Sunday 8 April 2012

What Must Be Said

I haven’t read much Günter Grass; I admit that the little I read, a long time ago, was hard going and more likely than not suffered from translator problems. My German isn’t anything like good enough to wade through literature.

However, anyone who doesn’t have a problem calling Calcutta a “pile of shit that God dropped”, as Grass did, has my complete and absolute approbation.

It’s always seemed to me amazing how “mainstream” authors and commentators tiptoe delicately around the crimes of the Zionazi pseudostate; if they left politics completely alone I wouldn’t wonder, but I’m talking about people who won’t hesitate a moment before trashing, say, China or Russia (without, often, having too much knowledge about those countries), or Iran, or even their own nations. But there’s one holy cow they won’t dare to criticise even by implication; and that’s the so-called state of Israel.

It’s as though, I don’t know, criticism of the Zionist entity is radioactive or something; you voice adverse comments at your peril. Unless one happens to live in one of the “rogue” states which "are a threat to the world”, it seems that the only people who are permitted to criticise the Chosen People’s Homeland are unofficial, small-time bloggers and commentators like myself.

This is why I was so glad to come across Günter Grass’ criticism of the pseudostate; forthrightly, he doesn’t mince his words. And, being from Germany, which seems to be compensating for the Holocaust by mindless pandering to the Nazi vermin in Occupied Palestine, he was risking even more than someone from another nation might. All they’d have to do is accuse him of Holocaust Denial – interesting, isn’t it, that you can draw Muhammad-as-a-terrorist cartoons and have it called “free speech” but you can’t call for rational discussion on the Holocaust? – and he’d be in a legal soup.

Of course, they have their own weapons: the personal history of Grass himself, an 84-year old man who had – as a teenager – been a member of the Waffen SS. All these years that didn’t matter, because of course he hadn’t been a concentration camp guard or something of the sort (the Waffen SS, as the name suggests – from Waffen, Weapons – was the armed wing of the SS, separate from the Allgemeine or General SS which staffed the camps). Now, suddenly, that past (he was then all of fifteen years old; how many people today are willing to take responsibility for what they did at fifteen?) is being made a reason to scourge him as an anti-Semite and worse.

Ah, that wonderful word, anti-Semite; that wonderful, misused word, which if applied properly would be directed at those precise elements who back the Zionazi pseudostate in its war crimes against the Palestinian people. The Arabs are as Semitic in origin as the Jews, and having been on the whole rather more insular than the latter, and without wholesale conversions to the fold from alternate ethnicities, are today far more so. 

Apparently, Grass has been “barred” from entering “Israel”; that would be the moral equivalent, to most people with a conscience, of being barred entry to Auschwitz by the Nazis. I wish the scum would bar me too, but I’m probably too low on the scale to register.

Here’s what the self-styled “Prime Minister” of “Israel” had to say:

“Günter Grass’s shameful moral equivalence between Israel and Iran says little about Israel and much about Mr Grass.”

True. Grass shouldn’t have made any moral equivalence between the two. He should have condemned the pseudostate unreservedly and completely. What more could the bastards have done to him than they are doing now?

Answer: Nothing.

So here’s the poem itself. I agree that in literary terms it isn’t all that great, but truly heartfelt material seldom is. When one pours out raw emotion one does not polish it.

What must be said

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.

                                                                   - Günter Grass

                                            Translated by Breon Mitchell

Yes, it had to be said, and, Herr Grass, thank you for saying it.


  1. Obviously, the TRUTH can't be more realistic than that.

    It seems that the only people who are permitted to criticise the Chosen People’s Homeland are unofficial, small-time bloggers and commentators like myself.

    Tho, THEY SHOULD PUT A TIN FOIL OVER THEIRS HEADS, I am NOT a converted Ashke-Natzi ZIONIST JEW, and my FATHER SUFFERED and was in concentration camps because of these SERPENTS ZIONISTS, and theirs DIRTY SCUM BAGS of theirs INTERNATIONAL JEWRY.



  2. I am so glad he came out and said it!

    Yes, investigate Israel's nuclear bombs!

  3. Oh well, they banned him. Good for him to continue to speak his mind. He may be brash at times, but people sometimes need a good smack in the face of what reallyi is.
    Thanks Bill for constantly putting up meaningful posts!

  4. Honestly Bill, Why should I care about the Palestinians?

    They have had several chances for their own state and every time have said no.

    Honestly, I spend more time wondering if New Coke will make another comeback than thinking about the Palestinians. They are just not getting any good press here in Idaho.

