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Günter Grass joins the hip mob of Israel bashers

Just as the Syrian regime resumes bombing its own citizens and the Egyptians prepare for sharia law, the veteran Nobel-winning novelist has published a poem (never a good sign in a novelist) attacking German arms sales to Israel (but not to Iran).

Grass brands Israel a ‘danger to world peace’ in the poem, published in the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Die Welt newspaper responded quickly, calling Grass ‘the prototype of the educated anti-Semite’.

Beyond the rhetoric lies a general suspicion that Grass, 84, has seriously lost his grip.

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Comments

  1. José Bergher says:

    Besides being “the eternal anti-Semite” (the Welt newspaper ), Gunther Grass is the eternal hypocrite.

  2. For the few German-speaking lurkers who haunt these pages, the poem is here if you haven’t seen it:

    http://www.sueddeutsche.de/kultur/gedicht-zum-konflikt-zwischen-israel-und-iran-was-gesagt-werden-muss-1.1325809

    The poem is notably bad, though it has some worthwhile thoughts.

    I think it would be *sheer insanity* for the world to allow the current Iranian regime to come even close to possessing nuclear bombs. At the same time I appreciate the part of Grass’s poem which suggests that both Iran and Israel (and all countries for that matter) should allow their nuclear potentials to be open to international controls. This tiny blue marble is not a good place to have nuclear weapons – assuming humanity is worth preserving:

    „es mögen sich viele vom Schweigen befreien,
    den Verursacher der erkennbaren Gefahr
    zum Verzicht auf Gewalt auffordern und
    gleichfalls darauf bestehen,
    daß eine unbehinderte und permanente Kontrolle
    des israelischen atomaren Potentials
    und der iranischen Atomanlagen
    durch eine internationale Instanz
    von den Regierungen beider Länder zugelassen wird.“

    • It reminds me of the late raves of Harold Pinter

      • Very true. There are indeed similarities. So why is this happening? Do these authors represent thought typical of Western liberalism? Are there issues involving sensible Real Politic for which Western liberalism is poorly suited? Do authors like Grass and Pinter lack a practical and pragmatic understanding of the world?

        Doesn’t the issue in Iran go beyond a Palestinian homeland and extend to the extermination of Israel? By contrast, is someone like Netanyahu better suited to deal with these issues? If there were a middle ground, what would it be, and would it accomplish anything? No easy answers, it seems, hence the on-going problem whose intractability is deeply harming Israel. I have no answers at all.

        • William, Like you, I do not find the poem innately anti-semitic. It is not an act of racial discrimination to criticise the policies of the Israeli government or the actions of the Israeli state – I do plenty of that myself. The point at which such criticism tips into racism is when Israel is depicted as the acme of evil or, as Grass puts it, as the greatest threat to world peace. This viewpoint is not just myopic and misguided. It singles out the only state in the world with a Jewish majority and decalres it evil or malicious. That, for me, is where anti-semitism kicks in.

          • It’s true that the poem would be anti-Semitic if it said that Israel was the greatest threat to world peace. The poem can be hard to follow. What it actually says is this:

            “Die Atommacht Israel gefährdet
            den ohnehin brüchigen Weltfrieden?“

            The translation provided by another reader below is accurate:

            “Israel the atomic power threatens
            A world peace that is already very fragile?”

            I would say that is a true statement based on the saber-rattling of the Israeli political rightwing. And Grass expresses much harsher criticisms of Iran in the poem.

            The threats to peace coming from both sides strongly concern the US military which is already over-extended due to its involvement with Iran’s neighbors to the east and west. The last thing the US military needs is another fight on their hands.

            The world community is actively working to prevent Iran from developing a bomb. I’ve rarely seen the EU so motivated. It seems to me that Israel would be wise to prepare for all contingencies, but to quietly stand back and let others do the work and take the heat. But as I say, I have no real answers. I wonder if Barenboim’s vague idea is right when he says that from a political perspective, the situation in the Middle East has reached a point of no return and can only be solved on a human level. I wonder how he invisions that working.

