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Nobel academy rejects Israeli demand to revoke poet’s award

Press TV – April 11, 2012

The Swedish Academy in charge of selecting laureates for the Nobel Prize in Literature has rejected a call by an Israeli writers group to revoke the award of German Nobelist Gunter Grass.

“Regarding the current debate over Gunter Grass’ poem “Was gesagt wered muss” (What must be said) I wish to point out that Mr. Grass received his Nobel Prize in 1999 on literary merit and merit alone – this applies to all recipients,” said Peter Englund, the permanent secretary of the Academy, on Tuesday.

“There is and will be no discussion in the Swedish Academy on rescinding the award,” said Englund.

The Hebrew Writers’ Association had earlier on Tuesday condemned Grass for writing a poem in which he expressed concern over the consequences of both a nuclear-armed Israel and a possible Israeli attack on Iran.

“We are struck by the shameful and immoral positions taken by Gunter Grass,” Herzl Hakak, the head of the Israeli association said, adding that they “call on writers worldwide to denounce” the opinions of the German Nobelist.

The controversial poem, which was published in the German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung last week, has also provoked the anger of both Israeli and German officials.

Germany’s Social Democrats, one of the country’s main political parties, announced that Grass was no longer welcomed at their campaign rallies.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, meanwhile, described the poem as “shameful”, saying it was “an expression of the cynicism of some of the West’s intellectuals”.

Despite all the condemnation, Grass has stated that he has received “piles” of supportive messages for speaking out.

In the poem, the Nobelist writes “Why do I say only now … that the nuclear power Israel endangers an already fragile world peace? Because that must be said which may already be too late to say tomorrow.”

“I will be silent no longer, because I am weary of the West’s hypocrisy,” Grass adds.

Grass won the Nobel Prize in 1999. His 1958 novel, The Tin Drum, was an indictment of the German mindset in the Nazi era.

Meanwhile, the Israeli regime remains the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East and it has never allowed inspections of its nuclear facilities nor has it joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) based on its policy of nuclear ambiguity.

According to a survey conducted in 2011 by the Berlin-based Friedrich Ebert Foundation, more than 50 percent of Europeans believe that the Tel Aviv regime is the most serious threat to global security.

April 11, 2012 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

German protesters slam US polices in Afghanistan, Middle East

Press TV – April 8, 2012

Tens of thousands of protesters have attended rallies in more than 70 cities across Germany to protest against the US-led war in Afghanistan as well as the proliferation of nuclear arms.

Hundreds of protesters also gathered in front of the US embassy in the capital Berlin on Saturday to voice opposition to US policies in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Chanting slogans in support of the Nobel literature laureate Gunter Grass who criticized Israeli policies in the Middle East in his recent poem, the protesters demanded an end to war and violence.

“We are generally protesting an increase of violence, threats of violence and war. Central, it is the situation in Afghanistan and we demand an immediate withdrawal of all German troops from Afghanistan,” Ekkehard Lentz of Bremen Peace Forum said.

Meanwhile, several demonstrations were also held in front of a number of US military bases across the European country.

Protesters also thronged in front of a German military airbase in southwest Germany, which is home to at least 20 US nuclear warheads.

“More weapons are being produced throughout the world and more weapons are being traded than ever before. This indicates that we are to face much more terrible times,” Peter Sturtynski of Federal Committee for Peace Council said.

The traditional Easter marches continue throughout the weekend. Last year, more than 120,000 people joined the protests on the same occasion.

April 8, 2012 Posted by | Militarism, Solidarity and Activism, Video, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | Comments Off on German protesters slam US polices in Afghanistan, Middle East

Art of Resistance – a comment on Günter Grass

By Gilad Atzmon | April 5, 2012

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

Günter Grass, Germany’s most famous living author and the 1999 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, sparked outrage in Germany on Wednesday with the publication of a poem, “What must be said,” 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 statements 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 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 Israeli pre-emptive 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.

April 5, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Israel, threat to world peace: Nobel laureate Gunter Grass

Press TV – April 4, 2012

German Nobel literature laureate Gunter Grass has called Israel a threat to world peace, slamming the West’s hypocrisy over Tel Aviv’s nuclear arsenal.

In a controversial poem titled “What Must Be Said” which was published in Germany’s Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper on Wednesday, Grass expressed concern over the consequences of Israel’s plan to attack Iran.

“Why do I say only now … that the nuclear power Israel endangers an already fragile world peace? Because that must be said which may already be too late to say tomorrow,” Grass wrote.

“We could be suppliers to a crime that can be foreseen, which is why none of the usual excuses would erase it,” Grass writes, referring to Germany’s plan to sell Israel a sixth nuclear-capable Dolphin-class submarine that can carry nuclear warheads.

“I will be silent no longer, because I am weary of the West’s hypocrisy,” Grass added.

Three earlier-model Dolphin submarines had been delivered to Israel between 1998 and 2000. In 2006, Tel Aviv placed its fourth and fifth orders for two more advanced subs.

The fourth one is scheduled for delivery by 2013. The fifth and the sixth orders are due for delivery in 2014 and 2016 respectively.

Israel is the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East and it has never allowed inspections of its nuclear facilities nor has it joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) based on its policy of nuclear ambiguity.

According to a survey conducted in 2011 by the Berlin-based Friedrich Ebert Foundation, more than 50 percent of the European people believe Israel is the most serious threat to global security.

April 4, 2012 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , | Comments Off on Israel, threat to world peace: Nobel laureate Gunter Grass