Israel Bars Poet Over Poem

Jason Ditz, April 08, 2012

Israel’s Interior Ministry has announced that they are banning German Nobel Laureate Gunter Grass from entering Israel, despite the fact that Grass never suggested he wanted to visit in the first place.

Termed Germany’s “most famous living writer,” Grass spawned a flurry of outrage last week by releasing a poem criticizing Israeli threats to attack Iran and suggesting Germany should stop sending nuclear submarines to Israel, which might be involved in carrying out an attack.

Israeli officials insisted that the poem was proof that both Grass and a broad swath of Western intellectuals are anti-semites, and said that Grass had published the poem before Passover explicitly to accuse the Jews of “ritual murder.

Though Israeli officials have issued angry statements condemning a large number of people for opposing war on Iran, the sheer volume and shrillness of the statements in Grass’ case are unusual, and don’t seem to be dying down, with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman saying Israel holds “ill will” toward Grass and other “cynics.”




  • CanuckBC

    We Don't Need No Education .. Hey, teachers! Leave those kids alone!

    Do really Zionists think everyone is "just a Nother brick in the wall" ?

    When Jew criticize Zionists he/she is just self-hating Jew, whatever they mean by it. Richard Goldstone withstood many attacks by Zionists after his report on Gaza War.

    When gojim criticize Zionists he is surely an anti Semite. That is happening to Gunter Grass. Why are Zionists beyond any criticism in their eyes? I would say statement of Israeli top general some time in January of this year is maybe the answer to this question. He said about alleged Iran nuclear work something like: "we cannot allow Iran to have nuclear arms because in that case we would have to deal with them as an equal".

    • persnipoles

      Why are Zionists beyond any criticism in their eyes? I think Gilad Atzmon answered that; with similar results. …that General is basically right, but notice he made it about 'nuclear weapons;' so quoting him as rebuttal to the Zionists effectively spreads their corrupting meme.

  • Rubin

    Israel is a petty arrogant state that should grow up. Grass was correct in every way. The Israeli government is a loose cannon, and is not responsible enough to have any weapons at their disposal.

  • Wolfgang9

    The reactions of Israeli politicians toward the Nobel Laureate Grass are back firing already. Just looking at the discussion to the "Der Spiegel" article about it: http://forum.spiegel.de/f22/begruendung-fuer-einr
    shows the overwhelming critical opinion of Germans. I'm very thankful to Grass for initiating this discussion which will hopefully result in some change of German votings. And all of those self acclaimed intellectuals who now try to crucify Grass may in some time later think twice about their stupidity.
    W9

    • tomofsnj

      Discussion is good. The chosen are free to make comment on why they do not like the guy but the usual antisemitic is getting old. It was better before the conduct of Israel over the years. I recommend that everyone read the diary of Moshe Sharet who was the second prime minister of Israel. Just about all the troubles of today are the result of planned actions by the leaders of Israel. They founding fathers and mothers of Israel were not just terrorist. The middle east will be a war for a long time unless discussion can be had on matters.

  • skulz fontaine

    I read Herr Grass's poem. Brilliant. Certainly NOT antiSemitic or whatever. The Israeli government is batsh*t freaking crazy AND they are nuclear armed to their teeth. Awww, Israel banned Günter from Israel. It's okay, Herr Grass will miss not a damn thing.

  • Roger Lafontaine

    I've got an idea: Why don't they crucify him?

    • jrs

      Now *that* does border on anti-semitic. At any rate is is a reference to the old trope about Jews crucifying Jesus (it was the Romans anyway).

  • Wolfgang9

    By the way, Grass is in good company: also Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Richard Falk etc…. are on the blacklist for entering Israel. In addition to barring Grass of entering Israel (even though he didn't even ask for traveling to Israel) Israel's stupid Minister Jischai has ask'd to revoke the Nobel prize from Grass. Now, Grass got the prize for Literature (as A. Solshenizyn) and not the prize for Peace like Obama who in my opinion should never have gotten that!

