German Nobel Laureate Gunter Grass' New Poem: Nuclear Israel Is a Threat to World Peace

Grass publishes a poem criticizing Israel's role in the Israel-Iran conflict; Israel embassy in Germany says poem is 'blood libel.'

Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet
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Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet

German Nobel literature laureate Gunter Grass published a poem Wednesday in which he said that Israel's nuclear program is a threat to world peace.

In his poem, the 85-year-old author claims that Israel’s nuclear reactor – and not Iran’s – presents a threat to world peace. Grass’ poem calls for Germany to cease supplying Israel with submarines, and warns against an Israeli strike on Iran.

Guenter GrassCredit: Reuters

The poem, entitled “What must be said,” will be published on Wednesday in the Deutsche Zeitung and La Republica. In the poem, Grass writes that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has a “big mouth,” and that the intentions of the Iranian nuclear program are not proven.

The poem drew sharp criticism in Germany, Israel and among Jewish organizations. The Israeli embassy in Germany said that the poem was in line with the 'tradition of blood libel ahead of Passover."

Read Guenter Grass' poem in German

Grass also claims that “Israel’s nuclear potential has been stealthily growing for years,” without being under any kind of international supervision. Grass believes that Israel is planning to arm submarines recently purchased from Germany with nuclear warheads.

“Germany could be responsible for a crime that can be foreseen," Grass said.

Grass achieved fame with his first novel “The Tin Drum.” Many of his stories have been translated into Hebrew and English. In 2006, Grass admitted for the first time to serving in Hitler's Waffen SS during the Second World War. Today, Grass is an active member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany.

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