Elderly German Poet - Grass Banned from Israel 'only ME Democracy', now says: "In Banning me, Israel's Interior Minister Resembles German Stasi Chief"

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    Apr 09, 2012 10:20 PM GMT
    The Poem by Gunter Grass, a Nobel - Prize winning German writer:
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    TITLED: "What Must Be Said"


    It is the claimed right to a first strike, which could eliminate the Iranian people, dominated by a loudmouth and led by organized jubilation, because supposedly there is a nuclear bomb in it's power sphere.

    But why am I denying myself, to name this other country, in which for years - although in secret - there is a growing nuclear potential available, but out of control, because it is not accessible to public scrutiny.

    The general silence about these facts, which my silence has been subordinated to, feels like an incriminating lie and constraint, which promises penalty as soon as revealed; the common verdict: "anti-Semitism".
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    The Guardian: Günter Grass barred from Israel over poem


    The celebrated German author Günter Grass has been declared persona non grata in Israel following the publication of his poem warning that the Jewish state's nuclear programme was a threat to an "already fragile world peace".

    The row over the literary work continued to reverberate over the weekend, with the 84-year-old Nobel laureate saying in a newspaper interview that he did not intend to criticise Israel but the policies of its present government, led by Binyamin Netanyahu.

    With hindsight, he told Süddeutsche Zeitung, he would have rewritten his poem to "make it clearer that I am primarily talking about the [Netanyahu] government". He added: "I have often supported Israel, I have often been in the country and want the country to exist and at last find peace with its neighbours." Netanyahu, he said, was damaging Israel.



    Israels far right LIKUD's led by Netanyahu, Lieberman, Danon and others, put a very poor and Isolating light on their entire country by accusing anyone who tells the truth about Israels actions of unfairness in pushing for actions against Iran for a 'suspected' Nuke Program while Israel itself maintains hundreds of Nuke bombs and refused to submit to anything like what it wants its neighbors subjected to. (X President Carter fell out of grace also for exposing the truth)

    The International community isn't going to buy it and the US isolates and delegitimizes its roll as a peace broker for going along for the fear of the 'anti semite' charge. There is nothing so special about Israel that sets it above criticism expecially when the Anti Semite charge is used to get by with unfair and internationally unlawfull actions.


    WAKE UP US CONGRESS, SENATE and the WHITE HOUSE, this one sided shit just doesn't work, if we want to be taken seriously as an agent for peace we must be seen as fair and not beholding to only one side for its election or re-election influence and money. The world is watching and sees right through our sham 'Carte Blanche' support of Israels wrong doing.

    Oh that there were hundreds of Gunter Grass truth tellers in our US Government !!! The drums of war would have been silenced before the last two wars and the current push for war with Iran would be flatly rejected.


    What was Anti Semitic about the above Gunter Grass Poem ?
  • Lincsbear

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    Apr 09, 2012 10:42 PM GMT
    There is a huge post-Holocaust guilt in Europe, including the UK, that tends to make any criticism of modern Israel more muted, and gives the country greater 'freedom' than other countries in its foreign relations, even other allied democracies. Any negative comments will be siezed upon as evidence of prejudice, a centuries old anti-semitism that led to the most terrible crimes. And Zionist politicians know how to exploit that guilty feeling here.

    There also seems to be a feeling in the western media that Israel, being a democracy, cannot therefore do any wrong in its dealings with other countries/peoples.

    Unfortunately, I believe Gunter Grass has recently revealed membership of some kind of Nazi youth party (or something similar) when a teenager/young man, which has made him an even bigger target for charges of anti-semitism.
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    Apr 09, 2012 11:22 PM GMT
    Lincsbear saidUnfortunately, I believe Gunter Grass has recently revealed membership of some kind of Nazi youth party (or something similar) when a teenager/young man, which has made him an even bigger target for charges of anti-semitism.

    Oh, you mean like the Nazi Pope Palpatine I?

    file-43.jpg
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    Apr 09, 2012 11:24 PM GMT
    Thanks for posting. You always have good posts and ideas to share!
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    Apr 09, 2012 11:25 PM GMT
    Lincsbear saidThere is a huge post-Holocaust guilt in Europe, including the UK, that tends to make any criticism of modern Israel more muted, and gives the country greater 'freedom' than other countries in its foreign relations, even other allied democracies. Any negative comments will be siezed upon as evidence of prejudice, a centuries old anti-semitism that led to the most terrible crimes. And Zionist politicians know how to exploit that guilty feeling here.