          • Bernhard says:

            “when Israel is depicted as the acme of evil or, as Grass puts it, as the greatest threat to world peace”

            Grass says nothing like that. He says that Israel(more precisely it’s current government’s policy) is A threat to world peace. Not THE GREATEST THREAT as you put it. He also doesn’t imply anything “evil” about Israel, to the contrary he says he feels connected to Israel and wishes to being able to continue to do so in the future.

        • Jurg Bangerter says:

          Grass and his leftist bleeding heart politiciansand media friends are actually undermining western democractic principles with their constant pro muslim anti-israel stands–yeah we exchanged 6 million jews which were very much Germany’s intellectual elite for 20 million most illiterate muslims who oppress women and only wait to introduce their stone age culture of death into western societies.
          -as a supremacist nazi german Grass had to stomach that jews were just smarter then germans-still are, 14 milllion jews account for 180 Nobel Prizes as muslims do only 6–senile idiots such Grass and his leftists friends don’t see that Israel is the last Bollwork of western civilization–hope this retards are all getting reborn as muslims women including rape-female genital mutilation and forced marriage to a man triple their age.

          • Bernhard says:

            Good Lord, what rubbish and hatred.

          • Peter Herz says:

            Es gibt keinen westlichen Liberalismus, die Freiheit ist immer die Freiheit andersdenkender.Wenn dies so währe, mit dem liberalen und wir diesen noch einteilen in nord, süd, ost und west, würden wir in der totalen Normierung leben.Jeder lebendige Geist hat das Recht niemanden zu schädigen, aber auch das Recht seinen Geist zum Ausdruck zu bringen. Die Sprache zu verbieten kann nicht ernst gemeint werden.

    • Jurg Bangerter says:

      what is not taken into account that until now 00zero israelis have blown up air-planes into highrises nor blown themselves into pieces in a schoolbus full with shia or sunni chidren–claiming to go into paradise as a martyr for having killed infidels–for a sunni muslim shia children are infidels and vice versa–this mentality seems not being part of our judeo-christian even atheist upbringing, we go straight to hell for killing innocents–not so for muslims it seems–this muslim fatality thinking is kind of scaring the shit out of me–

      • Metin Y says:

        Dear Mr.Jurg Bangerter
        I think you need to get your head checked out thoroughly by a Jewish psychoanalyst. USA Israel coalition klled half a million iraqi muslims, destroyed the country and left. Explain yourselve to Iraqi orphans…Oh I forget Muslim kids always deserve this….

        • Jurg Bangerter says:

          half a million iraqi civilians killed by USA-wow-actually around 100thousand iraqis died and most by sunni versus shia bombings and killings–king husseins bedouins killed more palestians then the israelis–black africans killed by arab muslims would be more likely to be a half a million–400raped afghan women inprisoned as adultresses-the iran iraq war left 1 million dead-in egypt coptic christians are getting murdered–200women in Germany killed in so called cowardice honour killings–european prison are filled with a disappropriate percentage of muslims–violent crimes etc. if your quran demands to kill infidels which no-zero muslim cleric ever denounced as eing wrong– a muslim sunni suicide bomber killing a busload of shia children can expect to go to paradise as a martyr having intercourse with virgins–your cult of death–your stone age barabric sharia laws–your oppression of women have nothing lost in our democratic societies

          • Dear Mr.Jurg Bangerter,
            This blog is about Herr Grass, who is one of my favorite intellectuals of all times. As for your muslim bashing, don’t ever forget who is responsible for shoah, the Holocaust. Every nation who has colonial past has lots of skeletons in their closet. British, French, Spain, Portugal, Belgium etc. as for woman and equality there is not much difference between orthodox jewry and muslim sharia. I still think you need to get your head checked out thoroughly by a Jewish psychoanalyst.

