Als die Menschen verstummten.: Erinnerungen an die Flucht aus unserer Heimat Danzig (German Edition)

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Yet another slew of links, what surprises me is that we don't have Handke's reaction. I imagine he is having conniptions at the amount of attention Grass is getting. And I cannot imagine that no end of news paper people have not sought to get a comment out of him. Israel hat inzwischen ein Einreiseverbot gegen ihn erlassen. I asked friend and author Esther Dischereit, some of whose essays I have translated, whom I had asked for her take on the Grass poem, to post her fine reply to my question, and she replied that it would be all right if I posted it in her stead.

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Sozusagen als sei das Frieden, jetzt. Israel wird bei Herrn Grass als Verursacherin der Bedrohung bezeichnet. Das scheint mir eine Simplifizierung zu sein. Seit Jahren herrscht in der Region der Status Quo. Broder in "Die Welt" 4. Und zwar genau jene, die es antizipiert und denen es vorbeugend entgegenarbeitet? Dem Autor wird dennoch wiederholt Antisemitismus unterstellt. Oder durch Reich-Ranicki? Literarische Techniken der Anspielung sind dem Autor jedenfalls keineswegs fremd. Der Beitrag ist zuerst in unserem Kulturjournal erschienen — zusammen mit dem kompletten Text des Gedichtes und Hinweisen auf die Resonanz darauf.

What is he guilty off that you and not end of American commentators must rub his nose in it, as he does himself: of letting himself be drafted by the Waffen SS. Do you know what the alternative was???? He served for a few month and appears to have been scared to death during his one engagement. He is not a murderer. What are the US volunteers for the criminal attack on Iraq guilty of? And Iran's threat to Israel consists of what? Who is the threat to world peace at the moment? I would say after Netanjahus visit to the US it is Israel, not that there are not voices opposing him there.

Anyone not realizing as much after that man's recent visit to Washington must look forward to what seems bound to occur after the November election. Anyone seriously interested in the many voices pro and con the Grass poem might visit the following blog that contains links to most of them. Their entire policy in Gaza and the West Bank can be linked in word and deed to the racial cleansing policies of Nazi Germany. Their brutal disregard of all the resolutions of the United Nations, some of which they have even signed, and international law can be proven in detail over and over again.

The funny thing is I think that the Palestinians themselves are also Semites. So the Israelis are being anti-Semitic when they bash Palestinians? It appears that the only ones who have learned from that sad history are most of the Germans themselves. Regards, Alexander Schleber. Noch besser. Aber Grass war schon immer so Die kommentierte Kulturpresseschau. Wochentags um 9 Uhr, sonnabends um 10 Uhr. Die Medien sind der Skandal, schreibt Robert Menasse auf news.

Israel spielt mit unser aller Leben! Grass schafft es, die Verbrechen der Nazis zu relativieren, ohne sie zu verharmlosen. Um ehrlich zu sein: Es interessiert mich nicht besonders. Ich denke nicht, dass dieses Gedicht irgendeine Bedeutung hat. Grass hatte schon immer problematische Ansichten zu Israel und den Juden.

Es ist einfach nur so, dass er ein Problem mit Juden hat. Ich hatte eine Diskussion mit ihm im deutschen Fernsehen. Ich wandte mich gegen die Tatsache, dass die deutsche Linke gegen den damaligen Krieg der USA gegen den Irak protestierte, ohne gleichzeitig gegen die Giftgaslieferungen deutscher Firmen an Saddam Hussein in den achtziger Jahren zu protestieren: Deutsche, Juden, Gas — diese Verbindung sollte es nicht mehr geben, und das habe ich ihm gesagt. Wir hatten damals eine lange Diskussion und meine Schlussfolgerung daraus war, dass er eine sehr schwierige Person ist, und dass er ein Problem mit all dem hat.

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Doch das ist unsere Sache als Israelis. Robert Menasse schreibt auf news. Der Freitag ctd. But let me at least post a few links to the massive material that has in one week accrued to what is more of an op-ed in broken lines than a poem. Ah to be not only an artist but a conscience!!! Presumptuous and contradictory, and unnecessarily self-righteous as Grass actions as consience have been over the years, however the truth of the substance of his charge needs to be addressed. In Germany he has been overwhelmed by consternation and charges of being anti-semitic by attacking the state of Israel.

