Yishai declares Grass persona non-grata (JERUSALEM POST) By LAHAV HARKOV, HERB KEINON, BENJAMIN WEINTHAL 04/09/12)
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Interior Minister Eli Yishai declared German writer Gunter Grass
persona non grata on Sunday, following the publication of a poem by
Grass declaring Israel a danger to world peace.
Grass, a former Waffen-SS member and Nobel laureate, wrote in his
poem “What Must Be Said,” that Israel plans to use its “atomic power”
to “extinguish the Iranian people.” Following an uproar that included
a statement against the poem by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu,
Grass responded that his criticism is of Netanyahu, and not Israel as
“Grass’ poems are an attempt to fan the flame of hatred against the
State of Israel and the people of Israel,” Yishai said. As Interior
Minister, he may prevent people from being allowed into Israel.
According to Yishai, the German writer is “promoting the idea he was
a partner to when he wore the SS uniform.”
“If Grass wants to continue to spread his twisted, lying creations,
he should do so in Iran, where he’ll find a receptive audience,” the
Interior Minister added.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman also commented on Grass’ poem,
telling visiting Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti on Sunday that he
expected European leaders to unequivocally condemn the German
According to Liberman, it is important for European leaders not only
to come out against these types of statements by high-profile
figures, but also not to give any kind of respect or honor to those
who make those types of remarks.
"We have already seen in the past how small seeds of anti-Semitic
hatred turn into a large flame that harms all of humanity," he said.
Liberman said Grass gave voice to a cynicism that had gripped some
western "intellectuals" who are willing – on order to promote
themselves and sell books -- "offer Jews up on the altar of crazy
Grass published his poem in the Munich-based Süddeutsche Zeitung last
Wednesday, in which he questioned Germany’s sale of a
submarine “equipped to transport nuclear warheads” to Israel. (© 1995-
2011, The Jerusalem Post 04/09/12)
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