    He's right. I'm not saying that it's the right thing to do but he's right.
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    Apr 09, 2012 11:37 PM GMT
    This poem has confirmed my impression that Grass's forte is prose fiction.

    This also reminds me of another novelist, Murakami Haruki, who in accepting the Jerusalem prize braved the demands of culturally isolating Israel that were rather en vogue at the time. Rather than taking Grass's discontent in stride, the Israeli leadership is not doing themselves any favor by publicly ostracizing a cultural figure of such renown.

    And digging up Grass's past as a Waffen-SS member does not make the case for his treatment as a persona non grata. He can't be the only teenage Nazi to have made plans of visiting Israel.
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    Apr 10, 2012 2:38 AM GMT
    camomq saidAnd digging up Grass's past as a Waffen-SS member does not make the case for his treatment as a persona non grata. He can't be the only teenage Nazi to have made plans of visiting Israel.


    Sorry, but teenage NAZI's who grow up to compare democratic Israel to theocratic Iran don't get much sympathy from me. While I'm sorry for the Palestinians, no democracy where a significant number of voters are holocaust survivors (or their descendants), would admit an opponent on to territory they control. As such opponents go, whatever his literary skills, Grass doesn't strike me as all that compelling from an integrity point of view.
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    Apr 10, 2012 8:17 AM GMT
    swimguychicago said
    camomq saidAnd digging up Grass's past as a Waffen-SS member does not make the case for his treatment as a persona non grata. He can't be the only teenage Nazi to have made plans of visiting Israel.


    Sorry, but teenage NAZI's who grow up to compare democratic Israel to theocratic Iran don't get much sympathy from me. While I'm sorry for the Palestinians, no democracy where a significant number of voters are holocaust survivors (or their descendants), would admit an opponent on to territory they control. As such opponents go, whatever his literary skills, Grass doesn't strike me as all that compelling from an integrity point of view.




    So, in your vision of a democracy, apparently anyone who says anything that the political leadership doesn't like, or who fails your sympathy test, deserves to be blackballed and kept at arm's length? What next? Should the Israelis clear their bookshelves of Grass's demonic writings and burn them before they poison more minds?

    Plus, in what way is Günter Grass an "opponent" to Israeli nationhood?
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    Apr 10, 2012 8:42 AM GMT
  • calibro

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    Apr 10, 2012 8:50 AM GMT
    1. the poem sucks.

    2. i don't agree with the government's decision to make him a person non grata.

    3. much of grass' persona these days seems like him trying to be relevant. he was always making a big case about europe needing to accept and come clean with its nazi past... and when it was revealed he was in the ss, he was viewed as a hypocrite. his reputation never recovered. now he seems to be a troll for attention.
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    Apr 10, 2012 8:55 AM GMT
    calibro said
    3. much of grass' persona these days seems like him trying to be relevant. he was always making a big case about europe needing to accept and come clean with its nazi past... and when it was revealed he was in the ss, he was viewed as a hypocrite. his reputation never recovered. now he seems to be a troll for attention.



    Being a troll for attention is the least harm you can do these days. Bravo should give him a reality show and it will all be cleared up.
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    Apr 10, 2012 12:32 PM GMT
    camomq said
    swimguychicago said



    So, in your vision of a democracy, apparently anyone who says anything that the political leadership doesn't like, or who fails your sympathy test, deserves to be blackballed and kept at arm's length? What next? Should the Israelis clear their bookshelves of Grass's demonic writings and burn them before they poison more minds?

    Plus, in what way is Günter Grass an "opponent" to Israeli nationhood?


    You missed the point completely. In a democracy governments respond to voters. Since a significant number of voters in Israel are holocaust survivors, they can be assumed to oppose the idea of admitting a former member of the SS to lecture them on the evils of their ways.

    BTW, the suggestion that not giving Grass a tourist visa might lead to book-burning is simply ludicrous.
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    Apr 10, 2012 12:49 PM GMT
    Lincsbear saidherefore do any wrong in its dealings with other countries/peoples.

    Unfortunately, I believe Gunter Grass has recently revealed membership of some kind of Nazi youth party (or something similar) when a teenager/young man, which has made him an even bigger target for charges of anti-semitism.