I happen to find those attacks on Grass entirely misguided and wrong and to manifest a German fear of being regarded as anti-semitic if they support Grass's position! In other words, these attacks on Grass, especially Henryk Broder's, testify more to the guilt that continues to weigh on German concscience, and which the likes of Bernard Henry Levy use as Piniata.

The popular book reviewer Marcel Reich-Ranicki finds a kind of return of the repressed in Grass. I see nothing anti-semitic in the poem and find it an exceeding cheap shot to accuse someone who was drafted into the Waffen-SS at age 17 of being a Nazi. What choice did Grass have? Either join or be shot.

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If he had had enlightened parents he might have gone a. Like Broder, Bernard Henry Levy finds that any attack on the Israeli government is the cover for a new anti-semitism. Netanyahoo and Avigdor Lieberman as sacrosanct, who don't remind me of any Jews I've ever know, but of a lot of some Russian goons! There, Bernard, have that for breakfast! It's possible that when he said he hadn't spoken out before because he came from a country with "a stain" on its history that was "never to be expunged," and knew that if he did speak out he would be called an anti-Semite, what he meant was that he didn't particularly want to be called an anti-Semite.

And not that he did. And it's possible that when he said that he had decided to speak out anyway, because he was old and might not have many more opportunities, and because he thought that Germans, already "burdened" with a terrible past, might be "complicit" in future horrors if they didn't, that is exactly what he meant Ditto Durs. Zu einer Zeit als diese Gattung, die doch sonst auf Freiwillige und nicht auf Konskripte angewiesen war rein oder erschossen werden,so war es doch. Connect With Us on Twitter Follow nytimesworld for international breaking news and headlines.

Twitter List: Reporters and Editors But even a quick dip into the comments left by readers on various Web sites reveals quite another reality. Grass has struck a nerve with the broader public, articulating frustrations with Israel here in Germany that are frequently expressed in private but rarely in public, where the discourse is checked by the lingering presence of the past.

What might have remained at the family dinner table or the local bar a generation ago is today on full display, not only in Mr. Denkt so der neue Deutsche? April In Israel richten sich die Blicke auf das kommende Wochenende. Er verleiht dem deutschen Geist Ausdruck. In der israelischen Debatte gilt der Antisemitismus-Vorwurf aber nicht nur Deutschen.

Sein Gedicht ist weder politisch noch literarisch interessant - der alte Mann wollte nur etwas Aufmerksamkeit. As the saying used to go: "La Lotta Continua. As an old hand at following these firestorms on the web - my first was of the storm that Peter Handke's defense of the Serbians, his opposition to the one-sided reporting on the Yugoslav disintegration, the first of three fire-storms that he elicited, - I will do my own take on various aspect of this one, shortly or not. I am an ungulate, i digest slowly. The blogs of the German T.

It did me while it was simmering. We had a great wave of New York Jewish nationalism, all the doves turning into hawks. Well, my heart is in Israel, but it was a little like a blitzkrieg against the Commanches—armed by Russia. Nasser is like a Mussolini ruling some poverty stricken part of India. I never saw a country I would less like to stay in, yet the Egyptians were mostly subtle and sad and attractive. In a piece of poetry published by a German newspaper last week, Grass, 84, condemned his country's arm sales to Israel, saying the Jewish state must not be allowed to threaten its neighbors with overwhelming conventional and nuclear weapons.

Rather, it's Israelis' inability to understand this country other than through the way it's portrayed in our media. By Yitzhak Laor The person who symbolized "the other Germany" more than anyone in West Germany, the person who was Germany's conscience throughout his literary career, has made the Israeli establishment and its clones crazy. These people have responded pettily and violently. Gunter Grass' service in the Wafen SS when he was 17 has nothing to do with his positions. You need lots of chutzpah and maybe even ignorance to think the Germans don't know how many despicable Nazis Israel catered to, as long as they supported its policies.

Now, his comment fits his creator Gunter Grass just as well. Being the voice of conscience for Germany, if not for all of humanity in a violent age, has never been easy for Grass. He has been repeatedly attacked and abused by lesser mortals who wished to shut out the moral sense he was banging on about much like Oskar on his little drum. And his poem What Must Be Said published last week has unleashed a volley of vicious personal attacks, labelling him an anti-Semite, an enemy of the Jews, a neo-Nazi apart from also being a senile old fool.

