Monday, 16 April 2012

"What must be said" The poem that is hurting Israel and embarrassing Germany

A pen is certainly mightier than the sword or a nuclear bomb in this modern times, a poem by Herr Gunther Grass a German Nobelist is making the Israel Zionist real mad and the German caught in an embarrassing situation selling high tech submarines to Israel that can carry and launch nuclear missiles capable of hitting Iran and Europe as well (source here):

What must be said
Why have I kept silent, held back so long,
on something openly practised 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, enforced lie,
leading to a likely punishment
the moment it's broken:
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,
has delivered yet another submarine to Israel,
(in what is purely a business transaction,
though glibly declared an act of reparation)
whose speciality consists in its ability
to direct nuclear warheads toward
an area in which not a single atom bomb
has yet been proved to exist, its feared
existence proof enough, 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.
Translated by Breon Mitchell. You can read the poem in the original German here.

Now this is a post by Dr. Ismail  on the aftermath of the poem from

The Nobelist, the Zionists and Where it Hurts Most

 Ismail Salami

The new poem by German Nobelist Gunter Grass warning the world of a dangerous nuclear Israel left the Israelis with a bitter feeling of rage and revenge in their encounter with truth and the Germans with angst over ties now teetering on the brink of rupture. A first lyrical strike against the Zionist entity, the poem titled What Must Be Said was published on April 4 in the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung as a reaction to Israel’s repeated threats to launch a strike against Iran in order to prevent the country from acquiring nuclear weapons despite the fact Israel is in possession of over 300 nuclear warheads without the knowledge or acquiescence of the international community. The poem considers Israel as a threat to world peace and warns of the consequences of a military strike against Iran.
Grass’s denigration of Israel as a danger to world peace fell heavy on Germany because the German government seems to be following a secret malicious agenda part of which is focused on the Islamic Republic. Empowering the Israeli regime, which kills Palestinian women and children with impunity, is not only morally wrong but politically incorrect. This is a subtle point Gunter Grass has perceived and expressed with no fear for his life being threatened by the Zionist elements in Germany. To hear such words from the mouth of a German intellectual of an international caliber changes the way the Germans in particular and the rest of Europeans in general see Israel as they are instructed to.
It was quite natural that Israel was not able to suffer the brunt of a German intellectual’s criticism and soon lambasted at the poet and cauterized him as a persona non grata. An Israeli association of Hebrew-language writers called on the Nobel Prize committee and the PEN writers group to slam the German author and his “shameful and immoral positions”.
“They must speak: it is not political, it’s moral, because Grass is complicit in whitewashing the genocidal declarations of Iranian leaders,” the head of the Hebrew Writers’ Association, Herzl Hakak, told AFP.
Where does all this rancor come from?
Their rancor however grew more intense when the Swedish Academy rebuffed the call.
“I wish to point out that Mr Grass received his Nobel Prize in 1999 on literary merit and literary merit alone — this applies to all recipients,” the Academy’s permanent secretary, Peter Englund, said in a statement.
“There is and will be no discussion in the Swedish Academy on rescinding the award.”
Part of the poem criticizes Germany for selling nuke-capable submarines to Israel. In March, Germany announced that it would sell Israel a sixth Dolphin-class submarine capable of carrying nuclear warheads with an operating range of 4,500 kilometers.
Why should Israel need super advanced nuclear submarines? Why should Germany threaten the security in the world by such an uncalculated act?
For a number of reasons only known to itself, Germany has been making ugly efforts in recent years to empower the Israeli regime instead of reining this potentially dangerous power. The sale of the nuke-capable submarines to Israel which is to a large extent subsidized by Germany is part of these sacrificial efforts. Quite obviously, Germany is contributing to the feeling of insecurity Israel is creating in the region and in the world. One can easily envisage a world fraught with horror and death when one contemplates that Israel is already in possession of five sophisticated submarines with the capability to nuke any part of the Middle East and Europe to boot. Isn’t it horrible? Is it not enough to conjure up an image of dereliction and decay? With Israel already having at its disposal over 300 nuclear warheads, Germany is making this nuclear demon even uglier and more horrid by selling its nuke submarines.
Parenthetically, Germany is not alone in empowering the Zionist regime. A new report reveals that Washington has contributed over 115 billion dollars in financial aid to Israel over a period of 64 years, which averages out to about $4.9 million a day. Published by the Congressional Research Service, the report shows that Israel has received more aid from the US than 15 European countries did over the years. It’s amazing to note that over 67 billion dollars of Washington’s aid has been focused on supplying military equipment to Israel. Also, the report reveals that the US has allocated 3.1 billion dollars, around one-fifth of its defense budget, to Israel this year alone.
I don’t have the least intention of speaking in the manner of a cynic or a didactician but these facts and figures deserve due contemplation especially on the part of the American community who are now in financial straits. The US and Germany are of course following their own agendas and Gunter Grass seems to be putting a spoke in Germany’s wheel.
Gunter Grass is a poet and a poet has poetic license. In other words, he has the power to manipulate the language the way he desires. Add to it poetic liberty. i.e. the liberty to give expression to his thoughts. Grass’s cry of protest is indeed a first sign that suggests that anti-Israeli muffled voices in Germany are now becoming loud and clear and that the German government should think well before it proceeds with its perverted and Zionophilic policies.
Grass’s only sin is that in his poem he depicted Israel as the aggressor and Iran as the victim. And this is the part that hurts most.
If a poet does not have the freedom to express his opinion, who has?

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