April 8, 2012 – 4:38 am

Outrage in Germany, Nobel Laureate Günter Grass has, once again told the truth about Israel being the greatest threat to world peace. By Gilad Atzmon.

Günter Grass, Germany’s most famous living author and the 1999 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, sparked outrage in Germany on Wednesday (April 4, 2012) with the publication of a poem, “What must be said” (see below), in which he sharply criticizes Israel’s offensive approach towards Iran.

Once again, it is the artist rather than the politician, who tells the truth as it is.  Once again it is the Artist rather than the academic who speaks out.

“Why did I wait until now at this advanced age and with the last bit of ink to say: The nuclear power Israel is endangering a world peace that is already fragile?” wrote Grass.

In the poem, published by Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and other European dailies on Wednesday, Grass also calls for an

“unhindered and permanent monitoring of Israel’s nuclear potential and Iran’s nuclear facility through an international entity that the government of both countries would approve.”

Israel and some German Jewish prominent voices were quick to react. The Israeli Embassy in Berlin issued a statement offering its own version of ‘What must be said.’

“What must be said is that it is a European tradition to accuse the Jews before the Passover festival of ritual murder,” the statement reads.

Pretty outrageous, don’t you think? In the open, Israel together with its supportive Jewish lobbies (AIPAC, AJC) are pushing for a new global conflict. Yet, shamelessly the embassy defies criticism tossing in the air the old blood libel. The appropriate timely question here is why Israel and AIPAC are pushing for a world war and a potential nuclear conflict just before Passover? Can’t they just wait for another Yom Kippur (atonement day)?

The Israeli Embassy continues,

“in the past, it was Christian children whose blood the Jews allegedly used to make their unleavened bread, but today it is the Iranian people that the Jewish state allegedly wants to annihilate.”

Isn’t it really the case? Every military expert suggests that an Israeli preemptive attack on Iran could escalate into a nuclear conflict. If anything, Grass tries like others, including yours truly, to prevent Israel from celebrating its lethal symptoms once again.

The Israeli embassy noticed though that

“Israel is the only state in the world whose right to exist is openly doubted.”

Correct, and so it should be. Israel is a racist, expansionist state, it doesn’t have room amongst nations.

The Central Council of Jews in Germany also called the poem an “aggressive pamphlet of agitation”. I wonder, is it really aggressive to try and restrain an aggressor?

The German newspaper Die Welt, which apparently obtained an advance copy of Grass’ poem, published a response by rabid Zionist Henryk Broder, the country’s most prominent Jewish writer. “Grass always had a problem with Jews, but it has never articulated it as clearly as he has in this poem.” Broder said, “Grass has always had a tendency toward megalomania, but this time he is completely nuts.” I would expect Germany’s leading Jewish writer to come with something slightly more astute.

Broder, however, may be correct when he notes that Grass is

“haunted by guilt and shame and also driven by the desire to settle history, he is now attempting to disarm the ’cause of the recognizable threat.’”

Wednesday’s poem is not the first time Grass has come out with critical views of Israel. In a 2001 interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE, he offered his own solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Israel doesn’t just need to clear out of the occupied areas,” he said at the time. “The appropriation of Palestinian territory and its Israeli settlements are also a criminal activity. That not only needs to be stopped - it also needs to be reversed. Otherwise there will be no peace.”

Broder contends that such a statement is “no less than a demand for Israel to not just cede Nablus and Hebron, but also Tel Aviv and Haifa. ” He continues, “Grass does not differentiate between the ‘occupied areas’ of 1948 and 1967.” Needless to say that from an ethical perspective Grass is correct - there is no difference between 1948 and 1967. The Jewish State located itself on historic Palestine at the expense of the Palestinian people. I guess that Grass understood already in 2001 that the Jews-only-State must be transformed into a ‘State of its Citizens’. Israel should embrace the true notion of peace, universalism and inclusiveness. But I guess that we shouldn’t hold our breath, for it is not going to happen soon.

Note: Writer and jazz musician Gilad Atzmon’s new book, The Wandering Who?, can be ordered from and Visit Gilad’s homepage at

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UPDATE: April 9, 2012


Israel doesn’t approve Grass’s recent poetic intervention. Yet, according to the German Financial Times, Grass views are highly accepted amongst Germans.
Click here.

Günter Grass´ take on Israel is…
1. ludicrous - 8%
2. dangerous - 4 %
3. antisemitic - 5 %
4. discussable - 27%
5. correct - 57%

Seemingly the Germans have drawn the necessary lesson from the big war. They oppose war, expansionism and militancy. But what about the Israelis, will they ever learn?