He also says that the Pirate Party still has a lot to learn. Gabriel, are you upset about losing a popular election campaigner for your party, the center-left Social Democrats SPD? Gabriel: Who would that be? After publishing his poem critical of Israel, some of your party colleagues have said they forego his assistance in future campaigns. Gabriel: Regarding content, I share in some of the criticism. But some of it is excessive and, in parts, hysterical. Grass equates Iran and Israel in terms of the danger they potentially pose, which I consider wrong. Nevertheless, I feel the approach many have taken to the poem lacks the appropriate gravity.

At its heart, the poem is a cry for help. But most Europeans looked the other way, and the United Nations, EU and the chattering classes all washed their hands of the Jewish blood. Europe has already forsaken the Jews. Mountain out of Molehill? And yet the shadow still cast by the Holocaust ensures that criticism of Israel by a prominent German will trigger an emotionally charged response in both countries. Sie brauchten nicht lange zu suchen, es war auf Seite Eins an prominenter Stelle versteckt.

Auch immer mehr Schurkenstaaten gehen auf Distanz, u. Damit wollen wir nichts zu tun haben. Intellektuelle melden sich in Hintergrund zu Wort. April - Am Mittwoch, den 4. Die ersten Antworten sind eingegangen, weitere werden folgen. Das Problem mit dem Einhalten des Tabus beginnt indes dort, wo sich die Konvention als in partikularem Sinne interessengeleitet, mithin als im Wesen ideologisch erweist.

Nichts, was man im Hinblick auf Fakten bzw. Von einer Symmetrie kann dabei nicht die Rede sein: Israel beherrscht ja das, was einzig zum Ausgangspunkt eines Friedensabkommens genommen werden kann; in Israels Hand ist es, ein solches Abkommen real voranzutreiben. Eine ganz andere Sache ist es aber, sich die Befindlichkeit durch den Antisemitismus-Vorwurf zurecht zu ideologisieren.

Grass seine jugendliche SS-Vergangenheit anzulasten, ist eine Sache; eine ganz andere, ihn zum Antisemiten zu machen, um ein menschenrechtsverletzendes Israel zu verteidigen. Zu Beginn des Das ist nicht freundlich. Tut es damit dem Iran nicht genau das an, was ihm selbst verhasst ist? Mit welchem Recht kann es sie dem Iran verbieten? Aber was ist am Iran schlechter als an Pakistan oder Saudi-Arabien? Ist dieser Themenwechsel nicht sehr willkommen? Worin besteht der anscheinende Tabubruch, den Grass mit seiner offensiven Thematisierung der israelischen Atomwaffen begangen hat?

Das muss gesagt werden. Krippendorff gilt als einer der Pioniere der Friedensforschung. Endlich gibt es eine Stimme, die das zur Provokation und zum Skandal erheben kann, was seit Jahren bekannt ist aber weitgehend verschwiegen wird. Denn Teheran hat nie mit einem Krieg gegen Israel gedroht. Sie greifen zum Schraubenzieher G. Getroffene Hunde bellen.

Ablenkung von einem Tatbestand, weil man gegen ihn kaum argumentieren kann. Michel Warschawski ist ein israelischer Friedensaktivist und Publizist. Das war richtig, soweit es die Methode der Vernichtung betrifft, aber nicht in anderer Hinsicht. Ist es uns nicht erlaubt, darauf hinzuweisen? Zieht weiter nach Damaskus und Teheran. Er konzentrierte sich auf Israels Kriegstreiberei in Bezug auf den Iran.

Ihm wurde die Vergangenheit seiner Partei vergeben. Die Vergangenheit ist nur von Bedeutung, wenn eine Person Israel kritisiert. Tariq Ali ist ein britischer Schriftsteller, Filmemacher und Historiker. Aber es ist durch seinen eigenen historischen Blick behindert. Anstatt Israel als kollektives Opfer des Holocaust zu behandeln, sollte Deutschland es als Land mit seiner eigenen Geschichte, Interessen und Werten begreifen. Deutschland sollte Israel wie jedes andere Land in der Region behandeln: entsprechend seiner Verdienste. Danke, Herr Grass!