        • Jurg Bangerter says:

          The last ime I checked I didn’t see any orthodox jewish society inprison raped women as adultresses or stone women for adultery, neither do I see hasidims blow up shool-buses full of sunni or shia children-also doesn’t orthodox jewry ask for the elimination of infidels in the Thorah, nor does it allow the murderers of the innocent be declared martyrs as the quran and muslim imans do.
          The muslim conquest including 1400years of muslim slave-trade(ongoing) cost the lives of 240million human beings–the jewish conquest was peaceful without any dead.
          I understand your adoration for Herr Grass, Herr Grass never really took his Waffen SS coat off–he just adjusted to time–now a lot of new SS are feeling the time right to wear the coat again and proudly.
          As an allemanophone person, I just couldn’t believe that such bad-really bad poetry could get a Nobel Prize in Literature.

  3. Having read this entry, I find myself in a perplexed state. Perhaps Mr. Lebrecht might care to explain how internal violence in Syria and Sharia law in Egypt have anything to do with this particular criticism of Israel. This is often a very interesting blog, but I think the author would be well-advised to limit himself to discussion musical matters.

    • Israel, for all its faults, is not the threat – at least not at the moment. Syria is committing mass murder, Egypt is reverting to medieval law and Iran has a nuclear device. I know the region well. It concerns me, culturally as well as morally, if a respected author distorts reality. NL

      • I reject the idea that one evil may not be fairly criticized simply because arguably-worse evils currently exist. There are many who would argue, for example, that the American quest for global hegemony is the greatest danger facing the inhabitants of Earth. Would that mean that mass murder in Syria and Sharia law in Egypt are not worthy of criticism? As to the issue of the distortion of reality, I would argue that the people who are the most guilty of distorting reality are those who immediately assert that any critic of Israel or of its policies must be a raving anti-semite. This is an intellectually pathetic combination of ad-hominem attack and Straw Man argument.

      • Ian Pace says:

        ‘Egypt is reverting to medieval law and Iran has a nuclear device’ – and what does Israel have?

        • Iran DOESN’T — as far as intelligence from all sides, including the US, Israel and the rest of the world shows — have a nuclear device yet, if by “device” you mean warhead.

      • Bob Burns says:

        Israel is a threat to itself.

        It has evolved into a highly conservative country which is now less a democracy and a more an armed camp, bent on taking forever the land it stole in 1967. Israel is now not much different than South Africa at the height of Aparteid. It is tribal war of the worst kind. No non-Jewish Israeli can go anywhere inside Israel without identification and papers, no one can go to the West Bank and Gaza without papers; no Arab one can come into Israel from the West Bank or Gaza without papers; No one in the West Bank can vote except Jewish “settlers.” The Palestinians will never give up their claims. Now will their supporters in the Muslim world. Like South Africa, Israel cannot win this immoral battle. Time will eventually work its will.

        Israel’s *declared* reason for existence is full rights to all: of religion, of race, of ethnicity. Yet it gives nothing of the sort to the people living under its rule. The most extreme elements of Israel’s population, starting with Netanyahu and and ending with those orthodox yahoos on the other side of the line, are bringing any future international support into serious question. American Jews, especially those born after World War II, are far less of a mind to be unquestioning supporters of Israel than their fathers, with their vivid memory of the holocaust. The ask questions, as they should.

        Does Israel deserve to exist as a “Jewish democracy”? Certainly. But “Jewish state” and “democracy” are mutually exclusive. If it gives full Israeli rights to the Arabs living inside the biblical boundries of Israel, it will most certainly no longer be a *Jewish* state.

        Therefore, the ONLY option is to allow the Palestinians complete and full independence and to give back the land it took in 1967, and negotiate some sort of compensation for the families of Arabs it ran out of Israel prior to 1967. And it must also share Jerusalem.

        The status quo cannot continue indefinitely. There will be a reckoning. What that entails is anyone’s guess, but it will be horrific.

