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Grass hits back at anti-Semitism charge
Photo: DPA

Grass hits back at anti-Semitism charge

Published: 06 Apr 2012 17:18 GMT+02:00
Updated: 06 Apr 2012 17:51 GMT+02:00

The 84-year-old sparked outrage at home and abroad Wednesday when he published "What must be said" in a newspaper in which he said he feared a nuclear-armed Israel "could wipe out the Iranian people" with a "first strike."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the poem Thursday as "shameful."

Grass, a longtime leftist activist, said in separate interviews that the media had piled on him without understanding his message and although he found the personal accusations against him "hurtful," he had no plans to back down.

"The tenor throughout is, 'don't focus at all on the content of the poem' but rather, conduct a campaign against me and claim that my reputation is now damaged for all time," Grass told public broadcaster NDR.

"I have noticed that in a democratic country with press freedom that people are expected to toe the line and that there is a refusal to address the content and the questions I raise here."

Grass said he was particularly stung by the widespread accusations of anti-Semitism against him in the German media.

"That is quite hurtful and not worthy of a democratic press," he said. In a separate interview with public broadcaster 3sat, he said he was being "pilloried" but had "no plans to recant" what he said in the poem.

He acknowledged however that it would have been better not to speak of Israel but rather "the current government of Israel", he said, according to excerpts released by the channel.

He said a closer reader of the poem "would recognise my concern about the future of this country which has a right to exist."

Outraged commentators in Germany and Israel said Grass had offered up a one-sided portrayal of Israel as a bloodthirsty aggressor against Iran while dredging up anti-Jewish tropes in the nine-stanza prose-poem.

"The shameful comparison that Günter Grass made between Israel and Iran, a regime which denies the Holocaust and calls for Israel's destruction, says very little about Israel and a great deal about Mr Grass," Netanyahu said in a statement.

"It is Iran, not Israel, which presents a threat to the world's peace and security. It is Iran, not Israel which threatens the destruction of other states."

Israel, the sole if undeclared nuclear power in the Middle East, has said it is keeping all options open for responding to Iran's programme which it says is aimed at securing atomic weapons, posing an existential threat to the Jewish state.

Iran, whose President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly questioned Israel's right to exist, has denied that its sensitive nuclear work is aimed at making weapons.

Grass, author of the renowned anti-war novel "The Tin Drum," had pressed his country for decades to face up to its Nazi past.

But he shocked his admirers in 2006 when he admitted, six decades after World War II, that he had been a member of Hitler's notorious Waffen SS as a 17-year-old - a late revelation that undermined his until then substantial moral authority in Germany.

AFP/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

12:23 April 6, 2012 by pepsionice
If he is shamed by criticism, then it's his own issue that he needs to deal with and get over. To stand there and act like he does....would be ok if he was Huns, the local tire dealer....but he's Gunter Grass, and you'd expect something more from a guy like this. Strangely enough, for well over forty years....he never wanted anyone to know about his SS background....thinking that it would in fact that bother people. Now, he easily states his poem.....thinking that it wouldn't bother people? Something in his logic is wrong here.
13:10 April 6, 2012 by Raydoggy
I'm sure I will be put on the Israeli anti-semite list for sending this, but like Gunter, I think it really needs to be said. You are the only German with balls Gunter.

AM I ALOWED TO SAY THIS

Israel has said it is keeping all options open for responding to Iran's nuclear programme, which it says is aimed at securing nuclear weapons, posing an existential threat to the Jewish state.

NOW LET'S REVERSE IT

Iran has said it is keeping all options open for responding to Israel's nuclear programme, which it says is aimed at securing MORE nuclear weapons, posing an existential threat to the Iranian state.
15:15 April 6, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
Raydoggy...

There is nothing troublesome in what you have written, from my perspective, though I am in accord with France, Britain, the USA, etc. that Iran must not be allowed to have nuclear weapons.