Yakov M. Das Gedicht kritisiert nicht Juden, sondern den Staat Israel. Das ist wirklich eine antisemitische Verleumdung! Er weist nicht darauf hin, dass der Zionismus eine Kolonisierungsprojekt ist und Israel ein Staat kolonialistischer Siedler. Das muss betont werden. Das Gedicht ist auch etwas ungenau. Diese Forderung muss sowohl den repressiven iranischen Gottesstaat als auch den israelischen Siedlerstaat einbeziehen. Die Einberufung zur Waffen-SS sei ohne sein aktives Zutun erfolgt, behauptet Grass und beruft sich auf von ihm "klar erinnerte Fakten".

Geburtstag, am April , findet sich So kommt er nicht in russische, sondern in amerikanische Gefangenschaft. The paper, in the edition to be published Tuesday, quoted a spokesman for the hospital but did not give details. Whether it be Robert Mugabe fighting for his life in a Singapore hospital — aka "advising his daughter on her graduate studies" — or the Pope donning an even funnier hat than usual and lecturing the Castros in Cuba, it's refreshing to hear that in today's ageist culture, those in their ninth decade can still make a contribution.

Proving that there's still lead in his literary pencil, the author of The Tin Drum managed to get himself declared persona non grata by Israel after penning a few tortured words on the subject of Middle Eastern relations and German profiteering. Or he was. In , this chest-thumping anti-Nazi laid bare his long-concealed career in the Waffen-SS. Had Mr. Grass sprung the shocker a decade earlier, his novel "The Tin Drum" would still shine forth as a masterwork, but without the Nobel Prize, which he was awarded in Just before Easter this year, Mr. Grass launched a bigger bombshell, a poem titled "What Must Be Said.

Born in , Grass spent a part of his youth serving in the Waffen SS — an armed wing of the Third Reich — but later expressed strong opposition towards Nazism in both his literary works and personal statements. Even so, Israelis have approached the poet with extreme hostility. Thus did the bard go into battle against "hypocrisy" and "lies. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is but a "loudmouth," a lamb in wolf's clothing Joffe when I was a visiting scholar at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Neo-Con aggression. Slickly and typically mendacious Mr. What threat does Iran pose, has it attacked anyone in hundreds of years of having been at the mercy of Western Imperialism, is its position not entirely defensive against all aggressors, including the U. Has Iran, even under its entirely objectionable theocracy given any sign of being suicidal? I myself am doing a summary that may be done by the end of the week. However, it looks as though this might get to be a bigger story than just Grass and his poem.

It is against the sale of a German submarine to Israel which is capable of launching nuclear weapons. It speaks against 'the burdensome lie' of silence. Silence in general, about wrongs one knows of; and specifically German silence in the face of Israeli wrongs, because of the preemptive operation of self-censorship through an accurate awareness of guilt.

It asks: why should Germany not speak the truth now, precisely because of its self-knowledge of the wrong of wars of aggression. Who in Israel has spoken of the sale by Germany to Israel of a new submarine? What does Israel, what does anyone gain from this? First, there is a high level of sensitivity to perceived expressions of antisemitism by major public figures in Europe.

She equated the suffering of dying children, not the immorality of crimes. Second, such controversies about antisemitism invariably arise following some form of comment on or criticism of Israel and thereby demonstrate just how inextricably linked to the actions or inactions of the Jewish state are perceptions of antisemitism today. The result is that any moral judgments about what Grass wrote or Ashton said are complicated and even clouded by the way that the Israel factor has politicised the business of assessing antisemitism.

Third, while these incidents may well generate various forms of indignation, they certainly do not demonstrate the existence of a shared understanding of what antisemitism is. It is deeply troubling that what begins as a positive impulse—to be constantly alert to manifestations of antisemitism—so often ends in such bitter disagreement or worse. One assumes that the motives behind exposing antisemitism are to defend democratic values, tolerance, racial equality and the right to maintain religious and ethnic difference. This is his final draft for a letter to be circulated via your email list to others interested in participating in a recall of Gunter Grass' Nobel Prize.

Grass was a member of Himmler's SS during the Holocaust, is today calling on the censure of Israel for confronting production of a terrorist nuclear weapon by an Iranian regime openly declaring its readiness to self-destruct in service of the return of its messianic Mehdi, the Twelfth Imam. If the West is blind to the parallels of its appeasement of Hitler and its ruinous consequence, then certainly the Academy sees clearly that the Grass poem, either hypocritical or blatantly antisemitic does not represent the criteria or standards which the Nobel represents.

