Roughly two weeks ago....we had a big story develop in Germany over Chancellor Merkel meeting up with teenage kids for a forum, and this Palestinian kid (fourteen years old) noted in front of Merkel and the press there....it was quite unfair that her family visa wasn't going to be extended and that she couldn't stay in such a fine country like Germany.
The press (notably the state-run TV folks and the NY Times) ran girl's words and the Merkel come-back ("Some will come and some will go"). It was a harsh dump on Merkel and the reality of the German position with immigration.
For five or six days after that.....German state-run TV ran several forums with this moment as the chatter topic. They found opposition political folks to state the natural thrust against Merkel and the CDU position. They found journalists who chatted about the unfairness of the whole situation.
At the time, I kept thinking.....we probably haven't heard the last of this Palestinian girl (Reem Sahwil). Well....it took around three weeks for her to get into another interview where certain questions were tossed at her and she responded.
Bild has a Sunday edition....called Die Welt am Sonntag. It's a fairly decent edition which takes the short-run or barely told stories of the week, and ties them into a fair amount of research and detail. If you really didn't understand a topic told on Monday morning....if you wait till Sunday....this edition will lay out the other parts to the story. I should note.....lots of Germans of negative about Bild because they capsulize a story to ten or twenty lines from Monday to Friday, and it's a working-man's type of newspaper. But lots of Germans read it.
So the Bild reporter asked Miss Sahwil a couple of questions, starting with "What is Palestine?"
This led to an answer that probably gave the state-run TV folks a fit and it won't be used in any future story related to the Merkel-Sahwil episode.
Sahwil noted to the effect that she was hopeful that Israel would not exist one day and that Palestine would. Additional sentences were the general anti-Israel comments that you'd typically expect.
I'm guessing the reporter felt some need to weave this interview into a positive direction and hoped that the teenager would cooperate to some degree....tried to form a question where it was suggested that Germany and Israel had a special history together. Most German teens have sat through the general history class and know the Nazi connection, the Holocaust, and the common phrases that German will utter in this type of moment. My guess is that the reporter felt that with five years in the German education system.....the kid would revert to the standard German answer.
The reporter even hinted.....Germany doesn't allow Jew-hatred....hoping that she got the message.
Well....no....she didn't respond like a German kid.
The response was mostly to the effect....oh, yeah....there is freedom of speech in Germany, and I'm allowed to say what I said.
At some point in the interview....the reporter finally got to the meat-and-potatoes question....was Germany her home? No, Palestine was her home. It was a straight-forward comment.....no whimpering about the visa or the need to stay in Germany.
Any of this to make it on Channel One (ARD) or Channel Two (ZDF) news? I kinda doubt that they are willing to pick up this story now. They probably put three to four hours of the topic there three weeks ago....hyping up a anti-immigrant story on Chancellor Merkel. Now? It's a pretty lousy topic, with a bogus theme by the teenager, and anyone looking over the Bild interview will have very negative feelings about the subject, and the news press angle.
As I've often hinted.....you need to give stories a couple of days to work out the rest of the story.....because there's always a second segment or real end to the story.
As for Merkel's comment....'some will come and some will go'? I'm guessing she's grinning now and thinking it was a brilliant comment, and this Bild interview simply proves Merkel was right again.
My bet is that the Palestinian teenager will be back in the homeland within two years. She'll be a journalist for some newspaper eventually, and get invited on numerous occasions to come back to Germany and be on various forums to comment about Germany-Israel-Palestine.....as their "expert". Sadly, people will be naive enough to take her comments as fact, and never ask stupid questions....like the Bild guy did.