Painting by Terry Collett
Never before have 45 short lines of a poem ruffled the feathers of the Israeli establishment. Never before has a modern day German citizen dared to write those 45 lines, awakening the souls of those good Israelis that will approve of the words once they read them.
Two days ago the  rightists in the government strongly condemned Gunter Grass for saying what had to be said…
Today the Hebrew Writers Association called on the world literary community to rebuke Grass’ well chosen and to the point words. The linked report is presented below…
This entire episode is a perfect example of the old saying, “My country, right or wrong”. In this particular case, Israel has never been wronger by being so right.
There is not an iota of anti-Semitism in Grass’ words, but the Israeli reactions will surely create some new pockets of that evil hatred where it doesn’t exist. Just read the words, then listen to them on the YouTube presented …. see for yourself why those words had to be said.
What must be said
Why have I been silent, silent for so long?,
Our generals have gamed it out,
Confident the west will survive.
We people have not even been considered.

What is this right to “preventive war”?
A war that could erase the Iranian people.
Dominated by it’s neighbor, pulsing with righteousness
Smug in the fact that it is they, not Iran,
Who have the Bomb.

Why have I so far avoided to identify Israel by it’s name?,
Israel and it’s ever increasing nuclear arsenal,
Beyond reproach, Uncontrolled, uninspected.

We all know these things
Yet we all remain silent, fearful of being labeled:

Considering Germany’s past these labels stick
So we call is “business”, “reparation” take your pick,
As we deliver yet another submarine.
As we provide to Israel the means to deliver annihilation.
I say what must be said.

Why did I stay silent until now?
Because I’m German, of course.
I’m tainted by a stain I cannot wash out
I’m silent because I want so badly to make it right
To put my sins in the past and leave them silently there.

Why did I wait to say it until now?
And write these words with the last of my ink?
Declaring that Israel threatens world peace?
Because it is true and it must be said,
Tomorrow will be too late.

We Germans now carry a new burden of sin on our shoulders
Through the weapons we have sold
We are helping to carry out this foreseeable tragedy
No excuse will remove our stain of complicity.

It must be said. I won’t be silent
I’ve had enough of the hypocrisy;
Please shed the silence with me,
The consequences are all too predictable.
It’s time to demand free and permanent control
of BOTH Israel’s nuclear arsenal
AND Iran’s nuclear facilities
enforced with international supervision.

It’s the only way, in a land convulsed with insanity,
Israelis, Palestinians, everybody, will survive.
And we too, will survive.



Israeli writers call on international literary community to rebuke Gunter Grass

Chairman of Israeli writers association says the Nobel Prize does not give its recipients immunity and called on Grass to issue an apology.


The Hebrew Writers Association in Israel on Monday denounced a controversial poem by Nobel Literature laureate Guenter Grass in which he criticizes Israel for threatening to attack Iran. The writers association said it would ask International PEN, a worldwide body of writers, to “publicly distance itself from Grass’ remarks and to come out against all expressions of delegitimization against Israel and the Jewish people.”

“Even before the traces of the swastika on his clothes were gone, Grass joined the crusade against the State of Israel,” the Hebrew Writers Association said in a public statement on Monday, referring to Grass’ days as a member of the Hitler youth and Nazi SS. “Grass should clean his clothes and his past, express remorse for the days when he served in the Nazi Death Army, because his terrible statement cast a dark shadow over all of his writings.”

The chairman of the association, Herzl Hakak, called on Israeli and international writers to denounce Grass and said the Nobel Prize committee should also weigh in on the issue. Hakak emphasized that the Nobel does not give its recipients immunity and called on Grass to issue an apology.

Grass’ poem, “What Must Be Said,” claimed Israel was preparing a first strike to “wipe out the Iranian people” as it attempts to derail Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Eli Yishai is coming under fire from German politicians for his announcement Sunday that Grass would be considered a persona non grata in Israel. A minister in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s German government has reportedly denounced the Israeli visa ban on Grass as “exaggerated.”

“I cannot imagine that Mr. Grass has any interest in showing up in Israel after the explicit criticism he has faced in Germany,” German Health Minister Daniel Bahr reportedly said in an interview slated to appear on Tuesday in the daily Die Welt.

The minister, who also criticized Grass, was apparently not speaking for the government. He is a senior member of the Free Democratic Party, a junior partner in Merkel’s cabinet. Die Welt issued a summary to other media in advance of publication.

Attacking Grass, Bahr said he was “sad to see that someone who has experienced all the controversies of post-war Germany remains marked by so much prejudice and stubbornness.” However, he called the visa ban an “utterly exaggerated” response,” Die Welt said.

Renate Kuenast, co-leader of the opposition Green Party in Germany’s parliament, rebuked Grass for his refusal to recognize that Israel was threatened by Iran, but she also criticized Yishai’s move to declare him a persona non grata.