I encourage all who agree with Georges and myself that this effort is worthwhile to copy the letter and circulate it throughout your email list. This year, more than in others years, it may be important to reflect on what this day can and should mean for Jews and for the world as a whole. The recent years have seen an ugly politicization of the Holocaust. Yet, perhaps the most repugnant element of Grass' poem was his Freudian suggestion that Israel was contemplating an attack in order to ''annihilate the Iranian people'' Anti-Semitism masquerading as anti-Zionism has stolen a march in the early 21st century, albeit shorn of overt racism.

Instead, the world's oldest hate manifests itself politically via the bizarre demand that Israel, alone among the world's nations, must cease to exist in favour of a bi-national Palestine. For academic Philip Mendes, such fundamentalist discourse demonises ''all Israeli Jews and all Jewish supporters of Israel as the political enemy''. There is, to be sure, a clear difference between the nuclear bombing of conventional sites and the conventional bombing of nuclear sites. So why is Grass being anti-Semitic when he morally criticizes the consequences of an Israeli strike, whereas Goldberg is not?

Quite so. If Grass' poem is anti-Semitic, or foments hatred of Israel, then I suppose half of Israel's population consists of anti-Semites and self-hating Jews. Meanwhile Yishai has one-upped himself by calling on the Nobel committee to retract Grass' Nobel prize. The committee naturally declined. Now that the dust has settled, we can marvel at how the avalanche of outraged squawks has sent the needle clean off the Richter Scale of Zionist paranoia. Two months ago, the industry publication Defence Industry Daily reported how Christian Schmidt, Germany's secretary-of-state for defence, had signed a contract with Israel to supply a sixth Dolphin-class submarine, with the German taxpayer chipping in a huge subsidy.

The submarines have 10 bow torpedo tubes, four of which can launch larger cruise missiles. Rumour has it that Israel has tested a nuclear-capable version of its medium-range Popeye Turbo cruise missile from these tubes. And I continue to do so! But then, in a twist that seemed to come straight from a Dickens novel, Grass revealed in that he had been drafted into the Nazi Waffen SS in his youth, a fact which has deeply undermined his moral and political authority.

Were he a character in a novel, Grass might be labeled an unreliable narrator, yet is this not too harsh a verdict? Is being conscripted into the Waffen SS an inexpiable crime? It happened to renowned scholars like John Mearsheimer and Steven Walt for publishing a well-documented and supported audit of Israel's manipulation of US foreign policy through their domestic proxy lobby.

Richard Goldstone was so chastised, shunned, and punished by his own community for reporting his findings that Israel had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza that he utterly discredited himself as a jurist by retracting his well-reasoned legal conclusions, which were nonetheless upheld by all his colleagues and by the international legal community. Among many abuses, they called him a capo and a self-hating Jew and he was prevented from attending his grandson's bar mitzvah. Those labels too have been hurled at intellectuals like Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky -- the latter actually banned by Israel from entering the West Bank to speak at Bir Zeit University.

The list is too long for one article, but it stretches the full breadth of international thinkers, artists, intellectuals, clergy, moral authorities, and political figures. Nor should anyone marvel at the fact that this poem has created a political earthquake. Matthews Passion. Es geht in dem Gedicht nicht um das Judentum, sondern um die aggressive israelische Politik. Das zum Ausdruck zu bringen, war Grass wichtig. Georg gefahren worden.

Because of a poem condemning Israel's stockpiling of nuclear weapons, Israel has banned Nobel Laureate Gunter Grass from visiting it, declaring him persona non grata. The row brought to the fore the moral controversy of whether Germans, who failed to stop the Nazi Holocaust, have the right to criticise Israeli policies. Demonstrators, some supporting Grass and others supporting Israel, marched in Berlin's streets after the travel ban.

A moral watershed has been reached, one in which the prominent writer had to take sides. With his recent poem, Gunter Grass broke the implicit taboo -- so carefully internalised by German thinkers and decision- makers -- on criticising Israel. It is a taboo that has silenced German writers and politicians for years. Passover break or not, the story spun into a series of follow ups and analysis and opinion pieces, as well as a few unflattering caricatures. We know the problems and the solution, now we require the implementation.

