Raed Saleh

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Raed Saleh, 2016

Raed Saleh (born June 10, 1977 in Sebastia , Palestinian Territory in the West Bank ) is a German politician ( SPD ). He has been a member of the Berlin House of Representatives since 2006 and chairman of the SPD parliamentary group since 2011.


In 1982 Saleh came to Germany as a five-year-old with his parents and eight siblings from the village of Sebastia in the West Bank. His father found work in a large bakery and his mother took care of the 9 children. and attended the primary school at Birkenhain as well as the Lilly-Braun-Oberschule in Berlin-Spandau , which he graduated from high school in 1997.

During his school days he began to work in a Burger King branch and worked his way up from the grill to management. After graduating from high school, in 1997 he was promoted to the management of Mitrovski Fast Food GmbH , where Saleh was a manager of the group from 2001 to 2006. “The hard work in the company has strongly influenced my point of view,” Saleh later wrote about the time and derived lessons for his political work. "I believe that a party is strong above all when it combines social justice and corporate common sense."

He is the founder and co-owner of mandaro GmbH in Berlin-Hakenfelde, an online printing company, which has existed since 2005 .

Raed Saleh is married and has two sons. He is an avowed Muslim.

Political offices and seats in parliament

In 1995 Saleh joined the SPD. He has been a district board member of the SPD Spandau since 2002, and in April 2008 he took over the district chairmanship. Since then he has also been a member of the state board of the SPD Berlin.

After Klaus Wowereit announced his resignation as Governing Mayor of Berlin for December 2014 on August 26, 2014 , Saleh ran for the office of the Berlin SPD state chairman, Jan Stöß , and Michael Müller , then Senator for Urban Development in the Senate of Wowereit Governing Mayor of Berlin. Müller won the internal SPD vote with an absolute majority over Stöß and Saleh. Stoss received 20.8 percent; Saleh 19.6 percent. Saleh has been a member of the Berlin House of Representatives since 2006 . [7] In December 2011, he has Michael Müller replaced as chairman of the SPD parliamentary group in the Berlin House of Representatives.

In January 2020, Raed Saleh announced that he would stand for the state chairmanship of the SPD together with the Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Franziska Giffey . Due to the corona pandemic, the party congress originally planned for mid-May had to be postponed to October 31, 2020, but at the time of this decision the candidate couple had already received numerous nominations from SPD circles, working groups and departments.

Political positions

Saleh has repeatedly advocated affordable education; he wants to remove barriers to entry and ensure the quality of Berlin's schools. On his initiative, the concept of the so-called focus schools was developed and implemented. The idea came up in 2012 during a joint trip with the district mayor of Neukölln, Heinz Buschkowsky , to Rotterdam , where the two SPD politicians found out how good education can be brought to difficult neighborhoods. The concept was finally implemented at the instigation of Saleh in Berlin for several million euros, and a total of 58 focus schools were identified that receive special support.

Saleh's goal is to make education free of charge, “from daycare to university”. To this end, since 2007, together with the SPD parliamentary group, he has pushed through the free day care center in Berlin, even against some considerable resistance in his own party. Together with the then CDU parliamentary group leader Florian Graf , he finally managed to ensure that children under three years of age can also visit the site free of charge. This was followed later by the free lunch at schools, the free BVG ticket for schoolchildren and free after-school care.

In 2012/2013, Raed Saleh worked with Florian Graf (CDU) to increase expenses for the school renovation to 64 million euros.

Saleh is a proponent of the minimum wage and proposed to the Berlin Senate in the program "Berlin Arbeit", an employment program for the long-term unemployed, also the minimum wage of 8.50 euros. While the Senate still wanted to pay 7.50 euros per hour and at the same time offered work for a 40-hour week, the demand for 8.50 euros was associated with a reduction to 30 hours a week. The Senate justified this with the limited funds. If a higher hourly wage of 8.50 euros is paid, there are also “significantly fewer jobs”. In spring 2020 Saleh played a key role in raising the Berlin state minimum wage by EUR 3.50 to EUR 12.50. He described the move as a "question of respect" and a protection for hundreds of thousands of Berliners so that they do not "slip under the basic security in old age".

In addition, Saleh advocates a return to municipal ownership of public services into Berlin. He supported the repurchase of Berliner Wasserbetriebe , which in 1999 had to be partially privatized with the participation of the SPD in order to be able to guarantee a constitutional budget. In the long term, Saleh can imagine a large municipal utility consisting of the areas of water, electricity and gas supply. He repeatedly criticized the Senate's privatization policy under Woworeit. In the year he moved into the Berlin House of Representatives in 2006, he fought against the sale of the Heerstraße-Nord large estate , where the politician grew up, to a private investor. However, his criticism did not get through, and several thousand apartments belonging to the municipal GSW were sold. In autumn 2019, the municipal Gewobag bought the apartments back for a multiple of the previous sales proceeds. In addition, Saleh supported a motion in parliament that provides for one billion euros for the construction of state-owned apartments.

In July 2015 he accused party leader Sigmar Gabriel of “emulating” Chancellor Angela Merkel instead of “setting himself apart” from her. Gabriel has not yet developed his "own profile", the party under his leadership lacks "attitude and credibility". As the SPD's candidate for chancellor, he brought Gesine Schwan into the conversation.