Anyhow, Gunter is 84 and probably anti-Jewish in his core given his education and SS involvement during his youth. It is easy to imagine he spent 50 years wrestling with it (as we all wrestle with our inner biases) and probably succumbed and wrote his poem. Now he is taking a beating. Freedom of speech goes both ways.
15:56 April 6, 2012 by Bruno53
i admit how diifficult it is for Germans to criticize Israel and Jews. But, maybe because I am not a German,, I am one of those who thinks Israel and Jews learned too much from the abuses they got from Nazi Germany. And now they are just as arrogant and bullies. Of course exceptions abound. And one last comment: since when Israel is such a "holy cow" [as here in USA people make this comment] that cannot be criticized? And as W H Auden once wrote, "those who have been done evil, do evil to others". Now go ahead, call me "antisemitic", It won't bother me.
16:34 April 6, 2012 by conniemarks
Interesting. Yesterday I submitted a comment on this topic which doesn't appear to have passed the censors! Was it because I alluded to what happened to the Jews when they were an unarmed, docile people living in peaceful communities across Europe?

Those fortunate enough to have escaped Nazi terror, and their descendants have contributed economically and culturally more to the western world than any other group of refugees in human history. Now the Jews have their own country, can anyone blame them for arming themselves to the teeth, given the corruption misgovernment, maladministration and human rights abuse in most of the countries that border Israel?

Iran is led by militant Islamists whose leader has vowed to wipe Israel from the face of the earth. Yet, Guenter Grass, in his geriatric wisdom, sees more danger from Israel than Iran. In Britain we called it being blinkered!
17:16 April 6, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
@conniemarks...

How would we measure Jewish WWII refugees' and their descendants' contribution to economics and culture so that we could objectively conclude "[They] have contributed more than any other group of refugees in human history?"

I agree in principle and fact with most of what you write but the problem with this, and most blogs, is folks speak in platitudes and hyperbole with no facts to support their statements.
17:51 April 6, 2012 by derExDeutsche
this guy is an anti-Semite through and through. When Muslims pray, it is not toward Israel.
17:56 April 6, 2012 by Navigator_B
"Grass said he was particularly stung by the widespread accusations of anti-Semitism against him in the German media."

If he's been following the media coverage of Israel, he should have known that accusations of anti-semitism are the automatic reaction of many of Israel's supporters to any form of criticism. People usually take accusations of racism very seriously, but these accusations have become so tedious that hardly anyone takes any notice of them any more.

There's nothing surprising either that Netanyahu would react by telling lies that Iran "calls for Israel's destruction" and "threatens the destruction of other states". No Iranian leader has ever said any such thing, but these quotes keep on getting repeated in the western media without any journalist checking to see if they are true.
18:03 April 6, 2012 by derExDeutsche
This guy takes Iran's position on Israel, how enlightened of him. SO, Iran can question Israels right to exist, but Israel can't question Iran's totalitarian regime's right to exist? SO Germaby takes Pride in removing 'unpopular' leaders in the Middle East that pose NO THREAT. But Iran, haha, no no, you agree with their world view to much.
18:36 April 6, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
Navigator B... Are you suggesting that Iran has never, ever expressed any military / physical threats against Israel? Not sure what you are getting at. I agree that something can be repeated often enough that folks start believing it but...

The more interesting thing is that Gunter feels he has a right to express his opinion, which he more/less does have.

But then, when others express theirs, he is "stung" and "being pilloried."

If you can't tolerate the heat, get out of the kitchen, Gunter.
19:41 April 6, 2012 by Raydoggy
Remember that Iran is not an Arab country, it has no beef with Israel, this is another beat-up by the Halliburton and Wall St puppets in the US Government and the lazy PRESStitutes who pick it up off the wire.

You must also remember that without US support, Israel would not exist, they are there to create division in the middle east, "Divide and Conquer" remember.

Israel is the 51st state of America.

I also noticed that not one writer here mentioned the Palestinian atrocities. Israel is not Jewish run, it is Zionist controlled. Netanyahu is a thug, always has been and always will be.

The rhetoric about Iran exactly follows the Iraq rhetoric after 9/11, it is exactly the same, no real evidence, using dictatorship and a threat to Israel as an excuse to kill another 1,000,000 people in an another unjust war to keep the U$ oil monopoly so that the west won't be reliant on the Middle East countries to dictate to us through withholding oil, and so that petro dollars always remain U$.

