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Yishai declares Grass persona non-grata (JERUSALEM POST) By LAHAV HARKOV, HERB KEINON, BENJAMIN WEINTHAL 04/09/12)Source: http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=265291 JERUSALEM POST JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
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 a state.

“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 author’s comments.

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 anti-Semites.”

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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