This assertion consequently allows for continuous reproduction of the memory of the Holocaust in the daily discourse, at least for the sake of comparison, thereby rendering it as an ever-present reality. Implicit in this theory are two other ideas — since the sorrow of the Jews is eternal, you cannot but accept them as victims in perpetuity, forever vulnerable to the primeval forces lurking in us.

From it springs the second idea: victims can never become assailants, not even the state that presides over the homeland of Jews — Israel. Comments by any Western intellectual claiming, as did Grass, that it is Israel, not Iran, which is a threat to world peace would have evoked criticism and condemnation. The fact that they were made by a German raises the decibel level dramatically. And the fact that they were made by an individual who for decades concealed that he volunteered to serve in the Waffen SS, the German killing machine of Jews during World War II, brings the reaction to still another level.

Georg hospital in the port city of Hamburg told AFP, without giving details. Grass, 84, who recently provoked a heated international debate after lambasting Israel in a poem, was admitted following heart problems, a hospital spokesman said Monday confirming a report by the mass-circulation Bild. Never before has a modern day German citizen dared to write those 45 lines, awakening the souls of those good Israelis that will approve of the words once they read them. The writers association said it would ask International PEN, a worldwide body of writers, to "publicly distance itself from Grass' remarks and to come out against all expressions of delegitimization against Israel and the Jewish people.

He merely points out what anyone who studies the Middle East knows: that Israel is trying to bounce the United States into war with Iran by wildly exaggerating Iran's alleged "existential" threat to Israel, regardless of the cataclysmic consequences. Israel has nuclear weapons; Iran does not. Iran has not seriously threatened Israel: even rhetorically, the textual evidence of any real menace to Israel from Ahmadinejad is overinterpreted and exaggerated.

Also, according to Gunter Grass, the danger is that Israel will annihilate the Iranian people and that of course, is complete nonsense because we are not talking about a nuclear attack on Iran, we are talking about measures at most, measure that might prevent the Iranians from manufacturing an atomic bomb. So I really think that it is a pathetic poem, but it is in no way antisemitic. What I resented was that the Israeli embassy in Berlin immediately described this poem and in fact Gunter Grass himself as an anti-Semite and then prime minister Netanyahu said the same, and our foreign minister said the same…and they are trying to outdo each other.

But he also sees that if he does not speak out now — history might repeat itself -i. And as he said in an interview — if you hit a nuclear power station with a rocket you create a nuclear disaster too. So this poem is is about personal responsibility. History might repeat itself — in a new disguise. He also hopes for proper international controls of nuclear facilities and weapons in the region in the interest of all. Gunter Grass has been admitted to a hospital suffering from heart problems.

It is not a song about politics but about what the people want in these times of world war fears, disinformation and big trading of weapons.

It is not a song about politics but about what the people want in these times of world war fears, disinformation and big trading of weapons: The people want peace, unity, freedom, jobs, education and security for themselves and their children. Embodied in the concept of Free Speech is the right to counter-speech. No-one has the last word, and no-one has the right to have their opinions — or their poetry — go uncriticised.

Political Correctness is a form of counter-speech. One aspect of counter-speech I enjoy is when critics respond like-for-like.

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Have any been posted online? In Britain or the United States, poets opine and some of the people may listen - and then usually they move on. The chattering class might chatter a little louder, but the great sweep of politics is rarely changed. But in Germany, artists are taken very seriously and few more than Guenter Grass.

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It is not just his Nobel Prize, but the way his novels reflected Germany's Nazi past with brutal clarity. They were like mirrors that revealed the true face to those brave enough to look at themselves. And if we want to take a little poetic license, an Israeli attack could expand in all sorts of directions with all sorts of weaponry and indeed lead to the erasure of the Iranian people, as well as the Israeli people and other people, too. Still, taken literally, that phrase is misleading. A Poem? It was triggered by Germany's sale of a nuclear submarine to Israel.

While the poem generated a wave of vilification against the author from fanatic friends of Israel, there were also some sober and objective critics who advised readers to 'listen to the condemnation', for the poem does contain things that must be said, that can and should be said. He comes out strongly against current Israeli policy, endangering world peace particularly with its variously expressed desire to annihilate the Iranian people.

