Marek Siwiec MEP on Poland & Europe

Grass and Israel

I will probably return more than once to the “poem by Günter Grass”. Today I would like to say a few words on the reactions in Israel.

I disapprove of this work and its political message. However, I find Israel’s reaction unfortunate and counterproductive. I understand that Grass was condemned but the ban on crossing this country’s border is totally overeager. If I were in the place of the authorities in Jerusalem, I would do the contrary – I would invite Grass and give him a chance to talk with the public that is the most concerned by this problem. Let him present his arguments to students, intellectuals, to all those who in some time may become the target of Iranian nuclear weapon. I would not discuss with him about his membership in the SS because before he wrote this poem, no one in Israel had problem with that.

And I would also offer him a permanent residence in the Holy Land. If he is so sure about the peaceful intensions of Iran, let him stay for a longer time, because apparently nothing bad would happen to him.

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  1. Polemic nonsense.

    Grass was never a member of the SS but served as a juvenile soldier of the Waffen SS. Of course this has nothing to do with the poem. The disputed message, that he had to overcome self-constraints, was right. The other core message, a political assessment of the current threatening of Iran is shared by many citizens of Israel. Even a Iran in possessiin of nuclear weapons would not attack Israel, the other nuclear power.

    What is questionable is the literary quality of the work.

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