In case you don't know, the sweetheart deal America has with the OPEC countries is that "we'll leave you alone as long as you don't sell oil for anything other than U$. And we all stay silent because we want to drive around in our flashy cars. Saddam and Gaddafi were trying to sell oil for other currencies, and they paid the price. Because we can't be left with no oil to run our materialistic culture we have built in the west.

Remember that the only country posing any nuclear threat in the middle east is Israel, they are the only country with nuclear capabilities, and they are the ones talking the toughest talk.

You will learn much from the following www.JewsAgainstZionism.com Jews in general are wonderful humane people, but they are being bombarded daily with Zionist propaganda, Zionism is a not a race, or a religion it is an ideology, an extremist one at that. Join the dots.
20:12 April 6, 2012 by eddyjacobsen
To Liorabs; - tell me someting in connection with your gods; Palestinians........firstly; Palestinians have never been a peoples; they are Arabs, no more no less....or Palestine-Arabs....

There has never been a Palestine state!! in history, as such.

So, to my question...:

The total amounts of the Arab states are about some 11 millions of square kilometres; so......how come that the Arabs do not share this vast amount of lands, with their very own families; the so-called Palestinians; the Arabs (Palestine-Arabs)???

Israel is half the size of Denmark, with the tiny piece in comparison at aprox 22 thousands square kilometres.....

Isn't it time they begin to learn how to share; see the Bible about sharing....

Israel is of course in its full right to defend itself.

Ask those - few - Hitler-survivors, if they think they should listen to "advices" one more time!!!
20:19 April 6, 2012 by Navigator_B
SchwabHallRocks, I have not seen any direct quote from any Iranian that sounds in any way like a threat to destroy Israel. I've only seen threats to retaliate if it gets attacked by Israel.

The Iranian leadership often attacks what it calls the "zionist regime" but these comments get twisted beyond recognition to give the impression that Iran wants to use nukes to cause another holocaust. The most famous example of this is the claim that Ahmedinajad wants to "wipe Israel off the map". Anyone can google to find out what he really said.

If any Iranian really did express any threat to destroy Israel, I'm sure that the Israeli government or its western supporters would quote it in full in quotation marks and give it widespread coverage.
20:25 April 6, 2012 by Ronald_West
Regarding Israel, there never an even-handed debate, is what I notice. I'd mentioned at the earlier article on this subject Israel ignores UN resolutions with impunity [Jerusalem status] and there are no sanctions imposed. I'd also mentioned the German politicians are more interested in arms sales to Israel than leveraging sanity into Israeli, I call it tail between legs and head in the sand policy.

Now, I'll mention it was Menachem Begin built and detonated the first car bomb in the middle east, the Israeli nuclear facilities are not subject to the IAEA inspections, and the Sephardic Jew is an extinct species in Arab countries because of Israeli behaviors (80,000 Sephardic Jews lived in Cairo in 1948, now they are less than 500 elderly) and those Sephardic Jews who immigrated to Israel are 2nd class citizens. On the other hand, Tehran's Jewish community, although somewhat reduced in numbers, is intact, while Israel is forcing their own Bedouin Arab citizens out of their historic communities south of Jerusalem.

Meanwhile there has been a string of Israeli corruption cases over the past decade that compares to Silvio Berlusconi. And recently the Israeli aligned right wing in the USA has fallen to the ludicrous new low of calling anti-zionist Jews who dare to criticize Israeli policy 'anti-semitic.'

Meanwhile no one seems to be all that much bothered by the biggest holocaust in world history .. the holocaust experienced by women .. still ongoing by the way-
20:38 April 6, 2012 by melbournite
The argument that there is no such thing as Palestine or any such people as Palestinians, is simply flimsy cover for the murderous crimes committed against the people who live/lived in the territory now divided between the state of Israel and the WestBank/Gaza. These people were driven out of their homes by terror and have been systematically attacked ever since. The tenet - an eye for an eye - meaning in Palestine genocide for a genocide is clearly abhorrent
20:49 April 6, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
Navigator B...

You might include a link making your point. It makes the dialgue more informative and objective. I did find what you are referring to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_Ahmadinejad_and_Israel

It seems like the much-referenced "wipe Israel off the map" is indeed a mis-interpretation (though not intentionally). I'm sure that living in Germany you have probably misinterpreted things, assuming you are not native German.