  4. totally agree, Norman!
    Once a nazi …. and a liar..
    Sad!

    • Are you trying to say ‘once a Nazi, always a Nazi?’ Seriously?! The guy is 84 years old. That means the oldest he could possibly have been while ‘serving’ in the Waffen SS was 17. SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD. I suppose you think that he can’t possibly have changed his mind about anything between the ages of 17 and 84. To call this an utterly ridiculous ad-hominem attack would be generous.

      • Ah I see, actions count for nothing, ‘changing your mind’ counts for everything.

        Charles Manson changed his mind. I suppose Pol Pot did too.

        And here’s an ad hominem: JG you are a typical knee jerk armchair intellectual moon bat.

        • Yet another straw man argument. I don’t believe I said that actions ‘count for nothing.’ Indeed, I do agree that actions count for something. That said, I’m terribly interested to know which of Mr. Grass’s ‘actions’ you believe make him a Nazi.

          • straw man!

            ad hominem!

            association fallacies!

            Come one, come all!

            How about a little Godwin’s Law?

  5. Er, just a small correction:

    Israel is the nuclear power who refuses to admit they have a complete weapons system up-and-running, not Iran. Even Israel doesn’t think Iran has a current nuclear arsenal.

    I know both countries begin with the same letter, but…

  6. For those interested, the Berlin-based daily Tagesspiegel gives a very lucid commentary on the anti-Semitism of Grass’s poem.

    http://www.tagesspiegel.de/meinung/provokantes-gedicht-guenter-grass-ein-kreis-schliesst-sich/6476602.html

    And for those who are interested in a clearly written analysis of the possible consequences of bombing Iran, take a look at:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/28/us-nuclear-iran-debate-idUSBRE82R1IZ20120328

    • Well, I’ve read the poem and the Reuters article calling Grass an anti-semite.

      This whole discussion reminds me of the discussion of Bar-mitzvah Bach controversy on this blog a couple of weeks ago.

      I didn’t believe that Bach’s Johannespassion was anti-semitic beyond the biblical texts, and that the surrounding poetry chosen by Bach ameliorated the undisputably anti-semitic passages in the Gospel of John. As I wrote then, Bach never uses the word “jew” in the non-biblical passages. Still, German newspaper commentators happily pronounce that Bach is a borderline anti-semite thanks to this work.

      Where’s the anti-semitism in Grass “poem?” He doesn’t use the word “jew” once and admits to Germany’s horrific crimes of the past. Then he goes on to complain that Germany is about to sell a new submarine to Israel, which could be used to launch atomic weapons against another country.

      For Malthe Lehmig that is enough to call Grass an anti-semite who is “working the mob” because as a German, he knows which buttons to press to rouse the teutonic mob’s inner desire to deny and revise history. The implication is that Grass’ supposed demagoguery is akin to Hitler’s manipulation of the German people.

      To quote Piers Morgan, who used these words as a reply to Toure’s criticism that Morgan went easy on a relative of Zimmerman during an interview about the recent Trayvon killing: “what a lot of fatuous nonsense.”

      I’ve already posted my view on why legitimate criticism of the state of Israel cannot and should not be equated to anti-semitism below, so I won’t repeat myself, but say to anyone who bothers to read what i write to look further down this thread.

      Truly, the Germans are still paying for the heinous crimes they committed in the 20th century. Where but in Germany would the psyche of “intellectuals” be so screwed up that they would implicity compare someone who wrote a (bad) pacifist poem, which mentions the sale of weapons to Israel, that country’s alleged possession of an atomic arsenal and that all atomic weapons should be under tight control, to a reincarnation of Hitler?

      Grass is not a person of interest for me, and I certainly think that Germany should remember and be reminded of its past, so not only Germany, but any other country in the world, does not follow totalitarian dictators or participates willingly in starting wars and committing genocide.

