Avatar of Jonas Reitz Jonas Reitz - 19. Dezember 2019 - Antifa, Israel/Palästina, Internationales

Interview mit Nilli Maderer (Aktivistin in unserer israelischen Schwesterorganisation “Young Meretz”)

Jonas: Nilli, how did you get to the Willy Brandt Center?

Nilli: At the beginning of my study at the university I started to be an activist in Jerusalem. Someone from the Meretz party, where I was an activist, told me about a women delegation that was going to meet Palestinian women. I took part in that delegation and it was very important for me. It was the first time that I met Palestinians from the West Bank. You know someone that others used to call ‘the enemy’. And then I looked at them and I didn’t recognise the enemy. I recognised a person that lived a very hard and complicated life, maybe half an hour by car away from me. I had a very good conversation with someone, it was very important and influenced my perspective, because until that point, I didn’t have enough information about the conflict from the perspective of the people. I knew what the papers said, I knew what the politicians of both sides said, but I didn’t meet people to talk to. It was the first time that I had the opportunity to ask questions and to get very authentic answers. So this was the beginning of me falling in love with the WBC. I stayed in contact with it and participated in other delegations and met people that I am still in contact with. When I heard that the guy that used to work here had finished his job, I told the people from Meretz that I would be happy to do it. They chose me to be the member and that’s how it started, the story of me and the WBC.

Jonas: What does it mean for you to work here?

Nilli: First of all the work in the WBC gives me the legitimation to talk about peace. Because when I go out in Israel and say that I’m a left person and believe in peace, people tell me ‘You are naïve, you are a child, you don’t know a lot’ and sometimes tell me ‘Do you know them? If you would know them, you would be afraid´ or whatever. And I think that the first things that happened here in the WBC is the opportunity to meet people and to talk to them. The WBC gives me the legitimation to say that I know Palestinians, that not everyone is the same and not everyone is alike, but that I know some people who do believe in peace and want to live together. So this is one very strong thing that I got from the WBC and it’s very important for me. Moreover, I think as a young politician it is great that I have colleagues who are from Palestine, that we’re talking about economic issues, welfare, studying and education, salaries or the height of your rent. It just gives me deep hope that maybe one day we will discuss about those issues as equal countries, as equal leaders.

Jonas: What is the most challenging for you right now in the WBC?

Nilli: To build groups. The main idea of the WBC is to get Palestinians and Israelis together for talking and this is something that the WBC is doing very well. But additional to that, we can build relationships between the Israelis and Palestinians. It is very difficult, because if I want to make a change and make it happen in Israel and Palestine too, people have to talk all over, again and again, about the relationship to the other side. Many people are not doing it, because they don’t have or don’t use the option. I think if they had though, the influence of the WBC would be even much stronger.


Nilli Maderer ist 26 Jahre alt und seit 2015 Mitglied unserer israelischen Schwesterorganisation “Young Meretz”. Politisch aktiv ist sie seit bereits seit 2007.


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