  • peter vojta

    I dont think Mr. Grass would have intensions visit Israel anyway. How many tourists visited occupaid countries during WW2? peter czech

    • tomofsnj

      The problem is they will go after him in Europe. This is all a game they play. The first get the guy as a bad person then they will use their unnatural influence on other nations to get the person charged with phony charges. If they have no problem murdering in other nations you can be sure they have no problem doing their usual dirty deads in those nations. The real problem is most of their actions cannot stand daylight so they try to keep the sun from raising. Why are they so concerned with 'antisemitic'. I is pretty clear that they sure have a high degree of hate in their own ranks.

  • persnipoles

    Now poets everywhere will clamor for the honor of being condemned by Israel.

  • Danton

    The Tin Drum was one of the greatest innovative novels of the last century. When Guenther Grass writes give it some of your attention. Israel should take heed especially. There was no malice in Grass,but only a desire for humanity.

    • Kolya_Krassotkin

      Pride goeth before the fall, but the recognition of the role hubris plays before one's fall or self-destruction (and even the idea of hubris) is not part of their tradition. Don't expect many of the Israeli leadership to take personal stock of themselves any time soon.

      • Yonatan

        The hubris applies to all leaders – Israel, US, UK. Little tin pot gods brought up to think of themselves as God.

        "Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad" attr. Euripedes around 500-400 BC

        The only trouble is that the destruction takes down a load of innocent bystanders as well.

  • Argonne18

    Bravo to Gunter Grass who points to obvious truths. Israel and it's enablers in the US, are huge threats to peace.

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  • abdullah muhammed

    Truth is anti semitism

  • Klutz

    This guy was in the Waffen SS. Naturually antiwar.com is going to like him.

    • PEACE EVER AFTER

      He was a 17 year old boy at the time and he was drafted. The SS was no wear near as bad as the Stern gang which commited numerous atrocities against both British and the indegenous population.

    • jrs

      Yea I'm not sure Grass record is clean, even if the points he makes about Isreal are legitimate.

    • John_Muhammad

      There were a LOT of people in the SS organization ranging from secretaries to rocket scientists to local political administrators. And guess what? An awful lot of those same people retained their posts after the war in the civil administration of German, and a boatload of them were snatched up and brought to the US and went straight to work for- you guessed it- the US government. Might want to read on on Operation Paperclip. Werner von Braun was a card-carrying member of the Nazi Party and a member of the Allegemaine-SS and he went right to work getting the US into a manned space program. Is that evidence of a double standard or simply recognition that belonging to an organization does not mean one is guilty of that organization's crimes?

      I think I'm on fairly solid ground when I say that a person's affiliations are not what get our attention on these antiwar commentaries- a person's ACTIONS are far more important. Grass being a member of the Waffen-SS does not make him a hero or villain to anyone, and his post-war actions and words have spoken volumes about what kind of person he is.

    • Jaime

      Ben Gurion, Begin, Shamir, Rabin, Sharon, Peres were Irgun and Stern Gang terrorists. Naturally you are going to like them.

  • Yonatan

    I suspect Grass has no intention of going to Israel. More huff and puff from the masters of blow.

  • Roger Lafontaine

    Not welcome in Israel ? Then that means that he will be even more welcome in Heaven. (Just a joke really, but there may be some truth in it.)

  • marko

    Gosh, I'll bet he's just crushed.

  • Some Guy

    Speaking of the SS. Behavior such as this makes me come to understand why organizations like the SS found so many recruits.

  • giovani fereira

    What do you expect from these people who killed the Messiah and now we side with idiots whom whenever you criticize just throws out the anti Semite term and were supposed to tremble….come on these caucazoid Zionist are not even Semites they are caucazions

  • Steve

    Grass was doing exactly what artists are supposed to do: make people reflect, discuss, argue, challenge and ponder. This is the role and purpose of artists in any civilized society (a point lost to many, but still true).

    Anyone who tries to silence or punish artists for doing their job are by definition not on the side of freedom, regardless of the issue.

  • james

    Who really wants to go to the hell hole they created anyway. The only people who go there are either ignoramuses, fundamental rapture cults with 0 self esteem and respect and of coarse, zionist wanabees and American politicians.

  • VietnamWarVet

    The Zionist-Nazi regime in Israel has destroyed 'democracy' in that country – Israel is being run by gangsters, lairs, war criminals, murderers.

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