A Daily news digest by Jasper van Santen

Minister Wants Nobel Prize Withdrawn: Furious Israel Bars Günter Grass for Critical Poem – SPIEGEL ONLINE

In Really?!? on April 9, 2012 at 11:54

Minister Wants Nobel Prize Withdrawn: Furious Israel Bars Günter Grass for Critical Poem 

Is his poem… he calls for  for an “unhindered and permanent monitoring of Israel’s nuclear potential and Iran’s nuclear facility through an international entity that the government of both countries would approve.” . Is that really so unreasonable? 

This proves exactly what he writing about… that Israel can not tolerate any criticism without yelling” ANTI-SEMITISM” 

The Israeli government has responded sharply to the controversial poem “What Must Be Said” by Nobel Prize-winning German author Günter Grass, declaring him a “persona non grata” on Sunday and thereby barring him from entering the country.

Interior Minister Eli Yishai said in a statement that Grass, a former Waffen SS soldier who described the Jewish state as a threat to world peace in a poem published last week, could no longer visit Israel because of his “attempt to inflame hatred against the State of Israel and people of Israel, and thus to advance the idea to which he was publicly affiliated in his past donning of the SS uniform.”

(He was 18 when the war ended in 1945!!)

Yishai, who heads an ultra-Orthodox Jewish party in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conservative coalition government, told Israeli radio that Grass should have his Nobel Prize withdrawn, and likened his comments to the anti-Semitic incitement that ultimately led to the Holocaust. He said Grass was an “anti-Semitic person” and a “man who wore an SS uniform.”

Grass qualified his comments in an interview at the weekend, saying that in retrospect, he would have phrased his poem differently to “make it clearer that I am primarily talking about the (Netanyahu) government.”

“I have often supported Israel, I have often visited the country and want the country to exist and at last find peace with its neighbours,” he told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Grass’ poem was the expression of the “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”.

Israel’s politicians may seize on the controversy as a welcome opportunity to boost their popularity by positioning themselves as defenders of the national interest. There is speculation among parliamentarians that Netanyahu wants to bring forward the next general election.

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