“It means everyone will end up discussing the ban instead of Grass’ views,” she told DPA.

Grass has been furiously attacked in Germany over the poem. Early Saturday, someone daubed graffiti on a sculpture in the city of Goettingen commemorating free speech which Grass commissioned and donated. The red paint called on him to “shut your mouth.”



Our Associate Khalid Amayreh adds the following…

Gunter Grass is absolutely correct about Israel

German poet and Nobel literature laureate Gunter Grass deserves to be applauded for his moral courage, intellectual honesty, and audacity to challenge some of the established taboos pertaining to Israel and Jews.

In a piece of poetry published by a German newspaper last week, Grass, 84, condemned his country’s arm sales to Israel, saying the Jewish state must not be allowed to threaten its neighbors with overwhelming conventional and nuclear weapons.

Thanks to a decades-old western policy of ignoring the development and possession by Israel of weapons of mass destruction, Israel has effectively become the Nazi Germany of the Middle East.

The little-known Israel arsenal of unconventional weapons is widely believed to include, inter alia, hundreds of nuclear bombs and warheads, most of them trained at such Arab and Muslim cities in the Middle East as Cairo , Damascus , Istanbul , Baghdad and Amman .

Israeli officials and propagandists would swear, in the strongest terms, that they are misunderstood and that they are the most peaceful people on earth. But these are mostly oaths of lie and hypocrisy.

The manifest lebensraum policy which Israel pursues in the West Bank, mainly at the expense of the indigenous Palestinians, leaves no doubt as to the Nazi-like bellicosity, proclivity for territorial expansion as well as ideological nefariousness characterizing Zionism, or Jewish Nazism.

The effective and never-exhausted Israeli propaganda machine, which extends from Sydney to California, would cite a thousand red herrings to divert attention from the real thing, that Israel represents the Nazism of our time and that the apartheid state, not Iran, or North Korea or even Satan himself, poses the greatest danger to world peace and stability.

The Zionist mouthpieces of lie and disinformation, which includes seemingly respectable people, like Shimon Peres, Newt Gingrich, and Hillary Clinton, would cry Hamas! Hizbullah! Iran ! Al-Qaeda, ignoring the fact that all these groups and regimes are resultant offshoots, or mere side effects, of Israeli oppression and aggression.

But, alas, honesty and veracity, are never part of being a “good” politician, let alone a good propagandist.

We certainly are not infatuated with Grass’s past, but this should never blind us from seeing the striking truth in his words.

Moreover, I believe that the man stands on a higher moral ground in comparison to his critics from the pathological liar Netanyahu, to the brashly racist Lieberman and Shimon Peres, the hero of the Qana massacre of 1996 in Southern Lebanon.

Do you know that the elderly Peres, who is falsely celebrated as a man of peace and moderation around the world, has not apologized for that gruesome carnage which decapitated the heads and mutilated the bodies of hundreds of innocent civilians whose main guilt was their non-membership in the exclusive Jewish club!!!

Yes, “what must be said” must be said courageously, fearlessly, unhesitatingly and especially unapologetically. The shipyard dogs of Zionism may unleash their stale weapon of anti-Semitism to confuse people and blur the truth.. But, thank goodness, fewer and fewer people around the world are being intimidated by this mythical golem.

The truth of the matter is that there are a thousand evidences vindicating Guenter Grass and corroborating his proclamations about Israel, a pornographically criminal state that threatens the peace and security of humanity.

Israel is the Nazi Germany of our time because it is armed to teeth, seeks territorial expansion, and is hell-bent on ethnically cleansing a helpless people, employing every conceivable criminal and insidious tactic under the sun.

Israel expels people from their homes in order to settle immigrants from distant parts of South America or Russia in these homes. Israel demolishes Arab homes, occasionally right on top of occupants because the occupants happen to be members of a non-kosher tribe. Israel starves and torments millions of innocent people in order to make sure that the holocaust is not repeated.

Israel cuts water from towns and villages and hamlets because the inhabitants are Ishmaelites not Israelites.

Israel rounds up intellectuals and professionals, including poets, doctors, engineers, lawmakers, school teachers and keeps them languishing in Jewish dungeons and concentration camps for years, without charge or trial. And when the helpless victims cry out for simple justice, Israel calls them terrorists!

Three years ago, the Israeli wehrmacht, SS, and Luftwaffe launched a deadly blitzkrieg on the thoroughly blockaded and thoroughly starved people of Gaza, murdering, incinerating and maiming thousands of innocent civilians. The mad rampage, which lasted for 21 days, was compared with the holocaust or fire storms over the City of Dresden in the closing months of the Second World War.

More to the point, the Israel of today is probably more dangerous and more extremist than the Adolph Hitler regime. Then, at least, there was a semblance of a balance of terror in Europe which had a certain restraining effect on Nazi Germany, but in the Middle East of today, Israel is the only country possessing nuclear weapons by the hundreds.