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What must be said

By Günter Grass
Translated by Breon Mitchell
Posted at

Why have I kept silent, held back so long,
on something openly practiced in
war games, at the end of which those of us
who survive will at best be footnotes?

It’s the alleged right to a first strike
that could destroy an Iranian people
subjugated by a loudmouth
and gathered in organized rallies,
because an atom bomb may be being
developed within his arc of power.

Yet why do I hesitate to name
that other land in which
for years - although kept secret -
a growing nuclear power has existed
beyond supervision or verification,
subject to no inspection of any kind?

This general silence on the facts,
before which my own silence has bowed,
seems to me a troubling lie, and compels
me toward a likely punishment
the moment it’s flouted:
the verdict “Anti-semitism” falls easily.

But now that my own country,
brought in time after time
for questioning about its own crimes,
profound and beyond compare,
is said to be the departure point,
(on what is merely business,
though easily declared an act of reparation)
for yet another submarine equipped
to transport nuclear warheads
to Israel, where not a single atom bomb
has yet been proved to exist, with fear alone
the only evidence, I’ll say what must be said.

But why have I kept silent till now?
Because I thought my own origins,
Tarnished by a stain that can never be removed,
meant I could not expect Israel, a land
to which I am, and always will be, attached,
to accept this open declaration of the truth.

Why only now, grown old,
and with what ink remains, do I say:
Israel’s atomic power endangers
an already fragile world peace?
Because what must be said
may be too late tomorrow;
and because - burdened enough as Germans -
we may be providing material for a crime
that is foreseeable, so that our complicity
will not be expunged by any
of the usual excuses.

And granted: I’ve broken my silence
because I’m sick of the West’s hypocrisy;
and I hope too that many may be freed
from their silence, may demand
that those responsible for the open danger
we face renounce the use of force,
may insist that the governments of
both Iran and Israel allow an international authority
free and open inspection of
the nuclear potential and capability of both.

No other course offers help
to Israelis and Palestinians alike,
to all those living side by side in enmity
in this region occupied by illusions,
and ultimately, to all of us.

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  2. Gunter? Gunter Grass? Really? Sure. “Truth” from a former member of the Waffen SS. Fuck him and fuck Big O Zine for wasting our time with his shit.

    By Kim on Apr 8, 2012

  3. Gee, I wonder why Israel is a racist state? Maybe it’s because all through history the Jews have been expelled from, discriminated against and murdered in whatever country deigned to allow them to live there for awhile.

    By Bernard Zalon on Apr 8, 2012

  4. And that make it all right for them to treat others in same manner ? I feel it’s a small minority who subscribe to the “eye for an eye” mentality while the majority are sick and tiered of the endless violence and fear mongering,
    The same feeling many here in the u.s. have about the so called war on terror.

    By Revolutionarybum on Apr 9, 2012

  5. I have always thought that the “just” way to deal with the situation would have been to give Gerrmany to the Jews after WW2. Then again, maybe “they” did.

    By nobsartist on Apr 9, 2012

  6. Update added: Germans Are Behind Günter Grass

    By bigozine2 on Apr 10, 2012

  7. Like I said: fuck him and fuck Big O Zine.

    By Kim on Apr 10, 2012

  8. Well, it’s not “an eye for an eye”, it’s a matter of survival. It’s easy for the “majority” to say that they’re sick and tired, but the Jewish minority is even more sick and tired of being almost exterminated over and over again by that same majority, and that’s why we’re in this mess.

    By Bernard Zalon on Apr 10, 2012

  9. When nations threaten to annihilate Jews and or Israel it is not taken seriouly by the world. Ask Gunter Grass.

    By Jesse on Apr 10, 2012

  10. Okay, bye Kim. Glad we won’t be hearing from you again.

    Yeah, Jews have been pushed out and killed all over the place, but that doesn’t give them license to do the same in their adjacent colonies today. ‘Oh, but some old ancestor used to have an olive tree in the West Bank, and besides, we need a giant defense buffer, so we’re taking it all now.’ It’s gone beyond survival, just to bullying.

    With big daddy USA behind it, Israel isn’t going anywhere. Iran is getting economically castrated anyway, and they know the biggest bully with the biggest stick will hit way harder than they could if they were to strike first.

    By Motorvilleboy on Apr 16, 2012

  11. Damn! I almost forgot! Fuck you, too, Motorvilleboy! Sometimes, especially after your poor performances, I just forget you altogether! Now you may clean yourself and return to what you were doing.

    By Kim on Apr 17, 2012

  12. Yet another worthless, nonsensical comment. Kim, I’m tempted to say quit reading a site that bothers you so much, but maybe you’ll actually learn something if you’d pay attention. Quit flinging poop anyway. Why bother commenting without substance?

    By Motorvilleboy on Apr 20, 2012

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