      The kind of hysterical sensitivity displayed in the Reuters article is counter-productive. Just remember the old folk tale about the boy who cried “wolf” too often. In the end nobody paid attention in a real emergency. If we use the Reuters standard of defining anti-semitism in Grass’ “poem,” then no country in Europe, except maybe Denmark, should be able to criticize Israel, because they all have horrific acts of pogroms and brutality against jews in their past history.

      Sure, let’s just declare that Grass, Bach, Jimmy Carter and “Michael P. Prior, Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Michael Lerner, Antony Lerman, Ralph Nader, Jenny Tonge, Ken Livingstone, and Desmond Tutu [are antisemites]. They provide a variety of reasons for objecting to the equation, including stifling free expression, promoting anti-Semitism, diluting genuine anti-Semitism, and alienating Jews from Judaism or Israel.” (Quote from Wikipedia: Criticism of the Israeli government).

      But what do I know – I’m just a wikidiot.

      • Pardon, I incorrectly referred to the Reuters article link in the above. It should have been the Tagesspiegel article link.

    • I read the Tagesspiegel article. It states that the poem appeals to the mob mentality of German anti-Semitism. The author of the article says this is so obvious that no analysis of the poem’s text is even necessary and so he doesn’t defend his statement. I don’t agree. The poem addresses a political situation in a somewhat one-sided manner, but I can’t find any racist arguments. If anyone can show that the poem is anti-Semitic, I would like to see the analysis. Perhaps there’s something I missed. The poem does discuss the difficulties German’s have addressing Israeli politics due to their history of anti-Semitism.

      A recent, rigorous, academic study commissioned by the German Parliament found that Germany has the fourth highest rate of anti-Semitism in Europe, behind Poland, Hungary, and Portugal. The lowest rates were found in the Netherlands and UK. See:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16708340

      • Bernhard says:

        That “rigorous academic study” you cite about anti-semitism in Germany found, that anti-semitic tendencies are declining steadily over the decades in Germany. There was never less anti-semitism in Germany than today. Yet that is not what the main stream international media reports. I do not wonder why. Lack of anti-semitism does not seem news worthy and doesn’t sell apparently… Even the BBC gives it that anti-german spin. Sad. But pissing on the Krauts sells, contrary to reporting that the Krauts are getting less xenophobic.

  7. Can anyone provide a link to a proper English translation of the poem? My German is very limited, and Google Translator will only go so far.

    • Jurg Bangerter says:

      You ask for a translation of the poem of Grass stating that your German is very limited-I can only state that also Herr Grass’s German is very limited in a German sense and also in a intellectuel sense,–and frankly about the worst and most boring ” Mist eines sich zu wichtig nehmenden Scheriberlings mit einer sehr braunen Vergangenheit”.

  8. Never mind Grass – he’s a nutjob as a person.

    However, it does bother me that one can’t criticize the actions of the state of Israel without getting hammered with the “anti-semitic” epithet. Look at what happened to Jimmy Carter when he took a realistically critical look at Israel in a book. Does anyone truly believe that Jimmy Carter is an anti-semite?

    Being critical towards the actions of a sovereign country has nothing to do with racism.

    Lord knows that lots of Europeans dislike the US too, and don’t hesitate to express it. Does that make them racists because they implicitly criticize African-Americans, American Latinos, Asian-Americans and native Americans?

    I think not. Let’s stop the holier-than-thou hypocrisy when it comes to discussing the actions and policies of Israel’s democratically elected government(s).

  9. Bah : what a joke. Apart from a part of the big media, who disacrees with G. Grass?
    Writers should be allowed to write what they want. I admire

    Grass has “launched” not an essay but a poem : bravo !

    How do you know if born German, you would not have done worse?

