This is the third article in a series for Fluter, a German political magazine for young adults sponsored by the German government. The following is an excerpt from the English original, modified slightly in the German version, which could be read here.
I was chatting in line at Ritter Butzke, one of my favorite Berlin nightclubs, when a pretty Berliner asked what should be a harmless question: “Where are you from?”
Usually, I don’t hesitate to say “Israel” or “the United States”, even though some dictatorships like to call them “Little Satan” and “Big Satan.” Most of the time, when I say “Israel,” Germans tell me how they want to go to Tel Aviv, although I’m not sure what they think deep down about the Jewish homeland.
I figured, this is a nightclub. We’re entering the universal dance collective where nationalities don’t matter.
“Israel,” I answered.
“Why does Israel oppress the Palestinians?” Maybe she had a pre-club cocktail. In vino veritas.
How do I even answer such a question standing in line at a nightclub?
“It’s not black and white,” I said, not keen on explaining the intricacies of Israeli geopolitics then and there. “You have to go and see for yourself.”