    I believe that was pretty much everybody in Germany, just as every Chinese youth had to be enlisted for military duty for the Communist party anyway... I believe it says very little about one's true leanings in practice...

    By that same logic, it could be said that every male US citizen is pro-war just because we all have to register for the draft...
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    Apr 10, 2012 2:59 PM GMT
    GreenHopper said
    Lincsbear saidherefore do any wrong in its dealings with other countries/peoples.

    Unfortunately, I believe Gunter Grass has recently revealed membership of some kind of Nazi youth party (or something similar) when a teenager/young man, which has made him an even bigger target for charges of anti-semitism.


    I believe that was pretty much everybody in Germany, just as every Chinese youth had to be enlisted for military duty for the Communist party anyway... I believe it says very little about one's true leanings in practice...

    By that same logic, it could be said that every male US citizen is pro-war just because we all have to register for the draft...





    Your exactly right !!!


    Furthermore: Grass has been to Israel for lectures numerous times, and all this hoopla over his truthtelling is nothing but the Israeli Leadership's way of taking the attention off their nuke program as they promote inspections and etc. on Iran over its supposed Nuke program, that they themselves will not submit too regarding their known and verified Nuke program. The international community knows this and sees right through the propaganda of 'anti semite' charges, all this accusation does is further delegitimze and isolate Israel as a nation and the average Israeli who is not at fault for their leaderships actions.

    I'd like to think that holocaust survivors would just as soon promote fairness from their leaders rather than propaganda that is unecessarily promoting false hysteria over trumped up charges against Irans possibly creating another holocaust. Fact is that Israeli leadership pushing for war would come far closer to bringing about multiple deaths in Israel than Iran would on its own.

    After all, Iran never stated it wanted to 'wipe israel off the map', that was a mistranslation of the statement that Israels Zionist leadership should and would be removed/pass from history. Then the misquoted speaker went on to list other regimes that passed from history. none of which promoted 'wiping Israel Israel itself off the map'.

    So who in reality is more dangerous to holocaust survivors ? Fact is its the far right LIKUD government of Netanyahu that presents the most danger, but the Israeli Lobby AIPAC's propaganda doesn't want that fact known, hense all the efforts to shut up truth tellers like Gunter Grass.
  • Lincsbear

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    Apr 10, 2012 5:09 PM GMT
    My point about Gunter Grass` past was more this: if his intention was to raise the subject of Israel`s nuclear program/weaponry and it`s impact on peace in the Middle East (and get people talking about it), then he has failed, through his own hypocrisy, to make that case as strongly and clearly as he might have done. Which is sad and a missed opportunity, as it needs to be discussed and aired- and isn`t much in the western media. Most of the reports I`ve heard so far hardly mention Israel`s weapons, rather dwelling on post Second World War German-Israeli relations, or Grass` personality and history.

    As someone who lived through those times, I`m surprised he doesn`t seem to have realized how this post-Holocaust guilt would raise all sorts of issues and emotions about the past, being open about it, etc; about how his political opponents would use his lack of candour against him (even if membership of Nazi organizations was enforced at the time, token if you will, denoting little of your beliefs, etc.) It would have been much better if he had told the whole truth years ago.

    He seems a genuine and sincere man, but very naive politically- and with regards to the media.
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    Apr 10, 2012 7:51 PM GMT
    Lincsbear saidMy point about Gunter Grass` past was more this: if his intention was to raise the subject of Israel`s nuclear program/weaponry and it`s impact on peace in the Middle East (and get people talking about it), then he has failed, through his own hypocrisy, to make that case as strongly and clearly as he might have done. Which is sad and a missed opportunity, as it needs to be discussed and aired- and isn`t much in the western media. Most of the reports I`ve heard so far hardly mention Israel`s weapons, rather dwelling on post Second World War German-Israeli relations, or Grass` personality and history.

    As someone who lived through those times, I`m surprised he doesn`t seem to have realized how this post-Holocaust guilt would raise all sorts of issues and emotions about the past, being open about it, etc; about how his political opponents would use his lack of candour against him (even if membership of Nazi organizations was enforced at the time, token if you will, denoting little of your beliefs, etc.) It would have been much better if he had told the whole truth years ago.

    He seems a genuine and sincere man, but very naive politically- and with regards to the media.




