Günther Grass: Conscience, Senility – or Just Plain Antisemitism?

The defenders of Günther Grass claim that his “poem” – “What Must Be Said” – was not an expression of antisemitism, but merely a legitimate criticism of Israeli policy vis-a-vis Iran.
They further claim that what he wrote must be understood within the context of his over-riding fear of nuclear war.
To call him an antisemite is ridiculous, they say,  and to declare him persona non grata and ban him from entering Israel is to stifle free speech.

I agree on one point and one point only. Banning him from entering Israel  was unnecessary and heavy-handed.  One does not ban a celebrated author from visiting Israel merely because he happens to be an antisemite.
And he is an antisemite, make no mistake.

Grass claims his conscience has forced him to speak out now so that Germany should not become complicit in Israel’s future crimes.
Crimes“? What crimes? To imply, as he does, that Israel is planning on fitting nuclear warheads on submarines purchased from Germany, in order to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike on Iran, thus wiping out the Iranian people, is monstrous!

To claim that Israel is threatening Iran, when precisely the opposite is true, to whitewash Iranian President Ahmedinajad’s naked threat to wipe “the Zionist entity” off the face of the map as mere braggadocio, to call tiny Israel a threat to world peace whilst ignoring the far greater threat to world peace posed by nuclear powers such as North Korea, Pakistan, and certain former Soviet states – not to mention Iran herself –  is indicative, not of a general fear of nuclear war but of an obsession with the Jewish State to the exclusion of all else which can only be explained by antisemitism. Of course, it may be that the distinguished author is suffering from incipient senility. But I doubt it. The man volunteered for the Waffen SS in the closing stages of World War II –  a fact he saw fit to conceal for 60 years. You can say he was then only a boy of 17. But, as I wrote in my previous blog, the antisemitic brainwashing received in one’s youth poisons the blood, seeps into the subconsciousness and then surfaces, often disguised as  the more Politically Correct “anti-Zionism”.

It is perfectly true that not every criticism of Israel is indicative of antisemitism.  But to single out Israel as the greatest danger to world peace, as Grass did, can be explained in no other way.


About Shimona from the Palace

Born in London, the UK, I came on Aliyah in my teens and now live in Jerusalem, where I practice law. I am a firm believer in the words of Albert Schweitzer: "There are two means of refuge from the sorrows of this world - Music and Cats." To that, you can add Literature. To curl up on the sofa with a good book, a cat at one's feet and another one on one's lap, with a classical symphony or concerto in the background - what more can a person ask for?
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2 Responses to Günther Grass: Conscience, Senility – or Just Plain Antisemitism?

  1. Ellen May says:

    I think some people don’t actually realise themselves that they are motivated by antisemitism. As you say, it’s so ingrained, they kind of sublimate it into anti-Zionism. I think that’s especially true of the New Left. Because for them, to share any kind of mindset with the extreme Right is anathema, so they convince themselves that it isn’t hatred of Jews that they feel. Oh no, they love the Jews. It’s just Israel they oppose, which, they claim, despite being Jewish, is behaving just like the Nazis.

    • I agree. I also believe that there is an element of the need to free oneself from guilt. By identifying Israel with the Jewish people (I only wish all the Jews of the world felt the same way!) and then painting Israeli actions as equivalent to those of the Nazis, they can convince themselves that the Jews really got what they deserved and thus absolve themselves from guilt.

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