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  • A further defense of Gunter Grass

    The only way you can think of the poem 'What must be said' as anti-Semitic is if you think of Grass as an anti-Semite. His history as well as the poem itself point in the exact opposite direction.   If Gunter Grass had ever said or done anything that showed hatred of Jews or of Israel, then I, too, might take a very uncharitable view of his warning in the poem "What must be said" that this country, or even this government, is liable to nuke Iran and "annihilate the Iranian people." Like I wrote before, that's a misleading suggestion; for all the past reports about "bunker-busting" bombs and future scenarios about a regional WMD war, Israel is not…

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  • Günter Grass, persona non grata in Israel

    Now Interior Minister Eli Yishai has declared Grass to be persona non grata while Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has accused the German author of being "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.” Yishai and Lieberman are the two most outspoken racists in the Israeli government, so if one of the ways to know a person is by his enemies, I'd say Grass is looking pretty good. And in a way, he's getting off easy; when ex-Mossad boss Meir Dagan started criticizing Netanyahu and Barak's plan to bomb Iran, his diplomatic passport was revoked and some cabinet…

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  • More power to Gunter Grass for 'What must be said'

    His poem was especially brave because he's German and because he's vulnerable over his past. If I take Gunter Grass's supposedly anti-Israel, anti-Semitic poem "What must be said" literally, I guess I could quibble with a couple of phrases. He says an Israeli attack on Iran "could erase the Iranian people." An unknowing reader might think Israel is planning to nuke Iran, which isn't the case, even though there were reports in the past about Israel considering the use of tactical nuclear weapons as "bunker-busting" bombs on the underground nuclear sites. And if we want to take a little poetic license, an Israeli attack could expand in all sorts of directions…

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