However, Iran has said many other things. Anyhow, I welcome anyone to view the link. Nav B is correct but there is much more to the story.
21:52 April 6, 2012 by cat3
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
21:56 April 6, 2012 by The Slog
The fact that Grass says Israel is the threat to peace RATHER THAN Iran is somewhat out of touch with reality. He would've received less criticism had he written 'as well as'.

That said, there will be realists and naifs in this world. My objective has always been to remain a realist but avoid becoming a cynic. Iran's behaviour in relation to developing nuclear energy is simply not in keeping with a power interested only in peaceful use of it:

1. Iran has the 4th biggest oil reserves on the planet. So you're sitting on an ocean of oil, but you urgently need nuclear power....why?

2. If Ahmadinnejhad is only developing electricity generation, why hide all the sites underground and up mountains?

3. Iran gets 1600+ hours of high sunlight every year. Solar power generally would be infinitely cleaner, quicker and cheaper.

No my friends, little Maahmous is making bomb factories: that is, after all, what has career has been largely about. For he is a fanatic.

By the way, Mahmoud will be history in Iran very soon - but those behind are, if anything, even worse.

This is a great site by the way. Happy Easter to all - schlaf gut...und sei nett zu einander!
22:12 April 6, 2012 by Prufrock2010
This is an excerpt from comments I posted on a related thread. It bears repeating, with additions:

Günter Grass was not a Nazi. He was a 17-year-old conscript during the end of the war, served in a Panzer battalion and never fired a shot. The glib and utterly false assertion that everyone who served in the German military in World War II was a Nazi is idiotic. Sixteen and seventeen-year-old boys didn't have an option once conscripted. Günter Grass was one such boy. His anti-Nazi novel "The Tin Drum" is a recognized classic of 20th century literature and could not have been written by a Nazi or former Nazi.

As for the criticism now leveled at him for his poem, I find the conflation between legitimate criticism of the Zionist regime in Israel and anti-Semitism particularly offensive. I invite you to read Noam Chomsky's "Fateful Triangle" for a better understanding of the machinations of the State of Israel over the years and defy you to characterize Mr. Chomsky, a Jewish scholar of linguistics and history, as an anti-Semite.

Mr. Grass got it right in his poem, regardless of one's opinion of the poetic value of the work. Someone had better speak up before it's too late, and the thin-skinned Israelis who cannot bear the slightest criticism would do well either to pay attention or to develop a thicker skin, because the nation of Israel is rapidly becoming a pariah and the whole world knows it. Günter Grass is one of the few in the West with the courage to acknowledge it.
23:40 April 6, 2012 by conniemarks
To SchwabHallRocks

I wrote that Jewish refugees from Nazism had contributed more than any other group of refugees 'to the western world' in human history, so I did restrict the geographical area and the narrow period of history which created them. Can you think of any other group of refugees who have contributed more than the Jews? The Hugenots certainly contributed much to my own country, England, and if one considers that the poor of Europe who sought a new life in America were also 'refugees' iin the wider sense, then they might be larger in number, Certainly the Irish who fled to America have made a considerable mark in all fields in America. However, the mammoth contribution made by ethnic Jews who fled Nazism and their descendants is in a class of its own. I have no figures, only seventy years of personal observations of what Jews from across Europe have contributed, apart from commerce: music, science, the arts, philosophy, hi-technology, mathematics, media, medicine, law... can you think of any other ethnic group of refugees who could have contributed more?
01:50 April 7, 2012 by Prufrock2010
@ conniemarks--

Arguably true, but what does that have to do with the Netanyahu regime's clear intention to start an unnecessary war with Iran? No one is disparaging Jews here, or discounting their enormous contribution to world culture, but that has no bearing at all on the current politics of the State of Israel. Is Israel somehow immune to legitimate criticism for its actions? More than half of the Israeli population is also opposed to military action against Iran. Are these Israeli Jews anti-Semites?
02:07 April 7, 2012 by willowsdad
Interesting arguments some are making: that because an ethnic group supposedly contributes so much to civilization, a state that claims to speak for them can do whatever it wants. Seems that argument was made for another group some 70 years ago, with fairly disastrous results.