There are certain so-called “experts” in the West who tend to think that Israel is a democratic and rational state, at least in comparison to states like Iran. (I don’t know how a Talmudic state can be truly democratic)

Nonetheless, the truth seems to suggest that Israel is switching menacingly toward Jewish fascism where non-Jews, including millions of Christians and Muslims, are viewed as virtual animals or sub-humans who are only good for serving the master race or Chosen people.

Needless to say, such a racist perception is not rife among merely a marginal group of people, but is rampant among rabbis with millions of followers.

Germany, a country that is still haunted by the specter of the holocaust, is behaving irresponsibly and foolishly toward Israel.

Germany is trying to atone for the crimes of Nazi Germany by promoting and expediting a Nazi Israel. The fate of millions of Arabs and Muslims who could be incinerated in an Israeli-Jewish holocaust against the peoples of the Middle East is not even an afterthought as far as Germany is concerned.

We must proclaim the truth, namely the fact that the kind of callous indifference that characterized the Nazi perceptions toward Jews is now characterizing Germany’s perceptions toward the Arab and Muslim peoples of the Middle East.

Otherwise, how would one explain all these nuclear submarines which Germany keeps donating or selling Israel at bargain prices?

A final point. It is hard to imagine that Germany (and the United States ) doesn’t realize that arming Israel to the teeth with conventional and unconventional weapons will not convince Israel to walk in the path of peace. They know this fact quite well. But such states have long lost the ability to be honest and ethical. Well, one doesn’t have to have a Ph.D. in International Relations of Middle East Politics to know that the more Israel acquires more weapons of death and mass destruction, the fewer propensities the apartheid state will have toward peace with her neighbors.


  1. LIstening to the Heartbeats said,

    April 10, 2012 at 18:03

    As the Israeli establishment (note, not the majority of the Israeli people, who are captured and brainwashed) incites refutation, invoking the holocaust always to rationalize behavior which is at best, criminal, at worst, misanthropic, this hysteria dovetails so carefully with other crimes, designed to incite, even as defense is provided.
    It is as if a strategy has been born out to commit egregious acts, then to incite the canard of the holocaust to provide a defense to the natural response to the criminal or misanthropic behavior.
    The Israeli establishment argues that they abhor anti-semitism, yet they do everything in their power to foster same in people who have a sense of decency, a critical thought process and a commitment to truth.
    Is the plan to foster hatred, to incite violence, to start a third world war?
    They shriek their criticism of Gunter Grass, even as they move forward to render everything Grass says prophetic.
    In the past we have seen that the shrieking from the Zionists and invocation of the holocaust defense is greatest when truth is at an apex and a nerve has been hit.
    Is this merely a duplication of that pattern?

  2. Big Fish said,

    April 10, 2012 at 18:56

    You know Gunter had spoken the truth – look at the fanatical defensive behavior of Israel.

  3. brian said,

    April 10, 2012 at 23:50

    the literary worlds silence on the ongoing genocide of palestine is what really deserves rebuke../when has any hebrew writers guild written about Israel regime atrocities??

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012
    Israel versus Iran
    “But Grass’ comparison of Israel and Iran is unfair, because unlike Iran, Israel has never threatened to wipe another country off the map.” Tom Segev is right. Israel never threatened to wipe another country off the map; it actually wiped another country off the map. It is called Palestine. Don’t you (dis)like Israeli leftists when they rally to the defense of their terrorist state?
    Posted by As’ad AbuKhalil

  4. tired said,

    April 11, 2012 at 01:21

    First pastor Martin Niemöller and now Gunter Grass. The truth must be out.

  5. April 11, 2012 at 02:05


  6. Steven said,

    April 11, 2012 at 02:07

    This man is a Hero! So many people, millions, have remained silent, have not had the will to say what must be said.
    This man has come forth and said those words breaking the silence and hopefully changing history!

  7. April 11, 2012 at 02:15


  8. April 11, 2012 at 16:40

    […] More Israelis going Ballistic over Gunter Grass Poem (Desertpeace) […]

  9. April 11, 2012 at 17:14

    […] Amayreh, der sich dafür artig auf der Website des “Friedensaktivisten” Steve Amsel ebenso bedankt wie jener des “bewaffneten Arms” der ansonsten vermutlich friedensbewegten Hamas. “German […]

  10. April 11, 2012 at 23:10

    […] is the kind of thing evil does to itself, with funny hats on its head. It gets worse and worse, for one of the primary sources of evil. They’re scrambling, they’re ♫jumpin’ and jivin’ on the floor♫ […]

  11. GoodAmerican said,

    April 12, 2012 at 19:29

    I 11th the condemnation of the state of israel, lol.

    Peace, truth, justice, freedom and prosperity for ALL, in-spite of those who would have it otherwise.

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