanctioned from the disputed territories.
An analysis in The Jerusalem Post at the time showed that the Green Party had not urged the sanctioning of goods from any other country involved in a territorial dispute.
A hardcore anti-Israel Left Party deputy and its domestic affairs spokeswoman, Ulla Jelpke, rejected Schuster’s plan to change the law. She said the measure was unnecessary to implement when one “disagrees with the policies of respective governments.”
Jelpke said in 2008 that she “considers it legitimate to be against Zionism.”
The anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany did not directly criticize Schuster’s proposal, Die Welt reported.
The AFD’s co-head in the Bundestag, Alice Weidel said, “The excesses that we have experienced over the past weeks on the streets of Berlin and elsewhere are clear consequences of the flawed immigration and asylum policies of the federal government.”