Israel has at least 300 nuclear warheads and no other country in the region has even one. Iran poses absolutely no existential threat to Israel and both the Israeli and US governments know it.
07:25 April 7, 2012 by joysonabraham
Given what Jews as a community went through all over the years, who can blame them for being overly protective or armed to the teeth. They have reasons to be alarmed. After all they didn't try to secure themselves by multiplying at a rate of 10 child per couple and immigrating and making presence all over the world.
09:20 April 7, 2012 by karldehm
Would everyone just get off his back? I think from the comments his point is right-Criticize Israel and you are labeled an antisemitic.
10:15 April 7, 2012 by cat3
Very interesting. My anti nazi, anti german comment got deleted but the anti-semitic remarks get to stay.....interesting......got to love german "free speech".
10:42 April 7, 2012 by Prufrock2010
I haven't seen any anti-Semitic comments on this thread.
12:32 April 7, 2012 by michael4096
I find the polarization of opinion very interesting. I guess the development of human nature didn't allow much time for debate over the lion's right to lunch.

Much has been written about about the adverse affects of Israel's nuclear arsenal on its neighbours but it also seems to have a negative effect at home. In the various tussles between moderates and hard-liners it appears to take away one of the chief moderate arguments - balance. Common moderate reasoning strives to maintain balance which is irrelevant when one is impregnable. So the hard-liners win far more often than one would expect in a country of moderates.

This parallels the discussion in Europe about missile shields. Appearing a little vulnerable might not only reduce aggression from outside but also from within.
15:50 April 7, 2012 by eddyjacobsen
How many rapes of women did JEWS commit in Norway, in Denmark, in Sweden, in UK, answer: NONE!!

How many rapes of women did MUSLIMS commit in Norway, in Denmark, in Sweden, in UK, answer: MANY!!

How many drug-dealers are JEWS in Norway, in Denmark, in Sweden, in UK, answer: NONE!!

How many drug-dealers are MUSLIMS in Norway, in Denmark, in Sweden, in UK, answer: MANY!!

How many daughters did MUSLIMS murder, in Norway, in Denmark, in Sweden, in UK, answer: MANY!!

How many daughters did JEWS murder, in Norway, in Denmark, in Sweden, in UK, answer: NONE!!

How many gangs roaming streets are JEWS, in Norway, in Denmark, in Sweden, in UK, answer: NONE!!

How many gangs roaming streets are MUSLIMS, in Norway, in Denmark, in Sweden, in UK, answer: SEVERAL!!

How many JEWS, are jailed in Norway, in Denmark, in Sweden, in UK, answer: NONE!!

How many MUSLIMS, are jailed in Norway, in Denmark, in Sweden, in UK, answer: about

70 %!!

How many assaults in the streets of Norway, Denmark, Sweden, UK, did JEWS do? ­ answer; NONE!!!

How many assaults in the streets of Norway, Denmark, Sweden, UK, did MUSLIM do? ­ answer; MANY!!!
16:02 April 7, 2012 by willowsdad
Apparently anti-Arab racism is OK, huh, Eddy? Let's see, now; condemning and demonizing an entire people for the actions of a few. Where have we heard THAT sort of thing before? Not to mention the idea that some ethnic groups are morally superior to others. Not exactly new ideas, but apparently acceptable if held by the right people against the right people.
16:58 April 7, 2012 by tommy2shoes
If Grass knew Biblical Prophecy, that has always proved out truthful, he would know that Iran and all of their partners, Egypt,Libya and Ethiopia push the EU, led by Germany, And the EU, like a whirlwind, destroys their forces and occupies and they becoms an EU property. Evenually, modern day Israelite nations, the UK and the USA along with Judah (Israel) will also be consumed by the EU with the Catholic Church that rides them.....
17:10 April 7, 2012 by Prufrock2010
tommy2shoes wrote: "If Grass knew Biblical Prophecy, that has always proved out truthful...."

That's the funniest gag I've heard all week. Thanks for that, Tommy.
17:44 April 7, 2012 by raandy
eddyjacobsen, pardon me for my scepticism.

but when a person ask the questions and then answers them with either ,none or many the validity is questionable at best.

