Minister Yishai declares Grass persona non grata (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Attila Somfalvi Published: 04.08.12, 12:35)
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Interior Minister Eli Yishai declared Guenter Grass Persona non grata
in Israel, this after the German Nobel literature laureate published
a poem in which he criticized Israel´s nuclear program and labeled
the Jewish state a threat to "already fragile world peace" over its
stance on Iran.
Yishai´s move means that Grass, 84, would not be permitted to enter
Israel if he asked to do so. "Grass´ poems fan the flames of hatred
against Israel and the Israeli people, thus promoting the idea he was
a part of when donned an SS uniform. His distorted poems are not
welcome in Israel and might receive a following in Iran," the
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called the poem "an expression of
the cynicism of some the West´s intellectuals, who, for publicity
purposes and the desire to sell a few more books, are willing to
sacrifice the Jewish nation a second time on the altar of crazy anti-
Lieberman stressed that Israel expects European governments to call
out against such statements made by public opinion leaders. "We´ve
witnessed in the past how small seeds of anti-Semitic hatred can turn
into a big blaze that hurts all of humanity," he said.
The FM made the comments during a meeting with Italian Prime Minister
Mario Monti in Jerusalem.
The poem, which was published in European dailies earlier this week,
drew harsh criticism in Germany and around the world, with the German
Welt newspaper calling Grass "the eternal anti-Semite."
"Grass is the prototype of the educated anti-Semite who means well
with the Jews. He is hounded by guilt and feelings of shame and at
the same time is driven by the wish to weigh up history," the
newspaper wrote on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also slammed Grass,
saying: "The shameful comparison he made between Israel and Iran says
very little about Israel but speaks volumes about Mr. Grass."
"It´s Iran, not Israel, that endorses the Syrian massacre. It´s Iran,
not Israel that pelts women with stones, hangs homosexuals and
brutally suppresses tens of millions of its citizens," Netanyahu said.
The author, for his part, explained that he was singling out the
Jewish state´s government, not the country as a whole. (Copyright
2012 © Yedioth Internet 04/08/12)
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