But now, he has come to see that silence as a 'burdensome lie' and a psychological 'coercion'. German peace activists lost no time to voice support for Grass who has been barred from entering Israel over the passionate 'poem' which accuses the superlatively belligerent, Jewish state of plotting Iran's annihilation. Israel 'could wipe' out the 'Iranian people' with a 'first strike'. Iran has always maintained its programmes are for peace purposes. On the occasion of the annual Army Day parade, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed to respond with force to any threats to its territorial integrity.

But he also said, loud and clear, that Iran would prefer to cooperate with its Arab neighbours to maintain security in the Gulf. What would the rulers in the region prefer? Unless their western patrons cast them aside after all the juicy pulp of the mango has been sucked clean, so to say the chances of cooperation to let Iran lead in the Middle East, are very, very dim indeed.

But Ahmadinejad is resolute about what should be done in the face of Netanyahu's threats. Interestingly, Grass thinks the Iranian people are 'enslaved and coerced into continual jubilation by a loud-mouthed leader. What if the latter is the same dog that invariably gets wagged by the tail as has been proved in so many instances over the past decades?

A letter in the Guardian newspaper of the UK puts it simply" Anyone who studies the Middle East knows that Israel is trying to bounce the United States into war by wildly exaggerating Iran's alleged 'existential' threat to Israel, regardless of the cataclysmic consequences. Why do our commentators fall such easy prey to the machinations of the Israeli state and its supports, and denigrate a great and wise writer who, after all, is only trying to give us due warning of a disaster in the making? Another prominent German, Sigmar Gabriel, chairman of the Social Democratic Party, wrote just a few weeks before Grass's poem that there is an apartheid regime in Hebron.

He too had to face angry responses. Another great author Jose de Sousa Saramego, who visited the occupied territories under Israel compared to what was going on there to Auschwitz! They have learned nothing from the suffering of their parents and their grandparents,' writes Saramago. Die wiederum hat dem greisen Grass Einreiseverbot erteilt, obwohl Israel angeblich eine Demokratie und Meinungsfreiheit ein Bestandteil dieser ist. Prominente werden sich die Klinke in die Hand geben. April zugesagt. Oktober These works, along with his other dissident activities, landed him in jail from until This confession came seven years after Grass was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Yet it was Iran, whose government had signed the NPT and which granted access to inspectors, that was accused of building nuclear weapons and punished for it, although no evidence had been produced to back up the charge. Grass also spoke out against Germany supplying U-boats to Israel and cynically calling them reparations for the crimes of the Nazi dictatorship. Netanyahu ratcheted up his criticism of the Nobel laureate in the interview with the German paper, as well as defending Interior Minister Eli Yishai's decision to ban Grass from entering Israel. Related: German author Grass defends anti-Israel poem Berlin politicians split over Grass travel ban The prime minister's comments highlight that the international row surrounding Grass' perceived anti-Semitic attacks on the Jewish state will not fizzle away in the short-term.

Critics in Germany and the United States, as well as Israeli politicians, asserted that the poem demonstrates hate against Jews and Israel. Yet it was Iran, whose government had signed the NPT and which granted access to inspectors, that was accused of building nuclear weapons and punished for it, although no evidence had been produced to back up the charge Pintura, dibujo, novela, poemas; su letra es grande y espaciada, pero incomprensible, y sus dibujos son concienzudos, como los trabajos de un escolar preocupado.

Then usually the Jewish Lobby in the U. Just recently the German government has subsidized four nuclear submarines for the Israelis. This poem was written because the author Mr. Grass fears the danger of a nuclear war. He questions the right of the country Israel for a nuclear first strike to annihilate the people of Iran just for a bad feeling that there MIGHT be a nuclear weapons program going on.

Grass also says that by questioning Israel one is automatically branded as an anti-semitic. Which BTW totally happened!! Why do so many people twist the facts and make Mr. Grass look anti-semitic? He has a point! I pray that the people in the Mideast will one day live peacefully without suppression and wars again. Tehran says its nuclear program is purely peaceful.

The poll, published in Die Welt am Sonntag newspaper along with a lengthy interview with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, showed 48 percent of Germans thought Iran posed the biggest threat to peace while 18 percent said Israel was. A further 22 percent said Iran and Israel were an equal threat to world peace. Pun aside, he has invited a holocaust! Like in the old story, he has declared that the Emperor has no clothes.