Where would one obtain these questionable facts?
00:35 April 8, 2012 by Navigator_B
The Slog #18, Yes, Iran has plenty of oil and sunshine, but oil and solar installations are easy targets for air strikes by the US and Israel. Underground nuclear generators are not. Oil containers are large and highly flammable. Solar panels have to be exposed to the sky and are fragile enough to be easily destroyed by cluster bombs. Wind turbines would also be easy to hit.
12:00 April 8, 2012 by ITAMAR
Grass is a very good writer,but in political affairs is too weak and it is clear that that is not his field.Iran minnance for very long time to wipe us from the map,we have no borders dispute with Iran which is situated 2000km from us,the reason is that they believe we do not have the right to exsist as a land.

There is certainly a reason for us to worry if that land declare it wish to wipe us out and on the same time develop Nuclear Power. Israel allways said it will not be the first to use non conventional weapon and also is not minnancing the exsistence of other countries in the middle east,I can easly understand that Mr. Grass worry from Nuclear war,nobody think to reach such horrible point and I do think the sanctions on Iran do a good service.I believe Netanyaho will not attack Iran as it can harm the American interests in the regionand all this talking is to push Iran with Diplomatic ways to the angle.It is also true that many people in Israel do not support a military actions against Iran and also many military experts here do believe it will be succssesful just for a short time,and will create destabilisation in the middle east,any way Mr.Grass use the"anti nuclear Darmm" unneccesserly as nobody here believe Israel will attack Iran and if it will do such act ,it will use just conventional weapons.
12:58 April 8, 2012 by freedom of spesh
let the person say what he thinks, i left germany ,because i think the war is over and iwhy shoud i pay for israel to finance there nuclear weapons program why do i have to pay for it ,israel has nuclear weapans and says it wants to attack iran,,what do you think iran would do about this? just sit and wait,they have to strike first to have a chance ,i think israel is asking for it and deserves to be attacked if they dont wake up,and get of there high horse,

freedom of speech
14:19 April 8, 2012 by ITAMAR
Freedom

The war is over but you do not pay as a German to Israel to finance its secuirity needs.You pay compensations to Holaucaust surviviours whom the Nazies took their houses , forced them from their homes ,killed their parents sisters and brothers and now the are living in Israel old and sick,with the pension you pay them they can buy their medicens and their food and get health treatment once a year,

"Israel has nuclear weapon and "says it wants to attack Iran" no Sir, Iran threaten to wipe us from the earth, we have here nothing against Iran or the Iranian people, but Ahmed El Najar said it clearly"Israel must be eliminate and the Jews must go back to Europe" even Kanz. Merkel reacted on his declarations.

Now the bed news for you-we are not going to return to Europe and we shell defend ourselves in case Iran will do the wrong step, as I know our capacities I advice Ahmed El Najar not to gamble with his country.
05:50 April 9, 2012 by Kolokol
Why do people still believe that Iran has said it want's to wipe Israel off the map?
08:15 April 9, 2012 by Peter Bell
Kolokol, because they do, you chump! What is it with all you naiive leftists? Look, you're either for the Jews, who have done more for humankind than any other people, (the Nobel prizes attest to that) or you're for the "poor, poor muslims, who have no land and are sorely oppressed by those nasty Jews". Look at the Middle east! What do you see? A tiny country surrounded by millions of square miles filled with the lowest dregs of the human barrel; One and a quarter billion brainwashed, hate filled, inbred, vicious thugs, who are now spreading to all our countries.

And by the way, forget the BS about moderate muslims, if you look at the Quran you should quickly see there's no such animal--they all take it absolutely literally. Grow up, you leftist traitors!
12:12 April 9, 2012 by Sayer
Peter Bell, your hateful racism has no place on a page like this. That you are allowed to spew such discriminatory hatred shows the bias of the moderators. Shame on them too.

It has long, long ago been debunked that Iran has said it wants to wipe Israel off the map. That you continue to spout such codswallop reveals who the real chump is.