    You make an interesting point, but did Gunter Grass really try to conceal his being an SS Youth? I am of the impression that it wasn't hidden, it just hadn't come up for a while, and the far right leadership in Israel is just now bringing it up again. Its they're way of taking the attention back off themselves and the Nuke program that they have hidden and refuse to submit to the same inspections that they are trying to force on Iran for a far less likely Nuke Program than their own.

    What real problem is it that Poet Grass brings up Israel's Nuke program in light of their pushing so hard against Irans undocumented program ?

    Whats so special with Israel that they are above going by the same rules as they want for others ?

    Such glaring hypocrisy only hurts them and Isolates them. Israeli Citizens themselves are not to blame but they pay the price,
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    Apr 10, 2012 8:07 PM GMT
    realifedad saidWhat real problem is it that Poet Grass brings up Israel's Nuke program in light of their pushing so hard against Irans undocumented program ?

    Whats so special with Israel that they are above going by the same rules as they want for others ?

    Such glaring hypocrisy only hurts them and Isolates them. Israeli Citizens themselves are not to blame but they pay the price,


    You won't find me defending Netanyahu all too often, but there is a marked difference between Israel's nuclear arsenal and Iran's upcoming: Israel has never threatened to use weapons against Iran except in self-defense. In contrast, Iran's leadership has for 30 years maintained that they will destroy Israel.

    You could say that Iran's statements are all political rhetoric. Of course, the last time people dismissed talk of killing all Jews as political rhetoric, 6 million of them died. As an Israeli, I would never forget that.
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    Apr 10, 2012 11:05 PM GMT
    Couple of things:
    Guenther Grass (GG) was a member of the Waffen SS, (basically Hitler's storm-troupers) as a grown man. (Pope Ratzinger was a Hitler youth, BIG Difference)

    GG's membership in the Waffen-SS was revealed in 2006 and he dealt with it publicly.

    Reallifedad only posted excerpts of the poem. Here is an unofficial translation of Guenter Grass' poem, "What Must Be Said." And for the life of me, I can't find anything anti-semitic in there, the way I understand the term.

    Guenter GrassWhat Must Be Said

    Why do I stay silent, conceal for too long what is obvious and has been practiced in war games, at the end of which we as survivors are at best footnotes.

    It is the alleged right to the first strike that could annihilate the Iranian people— subjugated by a loud-mouth and guided to organized jubilation— because in their sphere of power, it is suspected, a nuclear bomb is being built.

    Yet why do I forbid myself to name that other country in which, for years, even if secretly, there has been a growing nuclear potential at hand but beyond control, because not accessible to inspections?

    The universal concealment of these facts, to which my silence subordinated itself, I sense as an incriminating lie and coercion--the punishment is promised as soon as it is ignored; the verdict of "Anti-Semitism" is familiar.

    Now, though, because in my country which time and again has sought and confronted its very own crimes that is without comparison in turn on a purely commercial basis, if also with nimble lips calling it a reparation, declares
    a further U-boat should be delivered to Israel, whose specialty consists of guiding all-destroying warheads to where the existence of a single atomic bomb is unproven, but fear wishes to be of conclusive evidence, I say what must be said.

    But why have I stayed silent until now? Because I thought my origin, afflicted by a stain never to be expunged forbade this fact as pronounced truth to be told to the nation of Israel, to which I am bound and wish to stay bound.

    Why do I say only now, aged and with my last ink, the nuclear power Israel endangers the already fragile world peace? Because it must be said what even tomorrow may be too late to say; also because we--as Germans burdened enough- could become suppliers to a crime that is foreseeable, wherefore our complicity could not be redeemed through any of the usual excuses.

    And granted: I am silent no longer because I am tired of the West's hypocrisy; in addition to which it is to be hoped that this will free many from silence, appeal to the perpetrator of the recognizable danger to renounce violence and likewise insist that an unhindered and permanent control of the Israeli nuclear potential and the Iranian nuclear sites be authorized through an international agency by the governments of both countries.

    Only this way are all, the Israelis and Palestinians, even more, all people, that in this region occupied by mania live cheek by jowl among enemies, and also us, to be helped.
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    Apr 11, 2012 12:53 AM GMT
    Pouncer saidMaybe it sounds better in German bhp91126? (I too am not that impressed).


