Interior Minister declares Gunter Grass persona non grata in Israel (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Ophir Bar-Zohar and Barak Ravid 04/09/12)
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Interior Minister Eli Yishai declared Sunday that German Nobel
laureate Gunter Grass is a persona non grata in Israel, after Grass
published a poem last week which was highly critical of Israel and
Yishai harshly condemned Grass´ poem, and said that he is declared a
persona non grata in Israel for wearing SS uniform in the past.
"Grass´ poems are an attempt to guide the fire of hate toward the
State of Israel and the Israeli people, and to advance the ideas of
which he was a public partner in the past, when he wore the uniform
of the SS," Yishai said. "If Gunter wants to continue publicizing his
distorted and false works, I suggest he do it in Iran, where he will
find a supportive audience.”
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman also issued a harsh condemnation
of Grass´ poem on Sunday, during a meeting with Italian Prime
Minister Mario Monti.
Lieberman said that Grass´ poem is the expression of “egoism of so-
called Western intellectuals, who are willing to sacrifice the Jewish
people on the altar of crazy anti-Semites for a second time, just to
sell a few more books or gain recognition.”
Lieberman called on European leaders to condemn statements that could
possibly influence public opinion toward anti-Semitism. “We have
witnessed in the past how small seeds of anti-Semitic hate can turn
into a large fire that harms all of humanity,” said Lieberman.
In his poem, which was published in several European newspapers last
week, the 85-year-old author claims that Israel’s nuclear reactor –
and not Iran’s – presents a threat to world peace. Grass’ poem calls
for Germany to cease supplying Israel with submarines, and warns
against an Israeli strike on Iran.
Grass’ poem entitled “What must be said” drew strong criticism from
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well. "His declarations are
ignorant and shameful and every honest person in this world must
condemn them," Netanyahu said.
In an interview published in Germany on Saturday, Grass claimed that
his poem was meant to target the current Israeli government, not the
country as a whole. "It´s that which I criticize, a policy that keeps
building settlements despite a UN resolution,” said Grass. (©
Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 04/09/12)
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