    • Jurg Bangerter says:

      Grass wrote a poem so badly and so boring, being so one-sided and blaming Israel to endanger world-peace single-handledly -how could this old senile nazi ever get a Nobel Prize in the first place???
      He blames Israel on endangering world-peace as badly as once Hitler blamed the jews for Germany’s misery–das Weltjudentum ist ja immer noch an Allem Schuld– I was reading Mein Kampf as a kid in german–what a piece of crap only equaled by this Geicht from Grass.
      The germans are “Herdentiere” even Lemmings–It takes one incompetent idiot with a loud voice and some anti-jewish argumentations and blames against the Weltjudentum and all germans stand in Attention and applaud–

      Grass knows this-he makes peace with the german plebs-licks their asses-satisfies their lust after selfjustification and absolution for the holocaust.

  10. I humbly offer my own rough and ready translation of Grass’ text.
    it is not meant as a final text, nor do I pretend that it has any literary merits.
    I simply wanted to provide some indication and idea for non-German speakers of what the poem is about.

    What has to be said

    By Günter Grass

    Why do I say nothing, why do I cover up for so long
    Something which is plain to see and what has been played out in experimental games,
    Where we as survivors are merely the footnotes.

    It is the proclaimed right to a pre-emptive strike
    Which could wipe out the Iranian people — enslaved and coerced into contrived jubilation by a loudmouth leader –
    Merely on the suspicion that an atomic bomb is being built in his fiefdom.

    But why do I stop myself
    From uttering the name of the other country
    In which for years — albeit under wraps –
    A growing nuclear potential lies ready for use
    But, since it is not subject to inspection, beyond our control?

    The general pall of silence that has been cast over this matter of fact –
    a silence in which I collude by remaining silent —
    Weighs on me as a crushing lie and a constraint
    And one which wields the threat of punishment
    If disobeyed:
    The verdict “Anti-Semitism” is prevalent.

    But now, when from my country
    – a country which time and time again is taken to task for inherent crimes that have no comparison — on the other hand and purely for business reasons (even if it is nimbly declared to be reparation)
    Another submarine is to be delivered to Israel,
    One whose speciality is to aim
    All-annihilating warheads at a target
    Where the existence of even a single atomic bomb has never been proven,
    But where the mere suspicion acts as proof,
    – Now I will say what has to be said.

    But why have I remained silent until now?
    Because I believed that my birth,
    Which is tainted by a blemish that can never be redeemed,
    Prohibited me from speaking the truth about this fact to
    The country of Israel, with which I have ties and with which I want to remain tied.

    Why do I say only now,
    When I am aged and running out of ink:
    Israel the atomic power threatens
    A world peace that is already very fragile?
    Because it needs to be said what
    Could already be too late tomorrow;
    And because we — as Germans already burdened enough —
    Could become suppliers to a crime
    That is foreseeable and where none of the usual excuses
    Would be able to expunge our complicity.

    And I admit: I no longer remain silent
    Because I am sick of the hypocrisy of the West;
    It is to be hoped
    That many will free themselves from this yoke of silence
    And will call upon the source of recognisable danger
    To renounce violence and (it is to be hoped that many) will insist
    That the governments of both countries
    Allow unrestricted and permanent surveillance of
    Israel’s atomic potential
    And Iran’s atomic sites by an international authority.

    This is the only way to help Israelis and Palestinians. Indeed all people who live side by side as enemies in this region
    Which is so occupied by madness,
    And it is ultimately the only way to help us all.

    • Yes, just as I suspected. Not an anti-semitic word in the entire thing. Unless I missed something. Can Mr. Lebrecht or anyone else please explain to me which part of this poem associates any particular trait or action with Jewish people?

    • Bob Burns says:

      Thanks Anon:

      “This is the only way to help Israelis and Palestinians. Indeed all people who live side by side as enemies in this region
      Which is so occupied by madness,
      And it is ultimately the only way to help us all.”

      Indeed, indeed……

      The victims have become the victimizers.

      For shame to us all.