    1. Yes, Randy. Idaho is the Universe, as we know, Randy.

    2. It certainly is if you happen to be a potato! :)

  5. Who are the Palestinians? A Soccer team?

  6. There's nothing more anti-Semitic than Zionism. In fact, it could be said that there are more Semites who are anti-Zionist than Zionists who are Semites... but we can't let the truth stand in the way of successful hasbara, can we?

    What I find truly despicable is the fact that Zionism has been shamelessly exploiting the holocaust of Jews to emotionally blackmail the world since the end of the Second World War. Those Jews who refuse to be co-opted into this blackmail find themselves tagged with the label of "self-loathing Jew". (The term always bemuses me.)

    As for "small-time bloggers and commentators" like yourself not being barred from Israel: Are you sure you haven't? It may well be that, like me, you have.

    In 2009 I was one of over 400 Australian academics who signed the PACBI (Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel). We were later informed by our respective universities that we'd barred from ever entering Israel as we were now "blackballed" and any visa application to Israel would be automatically denied. None of us had been personally informed.

    It may well be that you're a "persona non grata" as well... you just don't know it.

    1. It may well be that you're a "persona non grata" as well... you just don't know it.

      At least it would give me cred :D

    2. Bill, Please take your rose colored, anti-Semite, glasses off for a moment and answer me this;

      Why have the so called "Palestinians" rejected every offer of a new state that they have been offered?

      1. The Peel Commission proposal in 1937, in which the creation of an Arab state was suggested, but the Arabs rejected it.

      2. 1947 U.N. Resolution to create a large Arab state with the Jews receiving two disjointed pieces, consisting mostly of much of the coastline and the Negev Desert. Jerusalem was to be internationalized. The Jews accepted the plan. The Arabs totally rejected it.

      3. After the 1967 Six-Day War, in which the Israelis trounced the combined armies of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, Jordan's occupation of the "West Bank" ended and so did Egypt's occupation of Gaza. At that time, Israel offered the hand of friendship to the Arabs, which was rudely rejected when the Arabs issued the Three No's of Khartoum: No Peace, No Negotiation, and No Recognition of Israel.

      4. In 1993 and 1995 Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo Accords with the aim of creating a Palestinian state within five years. Israel agreed to withdraw from parts of the West Bank and Gaza. Israel turned over most of its administration of the territories to the Palestinian Authority (PA). But, the Palestinians violated their commitments, thus scuttling the agreement.

      5. In 2000, Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered to withdraw from 97% of the West Bank and 100% of Gaza. That proposal also guaranteed Palestinian refugees the right to return to the Palestinian state and offered reparations from $30 billion of international funds that would be collected to compensate them. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat rejected the deal.

      6. In 2003, Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon agreed to negotiate with the Palestinians according to the "road map" formulated by the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the U.N. The Palestinians never fulfilled their obligation to normalized relations with Israel and to arrive at a comprehensive peace. Another missed opportunity!

      7. In 2005, Israel unilaterally decided to evacuate every soldier and citizen from Gaza. The "reward" for Israel's evacuation was for the Palestinians to launch rockets into Israel from Gaza at an almost daily rate. There were further attempts in 2007 by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and in 2010 by Prime Minister "Bibi" Netanyahu, but all have ended in failure.

      The "all-or-nothing" mentality of the Arabs, their unwillingness to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and the Arabs' expressed desire to destroy the hated Jews, have kept peace from flowering. What a shame! If the Arabs had accepted the 1947 partition plan and had not invaded the nascent Jewish state with the armies of five Arab countries, they would not now have the need today to commemorate their "Nakba." They could be celebrating their country's 63rd anniversary, their enduring peace with Israel, and could be part of the tremendous prosperity that Israel has brought to that region of the world.

  7. You know, Randy, I don't play your games. Both you and I know your habit of trying to sidetrack any discussion.

  8. It's a good non - answer. I get the exact same answer from every pro Palestinian out there.

    It's a pretty simple question (even more simple answer).

    The Palestinians have had multiple chances to have their own state. Why have they walked away?

    You don't have to answer - shit, I already know the answer anyway.

    As always, I enjoy your writings Bill.

    Your resident neocon - Randy

  9. You know the answer, Randy. You know as well as I do that the question here is the so-called state of "Israel's" warmongering against Iran and not the Palestinian question. You know as well as I do that you have a habit of deliberately hijacking and diverting discussions. If I took apart your so-called "[proofs" you'd then begin arguing on the minutiae. I've known you too long to fall for that trap :)


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