Saba-Nur Cheema is a German Muslim. So she knows what she is talking about when she writes about her fellow believers in an article for “Zeit Online”: “The obsession with Israel and the over-identification with Palestine” formed “a consensus across national borders and theological differences.”
Using the example of Pakistan, Cheema shows that “the rejection of Israel’s right to exist” is “common sense” for a significant proportion of Muslims worldwide. Even the world’s largest Muslim country, Indonesia, does not recognize the Jewish state and, as Cheema points out, has had trouble allowing the country’s 200 Jews to set up a Holocaust museum.
That’s why Cheema asks rhetorically with regard to the Documenta 15 in Kassel: “But is it so surprising that the curators from Indonesia didn’t invite an Israeli?” No, it was to be expected, regardless of how close members of the “ruangrupa” collective of the anti-Semitic BDS movement. They would have gotten into trouble at home if they had invited artists from a country that their government does not allow to exist.
The German organizers and sponsors of the Documenta knew that too, and that’s why they shouldn’t have invited the Indonesians to curate the art show. Cheema also knows why this happened: “Ultimately, the mainstream in the post-colonial school can relate to this resentment,” which understands Israel as a “colonial project” and ignores its importance “for the security of Jews worldwide against the background of the experience of the Shoah”.
And which has a large part of the German cultural scene at its feet.
Of course, Cheema doesn’t say that. On the contrary, she means that in Germany “one has an obsession with Israel”, only with the opposite sign, namely “unrestricted solidarity”. She cites the group of “anti-Germans” as evidence. Alone: 100 or 150 Marxists who support Israel because, as a capitalist state, it is closer to the transition to socialism than the semi-feudal Arab states, cannot be put on a par with 2.5 billion Muslims worldwide, with nuclear powers like Pakistan or Iran, with an organization like BDS, which organizes the boycott of Israeli academics and artists worldwide.
Cheema thrashes on the “anti-German” sack, but she means the German donkey. Our “obsession” with the Jewish state prevents a “critical dialogue on an equal footing with people from the Global South and Muslim countries”.
However, we can only discuss at eye level if we also represent our reasons of state, our values, our historical experiences and current interests and do not kneel in anticipatory obedience to a bugbear called the “Global South”. It is worrying that a woman who advises the federal government on anti-Semitism and Islamophobia is propagating this kneeling.