Israel bans Günter Grass over poem

Arutz Sheva:

Gunter GrassInterior Minister Eli Yishai has banned German poet Gunter Grass from entering Israel.

Yishai declared Grass “persona non grata” in the Jewish State on Sunday, saying his poems were an attempt to “fan the flames of hatred against the state, and against Israel.”

If Gunter chooses to spread distortion and falsehood, said Yishai, “I suggest that he do so from Iran, where he can find a [more] receptive audience.”

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman also had harsh words for the 84-year-old poet, saying “In order to get publicity and sell a few books, he once more is willing to sacrifice Jews.”

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle added his views to the issue in the Bild am Sonntag newspaper Sunday morning as well, noting that the poet’s work bespoke a denial of Iran’s intentions that was not a simple matter of bigotry, but also dangerous to the world at large. Read more

Categories: Asia, Germany, Israel, Middle East

1 reply

  1. Following is the English Translation of Günter Grass poem:


    Why do I stay silent, conceal for too long
    What clearly is 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 first strike
    That could annihilate the Iranian people–
    Enslaved by a loud-mouth
    And guided to organized jubilation–
    Because in their territory,
    It is suspected, a 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 no inspection is available?

    The universal concealment of these facts,
    To which my silence subordinated itself,
    I sense as incriminating lies
    And force–the punishment is promised
    As soon as it is ignored;
    The verdict of “anti-Semitism” is familiar.

    Now, though, because in my country
    Which from time to time has sought and confronted
    Its very own crime
    That is without compare
    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 as a fear wishes to be conclusive,
    I say what must be said.

    Why though have I stayed silent until now?
    Because I thought my origin,
    Afflicted by a stain never to be expunged
    Kept the state of Israel, to which I am bound
    And wish to stay bound,
    From accepting this fact as pronounced truth.

    Why do I say only now,
    Aged and with my last ink,
    That the nuclear power of 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 be the 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 hypocrisy
    Of the West; in addition to which it is to be hoped
    That this will free many from silence,
    That they may prompt the perpetrator of the recognized 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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