German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser poses with banning orders for activity of Hamas and Samidoun organizations during a press conference at the House of the Federal Press Conference in Berlin, Germany, 02 November 2023. EPA-EFE/CLEMENS BILAN


Germany bans Hamas and affiliate Samidoun


German interior minister Nancy Faeser has imposed a ban on Hamas and affiliate organisation Samidoun.

Hamas, the terror group behind the October 7 attack on Israel, has been banned due to the atrocity.

Samidoun, the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, is a self-professed advocacy group. It also operates under the name of the Palestinian Youth Movement or Hirak but it is regarded as an organ for spreading anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic propaganda.

The trigger for targeting the latter lies with the outburst of spontaneous, so-called “jubilee celebrations” in Germany in reaction to the Hamas terror attacks on Israel.

Faeser described that as “particularly repugnant” and said it showed the “anti-Semitic, inhuman worldview of Samidoun”.

When news of the Hamas outrage perpetrated on Israelis reached Germany, Samidoun members distributed baklava – an Arabic sweet pastry – in various major cities.

Ideologically, Samidoun has ties to Marxist-Leninist and Arab-nationalist organisations. It is committed to “destroying Zionism” and is “against Western imperialism”.

Such extremism manifests itself in its rejection of Israel’s right to exist, according to the German Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which also notes Samidoun propagates violence.

“Anti-Semitism has no place in Germany, regardless of its source,” warned Faeser, who vowed to combat hatred of Jews in all its forms with the full force of the law.

“The activities of Hamas in the federal territory are in violation of criminal laws and run counter to the principles of international understanding as outlined in the constitution.”

Chancellor Olaf Scholz had already announced in the Bundestag on October 12 that he wanted to ban both organisations.

Faeser said: “Samidoun spreads anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish propaganda as an international network under the guise of a ‘solidarity organisation’ for prisoners in various countries.”

Samidoun has been vocal in promoting Hamas. The group praised the activities of the “heroic Palestinian resistance” in a lengthy blog post it published after the massacre in Israel, calling it “a new path forward with a clear goal: liberation, and nothing less”.

Israel had already designated Samidoun a terror organisation but in Europe politicians have given it more leeway.

In Belgium, the group is still not banned and activists were invited to speak at an event hosted by a local Communist party, despite the Hamas atrocity.

After the October 7 attack, Samidoun was even allowed to organise a demonstration in Brussels, much to the outrage of the centre-right N-VA and the right-wing Vlaams Belang parties, which had both been demanding a ban on the organisation.

Since the terror attack against Israel and the outbreak of the war with Hamas, the number of anti-Semitic acts have rocketed across Europe.

In France, there were twice as many incidents in the past four weeks compared to the whole of 2022.

In Germany, the figures are similarly worrisome. Both countries also recently saw buildings where Jews lived vandalised with the star of David.