      • Jurg Bangerter says:

        —the victims became the victimizers?? I don’t see iraelis sendings bombs into Palestine day after day–I don’t see isrealis killing palestinians by the thousand such as jordanian bedouins did–I don’t see jewish militia-rape and kill black women and farmers such as in Darfur done by arab-muslims in the thousand–I don’t see jewish fanatics blw up buses full of shia or sunni chidren such as in Iraq.

        I don’t see israelis do as all this mad arab and iranian dictators do–kill civilians in the thousands–israeli don’t burn copitc churches and fight minorities such as kurds in Turkeye–yeah the madness is even in us who turn a blind eye to all this arab-muslim madness.

        • Jurg,
          Read about what happened in the Palestinian refugee camps Sabra and Shatila during the Lebanese war. Those events are well-documented by reporters and historians.

          • Jurg Bangerter says:

            Read about what happened to the Palestinian uprising in Jordania under the late king Hussein–the kings Bedouins slaughtered Palestinians by the thousands and no arabic country opposed–now go to Darfur read about the muslim arab militias who killed 300thousand black refugees-raped and killed women–no arab muslim country opposed this killings.
            400 raped Afghan women are inprisoned in German-US controlled Afghanistan–this Afghan women will be put to death as adultresses–this is what is happening to women under sharia law worldwide in muslim countries.

  11. For those with access (I guess it’ll be viewable online after broadcast), Grass will answer questions about his poem and the reactions to it on German public television’s Tagesthemen news programme tonight (Thursday). And he’s also agreed to be interviewed for another programme “Aspekte”.

    http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/literatur/0,1518,825984,00.html

    • Captndon says:

      I watched the interview twice, the second time to make sure I heard everything right.

      He did not answer ONE question, dirctly or indirectly. This Nazi SS Nobel Prize winner is on a publicity roll for his new book and is above the fold in the local papers, and everywhere on National (Public) TV.

      You can analize his lame excuse for a peom all you want, spend some time on-line and watch his interview, he is a left wing hypocritical hack doing self promotion. He was asked “straight up” of all the countries in the middle east, why is the only functioning democracy chosen for his rath? No answer.

      That human refuse like this SS Communist is lauded by the Left Wing is telling. Another wonderful example of the levels achieved by a Nobel Prize Winner. The USA will now enter it’s fifth shooting war under the guidance of a recent Peace prize winner. Way to go Nobel Committee.

      .

  12. Dear Mr. Lebrecht,
    you wrote: “Just as the Syrian regime resumes bombing its own citizens and the Egyptians prepare for sharia law, the veteran Nobel-winning novelist has published a poem (never a good sign in a novelist) attacking German arms sales to Israel (but not to Iran).” Could you please clarify to which German arms sales to Iran you are referring?

    • I can.

    • Mr.Lebrecht is ILL informed :
      MOSSAD and CIA death squads are destabilizing Syria and attacking syrian military and civilians. Bashar Al Assad is fighting foreign special forces and some of his own Salafists and Islamists.
      With the help from MOSSAD and NATO Lybia has been taken over by Islamists as well, the same type of people we are fighting in Afghanistan. But …. the Lybian Islamists allow their country to be plundered (/OIL) for the time being.

      • Jurg Bangerter says:

        I just love this eternal conspiration theories blaming Israel–Universal Church bigots have this german Zeiten-Schrift where the eternal jewish conspiration is coming up over and over–in middles age jews were accused of eating christian children and causing blaque–yeah for sure its not Bashar al Assad killing his own populace in the thousands to keep power its the Mossad–its also not the Islamists in Iran torturing iranian opposants–its the Mossad and the CIA–lol

        • Bernhard says:

          Your laughter sounds shallow. You lost gripe of reality. Yes, in Syria a rebellion is supported by American and other special forces, and extremists are again used as useful idiots to destabilize a common enemy. Just like Iran 1953. Just like Afghanistan 1979. Just like Libya 2011, etc. etc.
          It is decade old practice of CIA et al to destabilize countries, particularly in the Middle East, by supporting Islamic extremists and nationalists.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaiJtLrEwVU

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