That Bibi is quoted above as saying, "It is Iran, not Israel, which presents a threat to the world's peace and security. It is Iran, not Israel which threatens the destruction of other states." is further proof of the misrepresentation at play here. If this were so then it would have been Iran which invaded Lebanon and occupied it. It would have been Iran which promised in 2006 to "bomb Lebanon back into the stone-age." It would be Iran threatening again to wipe Lebanon off the map. But it's Israel who did these things, and who is making that threat again, just two weeks ago even.

It would have been Iran which committed crimes against humanity live on television by operation Cast Lead, and subsequent raids on a caged population in Gaza. But, it's Israel who did this, and continues to this day. Not Iran. Dr. Norman Finkelstein has even said, "There was no war in Gaza. It was a massacre." He's hardly an anti-Semite, now is he?

If we want to talk "Chumps" here, then I say that it is the US which gets that prize. Milked dry for it's 'special relationship,' and too unaware and uninformed to understand that its special friend attacked has it deliberately now at least three times; the Lavon affair; the USS Liberty and the real pie in the eye, 9/11. Bibi was asked about 9/11 and his answer was, "It's very good. For Israel."

I've read Mr. Grass' poem several times now, and I cannot see a single dot or comma that I would change. He's hit the nail on the head. After WWII the German people were accused of complicity in the atrocities which were committed by a few. The question posed was, "Where were the good Germans?" Well, one good German should be celebrated today, and his name is Gunther Grass. And the fact that he's generated this hullaballoo means he's come too close to the truth for some people to handle!
16:10 April 9, 2012 by ITAMAR
Sayer

1.President Ahmed El Najar did say Israel must be eliminated from the map, our ambassdor in the UN did apply the UN secuirity council against Iran minnance.

2.Iran support milirarly and financially Hezballa and Hamas, the 2 terrorists organisations fired hunders of rockets on our civilian population in north and south Israel.Israel stoped that aggression that went for many years first with the second Lebanon war and the second with operation cast lead. since then we got a silence on our northen border , and incomplete silence on the southern border.

3. Israel withdrown still in Sharon time all its settlers and army from Gazza strip, what did we got? more missles firing from there on our villages.

4.Iran support terrorists acts against Jews all over the world even if they are not Israelies:the Jewish community building in Argentina,Habad house in INDIA.

5.BIBI HAS NEVER SAID THE 9/11 WAS GOOD FOR iSRAEL BUT THE ARABS DANCED IN THE STREETS WHEN IT HAPPENED,that it is well documented.

6.The liberty affair ,it happened before 45 years that was a tragedy and an non intentional mistake , both countries conduced investigations about it, Ameica would have never accepted to close the issue if it would be intentionly. the sailors and families were compensated

Just "a few Germans were involved in the atrocities" just not true , all the Germans were involved in all fields ,the army, the police, the governments offices,the train drivers, the Proffesors in the University,the lawyers ,the Judges

the school teachers, the industrie mangers everybody contribute his small part in persequiting and killing the Jews.
14:37 April 11, 2012 by Sayer
@ITAMAR....again, refrain from drinking the Kool-Aid! Please!

In reply: Who is El Najar? If you refer to the current President of Iran, then this was his exact statement, translated: "The occupation regime over Jerusalem should vanish from the page of time." Frankly, the entire thinking world agrees. problem? No.

Israel finances and arms terrorists worldwide. Just different groups. To some "freedom fighters" to others "terrorists." Your invective is subjective and without evidence at best. Problem? No.

Gaza: Israeli troops left, and moved illegal settlers from Gaza, so they would not be killed in operation Cast Lead. By Sharon's own admission. Most of the rockets sent from Gaza and Lebanon are fired by Israelis dressed as Palestinians. Fact. Problem? No.

Iran has the biggest concentration of Jews outside of Israel and the US. They are guaranteed rights that Palestinians or non-Jewish Israelis only dream of. They themselves say "Only stupid people live in Israel!" Problem? No,

From Haaretz April 11 2012: "The Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv on Wednesday reported that Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu told an audience at Bar Ilan university that the September 11, 2001 terror attacks had been beneficial for Israel. "We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq," Ma'ariv quoted the former prime minister as saying. He reportedly added that these events "swung American public opinion in our favor."" Problem? No.

The USS Liberty has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, a legal requirement for conviction in the US, that it was deliberate, and a provocation to make the US think it was being attacked by Egypt. Documents filed by Israeli officials with John McCain's father, who covered the whole thing up, support this. Problem? No.

