Israel Bars Poet Over Poem
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.”