Günter Grass has compared Israel’s travel ban on him to the methods of East Germany’s Stasi secret police. But Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai isn’t budging, saying the decision to declare the German author persona non grata was “better late than never.” He also offered to meet Grass in a “neutral” state.
In a newspaper editorial published on Thursday, Günter Grass compared Israel’s decision to impose a ban on his entry into the country to tactics used by East Germany’s feared Stasi secret police. In response, the Israeli interior minister is now offering to meet with the German author on neutral territory to discuss his controversial poem, “What Must Be Said.”
On Wednesday night, Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai said he should have declared Grass “persona non grata” in Israel three years ago when he first took office under the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Better late than never,” he added in a statement.