“Your blood isn’t German, right? Your blood is Palestinian.”

This was the fourth query that a Shin Bet security force officer asked Nadim Sarrouh, a 34-year-old German citizen.

The first query was whether his companion is expecting. When he answered NO, the Shin Bet security force officer said with a little smile: “Okay, so she is fine, waiting in the heat.”

Sarrouh, his companion, Venus Ayoub, her mom & dad, two brothers and sister had come back to Israel from a short tour to Jordan.

Ayoub and her family, the Israeli citizens and dwellers of the Galilee community of Jish, had already passed border control. Only Sarrrouh’s passport got detained.

Sarrouh and Ayoub decided to tell Haaretz what took place with them at the border trip. Sarrouh came to Israel many times since 2000, and is familiar with short arrests and questioning.

During December 2014 Sarrouh was even confined at the airdrome for 7 hours, even though he was interrogated for only 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes the Shin Bet inquisitor – who didn’t recognize herself, didn’t provide her name and looked around 30 years – begun asking questions to him.

“She started by asking where I am from. I said I am from Germany. She asked me where I am really from. I said, I was born in Berlin, Germany, have a German passport and no other and am thus a German citizen.”

And then she asked a query concerning his blood, Palestinian or German.

He replied: “I don’t know about that, but if my blood is anything, it’s probably also Polish.” His mother is a Polish woman who was born in Germany.

The Shin Bet detective carried on with her unanticipated queries: “‘Do you know, that you are a refugee?’ He replied that he isn’t a refugee. “But yes, you’re a refugee,” she insisted. “Don’t you know that the UN considers you, like any other descendant of Arabs from this area as Palestinian refugees? No other people in the world keep their refugee status, after becoming citizens of another country, but the Palestinians, yes.’”

The examiner asked him his view about Gaza.

“I told her that I don’t think that they should ask me about my political opinions in order to decide whether or not I’m allowed to enter,” he told. Her answer was that “We can actually do anything. We are not Germany! We are not letting in refugees just like that, like your Merkel is doing! We check who we let in!”

At that point, he stated, she pointed to a large Israeli ensign and stated: “You see that? That means that you’re in Israel. It isn’t your country. You don’t belong here. We can detain you for a few days, decide whether or not to let you enter, and if you don’t like it – you can take your passport and return to Jordan.”

Because she maintained, he explained to her that Gaza is under an occupation and a blockade, in which a powerful occupier has been oppressing a defenseless population for decades.

The interrogator answered: “We aren’t oppressing anyone. Hamas is oppressing your people.”

He stated that he diverged, and she responded: “You can disagree with me, because we’re a free and democratic country.”

Hannah Weber

Hannah Weber  is a seasoned journalist with nearly 10 years experience. While studying journalism at FernUniversität Hagen, Hannah found a passion for finding engaging stories.  As a contributor to Deutch News, Hannah mostly covers human interest pieces.


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