And it demands a very strong response. I think what Grass said shows a collapse of moral clarity. Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai consequently decided to bar Grass from entering the country, a move that was widely criticized as exaggerated. He went too far toward untruths and toward slander. And I think that reaction expresses it. And where the firefighter and not the arsonist is the real danger. Now the question is: Do people accept this or not? The condemnations arise from the bald fact that a man who until concealed his youthful membership in the Waffen SS has chosen to place on the same moral plane the Iranian regime and the Jewish state, whose existence results from the Holocaust.

The ambivalence arises because in the decades since the and Arab-Israeli conflicts, sympathy for Palestinians has grown, and, particularly in intellectual circles, there has arisen no limiting principle between criticism of Israeli policy decisions and overall condemnation of Israel — the implicit or explicit denial of whose right to exist would surely still count for many as rank anti-Semitism.

Will er, dass es Literatur ist und damit interpretierbar? Was ist da passiert? I myself am doing a summary that may be done by the end of the month. While I can empathize with the feeling Yishai expressed by his action, he might also have considered it good for your education if you would visit Israel, and specifically the little town of Sderot, where I live and write.

I will be delighted to show you around Sderot for some educational sightseeing. It might do you good. You worry about what Israel might do to Iran, but I will show you what Iran has done to Israel through her ally Hamas. Our first stop will be a pleasant square in the middle of Sderot. A musical statue presides here. Behind the square stands an unusual structure: a huge, curving piece of concrete that stretches over a local school.

A thousand years hence, this outlandish architecture will baffle archeologists excavating Sderot. No one will guess what function it might have fulfilled, unless written records of our time survive to explain this mystery. The curvaceous concrete is a huge bomb-shelter whose purpose is to prevent Hamas terrorists from killing the children who study in that school with the rockets they fire from across the border in the Gaza Strip. Gunter Grass has spent his last ink as if as a last minute confession of a dying man to relieve himself from the burden of concealing the truth. By protesting the injustice and double standard perpetrated by the western governments, Grass has raised his image on a par with other leading figures of freedom who stood like Himalaya against the onslaught of colonialism and injustice.

Long ago Josef Conrad exposed the diabolic side of the western civilisation by his novella The Heart of Darkness. Now the question is how long will we remain subhuman by being submissive before the falsehood. Wake up before it is too late. Take a decision in favour of justice and truth. Come out of the cocoon of darkness to light and freedom. What a prankster. He recently wrote a poetic satire called What Must Be Said in which he stated that Israel was a threat to world peace because of its nuclear program, and that Israel and Iran are sort of, well, equivalent in the nuclear-arms field, except maybe Israel is guiltier because, oh, who really knows if Iran is building a bomb anyway.

Or something. What a side-splitter, eh? He meant it? Never mind. Well, actually, do mind. In fact, lots of folks already have. Grass, who hid for years that he had been a member of the Nazi Waffen SS during the war, released this verse stink bomb just before Passover, which, of course, is the traditional time of year for the spreading of anti-Semitic blood libels. Der Literaturkritiker hatte das Gedicht in der vergangenen Woche als "ekelhaft"bezeichnet.

Das ist nicht wahr. Aber es werden ganz eindeutig Vorbereitungen getroffen.

Es ist auch unerheblich. Es gebe da keine Tabus. Grass soll am He was a kid! Now everyone rubs his nose in it. How cheap and nasty can you get! For this undertaking they have the backing of the Neo-Cons, of AIPAC, it is indeed a dangerous situtation, and there is no telling how that war would spread. Whether Grass or whoever is anti-semitic or was a Nazi as a kid, is entirely irrelevant, if they could not level those charges they would find other diversions, it is also entirerly irrelevant whether Netanyahoo or Avigdor Liebermann are Jewish.

First of all, they are both demagogues and are both gangsters, goons. They instrumentalize the Holocaust and use it as blackmail. One must mention that the Italian Repubblica did so, yet published critical articles next to it. Like Grass, who is a part-time anti-Semitic poet, they are part-time anti-Semitic publications. Grass was heavily criticized in Israel for a poem he wrote in which he describes Israel as a major threat to world peace. Celebrated author Prof. Which criticism would Yishai wish to hear?

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