Just a few Germans were involved in what happened to "you." 95% of Germans had nothing to do with it. Verifiable fact. Problem? No.

Regarding school teachers etc. as you so fumblingly assert, I cannot comment as I am neither German nor of an age to have experienced this. You do not supply historical references and your written text is hardly legible. I would conclude as follows: You are writing from conviction, there is no doubt. But, what you think you know just ain't so. It is clear that you have been prevented from having access to independently verified information. In that regard you are just as much a victim of Netanyahu et al's propaganda as the Palestinians are. Sad. Problem? Hell, yes!
Today's headlines
Oettinger blames celebs for nude photo hack
Oettinger (l) appeared to misunderstand how the internet works in his comments about the photo hack which has reportedly affected celebrities including Amber Heard (r). Photo: DPA/EPA

Oettinger blames celebs for nude photo hack

German newspapers on Tuesday ridiculed incoming EU Digital Commissioner Günther Oettinger after he blamed "stupid" celebrities for having their private nude pictures hacked and spread online. READ  

Shots fired as ‘seniors’ rob Berlin security van
Police outside the Apple Store in Berlin where a security van was robbed. Photo: DPA

Shots fired as ‘seniors’ rob Berlin security van

A gang disguised as pensioners opened fire on a Berlin security van on Monday night, escaping with cash before setting their getaway car on fire. It is the second such attack in ten days. READ  

Pickpocket fools minister at anti-crime event
Ralf Jäger in front of a sign reading "eyes open and pockets closed" at the pickpocketing awareness event. Photo: DPA

Pickpocket fools minister at anti-crime event

North Rhine-Westphalia's interior minister Ralf Jäger was pickpocketed by a magician at a press conference he called on Monday to launch a campaign against pickpocketing. READ  

Berlin heart centre fiddled transplant list
Photo: DPA

Berlin heart centre fiddled transplant list

A probe into German transplant centres sparked by an organ donor scandal has revealed 14 cases of a doctor fiddling medical records at one of Germany’s leading heart centres. READ  

Lufthansa strike hits 20,000 passengers
A stranded group of travellers from Vancouver, Canada, sit and wait at Frankfurt Airport on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Lufthansa strike hits 20,000 passengers

UPDATE: The fourth pilots’ strike in recent weeks hit Germany’s biggest airport on Tuesday morning, with long-haul Lufthansa flights grounded at Frankfurt. Around 20,000 passengers have been affected. READ  

View from Germany
'Criminals are at work in refugee homes'
Photo: DPA/Police

'Criminals are at work in refugee homes'

A photo appearing to show a refugee being abused at a home for asylum seekers has caused outrage in Germany. The photo has been compared to those from Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. Police are now investigating six cases of abuse at three different centres. READ  

Police suspect neo-Nazis of Reichstag attack
An investigator gives a sniffer dog the scent of an object found at the scene. Photo: DPA

Police suspect neo-Nazis of Reichstag attack

Investigators believe a Molotov cocktail thrown at the Reichstag building in Berlin early on Monday morning was the work of a far-right group, a police spokeswoman said on Tuesday. READ  

Unemployment rate stagnates in September
Photo: DPA

Unemployment rate stagnates in September

Unemployment in Germany stagnated in September, as clouds continue to build over Europe's biggest economy, official data showed on Tuesday. READ  

Germany struggles with Turkey Nato mission
A Bundeswehr Patriot missile in southern Turkey. Photo: DPA

Germany struggles with Turkey Nato mission

A shortage of trained troops caused more embarrassment for Germany's military on Tuesday when it emerged that more than one in four soldiers taking part in a Nato mission in Turkey are not getting their allotted time off between deployments. READ  

Spielberg to shoot spy thriller in Berlin
Spielberg (l), Amy Ryan (c) and Tom Hanks (r). Photo: DPA

Spielberg to shoot spy thriller in Berlin

Director Steven Spielberg is to shoot his next film in Germany, the Berlin-Brandenburg Film Board announced on Monday. The Jurassic Park and Saving Private Ryan director is turning his attention to a Cold War spy thriller. READ  

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