In October 2015 Saleh called for a debate on a new German guiding culture . He later took up this idea again and published a book on it with the title “Ich Deutsch”. In it, the politician developed ten "rules of the game" for living together. The book was controversial. While many regional and national media reported positive and classified the text as an important contribution to the integration debate, there was hostility on the Internet, including against the extreme right. The theses on the “new German dominant culture”, his origins, but above all his commitment to the historical reconstruction of a synagogue in Berlin-Kreuzberg made the Berlin politician a preferred enemy of right-wing activists. So he was finally listed on the anti-Semitic website Judaswatch as the only Berlin state politician in category A (“very influential”) and declared an enemy. "All of the people listed must expect to be the target of hatred and possibly even attacks," said the chairman of the Central Council of Jews, Josef Schuster. In the meantime, the site has been switched off after it was put on the index by the federal inspection agency in January 2020 and the Munich Public Prosecutor's Office was investigating the operators for incitement to hatred.

On Saleh's initiative, the Board of Trustees for the Reconstruction of the Berlin Synagogue on Fraenkelufer was founded in February 2019 and unanimously elected Saleh as its chairman. The synagogue was the first to fall victim to the fire on the night of the pogrom in 1938. The politician hopes that reconstruction can begin in November 2023, exactly 85 years after the pogrom night. He would like this to be understood as a warning to "all splitters, nationalists, Nazis and right-wing populists."

When the Corona crisis caused a dispute within the Berlin Senate about the resulting costs, Saleh published a strategy paper according to which the Berlin state government should finance all expenses caused by the crisis through new debts. An increase in the national debt of more than 60 billion euros should also be accepted. Climate policy, modern infrastructure and property policy should not be turned back because of the pandemic.


In an open letter dated November 8, 2017, Saleh was heavily criticized by 14 members of his parliamentary group. He will u. a. accused of missing from important events as well as plenary sessions and not coordinating with the group.

Saleh's appearance in the TV satirical program Chez Krömer on February 17, 2020 was viewed critically by some observers and described as an "embarrassing appearance": he was "insulted and demonstrated" by the presenter, "smiled bravely, but appeared helpless".

His guest article in the Berliner Zeitung on February 14, 2020, in which he accused the CDU and FDP of lacking constitutional loyalty, sparked a controversy.


  • Homework instead of hate. Why we can only fight anti-Semitism with an active integration policy , in: Der Spiegel No. 31, July 28, 2014, p. 28 f.
  • I German: The new leading culture . 2017, ISBN 978-3-455-00165-5 .

Web links

Commons : Raed Saleh  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. Thorkit Treichel: Raed Saleh defines what is German and what migrants have to adhere to . In: THE WORLD . July 17, 2017 ( welt.de [accessed August 26, 2020]).
  2. ^ A b Raed Saleh: Ich Deutsch: Die neue Leitkultur . Hoffmann and Campe, S. 103 .
  3. Berlin House of Representatives - Saleh, Raed. Retrieved on August 26, 2020 (German).
  4. islam.de / Newsnational / Raed Saleh wants to inherit Klaus Wowereit as Governing Mayor and the chances are good. Retrieved August 26, 2020 .
  5. Michael Müller is to become the new head of government in Berlin. Retrieved August 26, 2020 .
  6. Giffey and Saleh want to inherit Müller as dual leadership. Retrieved August 26, 2020 .
  7. SPD state party conference is postponed. Retrieved on August 26, 2020 (German).
  8. Joachim Fahrun: Saleh demands millions of euros for Berlin hotspot schools. December 18, 2012, accessed on August 26, 2020 (German).
  9. Joachim Fahrun: Berlin gives millions for free day-care centers. November 23, 2015, accessed on August 26, 2020 (German).
  10. Joachim Fahrun: SPD plans with 64 million per year for school renovation. January 17, 2013, accessed on August 26, 2020 (German).
  11. ^ Berliner Zeitung: Job programs: SPD parliamentary group leader insists on higher minimum wages. Retrieved on August 26, 2020 (German).
  12. Berlin increases the minimum wage in the state service to 12.50 euros. Retrieved August 26, 2020 .
  13. ↑ Remunicipalisation will take place this year. Retrieved August 26, 2020 .
  14. Jessica Hanack: People hope for change in the Heerstraße Nord neighborhood. September 30, 2019, accessed on August 26, 2020 (German).
  15. Uwe Rada: Berlin Housing Policy: One billion for the new building . In: The daily newspaper: taz . March 24, 2013, ISSN  0931-9085 ( taz.de [accessed August 26, 2020]).
  16. Guido Franke: Bundestag election 2017: Albig: SPD could do without candidates for chancellor . In: FAZ.NET . ISSN  0174-4909 ( faz.net [accessed August 26, 2020]).
  17. We need a new German guiding culture. Retrieved August 26, 2020 .
  18. Thorkit Treichel: Raed Saleh defines what is German and what migrants have to adhere to . In: THE WORLD . July 17, 2017 ( welt.de [accessed August 26, 2020]).
  19. Joachim Fahrun: Sawsan Chebli, Michael Müller, Raed Saleh: Profiles of politicians on the right website. February 28, 2020, accessed on August 26, 2020 (German).
  20. ↑ The reconstruction of the synagogue on Fraenkelufer, which was destroyed in 1938, becomes more concrete. Retrieved August 26, 2020 .
  21. Joachim Fahrun: The destroyed synagogue on Fraenkelufer is being rebuilt. May 21, 2019, accessed on August 26, 2020 (German).
  22. Saleh wants to finance the corona burden solely through debt. Retrieved August 26, 2020 .
  23. Open letter of November 8, 2017
  24. Cover Morgenpost
  25. Cover Berliner Zeitung
  26. List of hollow phrases
  27. Document BZ
  28. How the SPD politician Saleh angered the FDP. In: Der Spiegel . Retrieved March 17, 2020 .
  29. Review (zeit.de July 24, 2017)