- Published on Tuesday, 10 April 2012 11:43
The Hebrew Writers Association have condemned a poem written by the German Nobel Prize winner Gunter Grass, have called upon the worldwide body of writers International PEN, to "publicly distance itself from Grass" due to his criticism of Israel's threat to attack Iran.
Grass's poem attacks the hypocrisy of Western countries, particularly that of Israel attacking Iran's nuclear programme whilst they are widely known to be building their own nuclear weapons program.
In his widely contraversial poem 'What Must Be Said, Grass wrote "That an unhindered and permanent control, Of the Israeli nuclear potential, And the Iranian nuclear sites, Be authorized through an international agency" and furthermore "The nuclear power Israel endangers, The already fragile world peace?"
Grass's poem has caused fierce attacks by the Israeli authorities, using his background with the German SS, National Socialism Movement in Germany during the Second World War, a position all Germans were called upon to serve, to ban Grass from entering Israel.
The German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has also proven herself to be in staunch alliance with Israel, sent a cold message through her spokesman "There is artistic freedom in Germany, and there thankfully also is the freedom of the government not to have to comment on every artistic production,"
The Interior Minister Eli Yishai, was criticized by German politicians for his announcement that Grass would be a persona non grata in Israel, a ban Merkel announced as "exaggerated"
According to a report in the Guardian, "Israel has three Dolphin submarines from Germany – one half-funded and two entirely funded by Berlin – two more are under construction, and the contract for a sixth submarine was signed last month."
The Israeli embassy in Germany issued a statement "We want to live in peace with our neighbours in the region."
In a counter attack against Israel's condemnation against freedom of speech in art, referring to the US and Israel's nuclear programs, journalist Dallas Darling reported "They pose a threat to world peace, as Grass mentioned in his poem. There is nothing anti-Semitic about Grass challenging both Israel and Iran to open their nuclear programs to inspections. It is merely critical artistic expression and writing that promotes humankind and life."