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in General Factchecking by Journeyman (3.1k points)
by Novice (580 points)
The claim that the use of the slogan "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free" is being prosecuted in Germany as a criminal offense is accurate. Munich Chief Prosecutor Andreas Franck, who also serves as the antisemitism commissioner of the Bavarian judiciary, has declared his intention to pursue charges related to the slogan, along with prohibited Nazi slogans and symbols.

According to a German Press Agency report, the slogan violates Paragraph 130 of German law because it negates Israel’s existence.

The decision to prosecute individuals based on the use of this specific slogan likely stems from concerns about its implications for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its perceived alignment with anti-Israel sentiment. By criminalizing its use, German authorities are aiming to curb expressions that may incite hatred or violence against certain groups or individuals.

While the specifics of the legal interpretation and enforcement may vary, the intention to prosecute individuals for using the slogan underscores Germany's commitment to combatting antisemitism and promoting social cohesion.

2 Answers

+3 votes
by Journeyman (3.2k points)
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Best answer

This seems to be accurate, from what I could find. Most of the articles I found talking about this about this were from German news sites, so I can't be sure if my translations were totally accurate. It looks like the part of the law being used to criminalize the phrase is intended for banning symbols of terrorist/hate groups, according to a comment on this Reddit post. The ban comes from the Federal Ministry of the interior and is part of a larger ban on Hamas, as the EU considers it a terrorist organization. The ban against Hamas and Samidoun, a pro-Palestinian organization, has been in place since before the attack on October 7, but the ban on the specific phrase is more recent and comes after a large number of pro-Palestine rallies across Europe and Germany specifically. 

by Genius (41.9k points)
Thanks for providing a link that has the news article translated. It read as if the phrase was banned to me as well.
by Master (5.0k points)
After reading your linked articles, I do agree with your interpretation of the information. However, I question the use of a Reddit comment as a source, particularly this comment section. The comments seem rife with polarized opinions, and the comment I could best find that reflected what you said still seemed notably biased.
by Novice (920 points)
I appreciate your inclusion of the context of the situation. Discussing the previous bans put in place is important in understanding why a ban on this phrase could potentially be realistic. Beyond this, I like your effort to translate the German news sites inevitably reveal that this claim is indeed true. With that said, I do think the inclusion of a Reddit post is questionable due to the biased nature of the comments in said post. I believe it is acceptable to include such a source, as long as you directly address the bias included in the comments that you include in your response.
by Novice (580 points)
I appreciate your perspective and research. Your research shed light on the context surrounding the criminalization of the phrase. I appreciate that you provided the use of the law intended for banning symbols of terrorist or hate groups, as well as the connection to the ban on Hamas and Samidoun, offer valuable context for understanding the motivations behind Germany's actions. The ban's timing in relation to pro-Palestine rallies across Europe and Germany shows the potential political and social dynamics influencing legal decisions.
0 votes
by Novice (920 points)

On November 2, 2023, "The German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser implemented a formal ban on activity by or in support of Hamas."

This ban has largely manifested in the banning of pro-Palestine gatherings, making many protesters feel as though their freedom of speech in Germany is being violated-- as that phrase is integral to the movement of support for Palestine. From what I have found, the claim that Germany has explicitly banned the phrase, "from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free," is not true, but definitely is limited with the bans on public gathering, as it is being associated with pro-Hamas gathering.

Many statements by officials show opposition to pro-Palestine gathering. In a statement by Olaf Scholz, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany and Member of the German Bundestag in October 2023, he says, "Anyone who glorifies Hamas’s crimes or uses their symbols is committing an offence in Germany. Anyone who endorses murder and manslaughter or incites crimes is committing an offence."

Palestinian symbols, such as the flag and the keffiyeh scarf have been banned from educational institutions.

In general, it looks like there is a lot of pro-Palestine resistance from German officials and that the gathering and symbols for Palestinian support is largely banned, but not necessarily the expression of the phrase "from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free" itself.

Exaggerated/ Misleading

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