German legislator calls for new law to screen refugees

BERLIN (JTA) — A German lawmaker has called for a new “Law of Integration” to screen refugees and help prevent terrorism in Germany.

Speaking at the Chabad Jewish Community Center in Berlin, Johannes Kahrs of Hamburg, a member of the Social Democratic Party in the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, also condemned the far-right Alternative for Germany party, which he said “exploits people’s fears to advance their political agendas.”

At a conference organized by Rabbi Yehudah Teichtal of Berlin, Kahrs — who is up for reelection later this month — said the law is needed to screen refugees seeking entry into Germany.

“Presently, everyone just comes straight to Germany, and we can’t know who’s coming,” said Kahrs. He also said that democratic values needed to be instilled in the incoming refugees.

The conference was arranged by Stefan Hensel, chairman of the German-Israeli Association in Hamburg, in cooperation with Rabbi Shlomo Bistritzky, rabbi of Hamburg’s Jewish community.

Teichtal said that “the paramount goal for us as community leaders is to promote tolerance, patience, and to give a personal example of this in all our activities.”