    Nope, generations of German-teachers have a new tool to torture their students.

    Pouncer saidBut to say it's anti-Semitic is the usual massive overkill - moral blackmail of the kind Gunter Grass, whatever his shady background, has every right to deplore.

    I should point out that Pope Benedict was in the German Wehrmacht as well as the Hitler Youth (information that was discovered, not revealed as in the case of Grass).
    Also, both men were drafted (ie. "conscripted") into Hitler's military.

    Interesting, I had no idea.
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    Apr 11, 2012 1:06 AM GMT
    It is difficult to see what purpose is served by banning a poet from entering a country.

    This is another superb example of how nations under duress tend to overreact and in so doing run counter to their own interests.

    Israeli security is not served by the government of Israel behaving as petulant bully.

    The quality of the poem is not relevant to the nature of the response, but I'm not certain that it will be remembered fondly. Poetry should, I think, open our thoughts to new understanding, through intertextuality or power of
    Imagery, or somesuch. Its clear that something else is happening here: it's "what needs to be said" and hence has a directness, an unambiguity that seems quite opposite from a typical poem. The question is whether, perhaps, there is a little more here than meets the eye?
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    Apr 11, 2012 10:13 PM GMT
    This by the AP:

    "Literature Nobel laureate says in reaction piece published by Sueddeutsche Zeitung that he has previously only been barred from entering a nation by then Communist-ruled East Germany and the military junta in Myanmar."



    What is it that the Far Right LIKUD leaders of Israel so adamantly apposed about Its own Nuke Program being discussed and exposed to the same requirements it is pushing on the Iranians? Tit for Tat, Israel has attacked and stolen land from its neighbors and maintains a secretive Nuke program much longer and to a much much greater extent than Iran. Iran has not attacked any of its neighbors for over 200 years,

    Anyone care to count how many times Israel has attacked its neighbors?

    How many Israeli Scientists have been killed by Iran ? how about the reverse?

    Apparently Israels leadership doesn't want truth to be told.

    "Grass says the tone of Israel's announcement reminded him of the reasoning then given by East Germany's head of Stasi Erich Mielke.

    "In his "What Must Be Said" poem, Grass criticized what he called Western hypocrisy over Israel's nuclear program and labeled the country a threat to "already fragile world peace" over its belligerent stance regarding Iran."

    In his poem, which was published in several European newspapers last week, the 85-year-old author claims that Israel’s nuclear reactor – and not Iran’s – presents a threat to world peace. Grass’ poem calls for Germany to cease supplying Israel with submarines, and warns against an Israeli strike on Iran.

    In an interview published in Germany on Saturday, Grass claimed that his poem was meant to target the current Israeli government, not the country as a whole. "It's that which I criticize, a policy that keeps building settlements despite a UN resolution,” said Grass."


    I do believe that Grass's Poem "What must be said" Has to be said to wake up the American voter if for no other reason to inform of the Danger to Peace that US 'Carte Blanche' backing presents to the Middle East Peace, while Americans remain largely ignorant to the facts because of adherence to the Israeli Lobby AIPAC and the US usefull Idiot bible beliefs that also promotes 'Carte Blanche' support in ignorance of the facts.

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    Apr 11, 2012 10:50 PM GMT
    People who hate Israel will hate Israel regardless of what Israel does.

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    Apr 12, 2012 1:18 AM GMT
    Haaretz saidPeople who hate Israel will hate Israel regardless of what Israel does.



    What are you implying here? That israel should be able to do whatever it likes because other views will not change? Or that israels actions are not properly recognized when they are morally laudable?

    I still hope that there are more people like myself that see somethinh to criticize and laud on both sides, and desire to hear more of the complex authentic dialogue on both sides and less of the rhetoric of politicians.
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    Apr 12, 2012 1:35 AM GMT
    Haaretz saidPeople who hate Israel will hate Israel regardless of what Israel does.




    WHAT ?? So just dismiss reality for your unfounded accusation of 'israeli hate', which is a typical defensive tactic to avoid facing what needs to be faced and confronted.

    Such groundless charges of Israeli hate to cover and ignore any and all criticism is an Israeli Leadership and their apologists self destructive Catch 22.

    Wake up man.
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    Apr 12, 2012 2:20 AM GMT
    Haaretz saidPeople who hate Israel will hate Israel regardless of what Israel does.




    ^^This