Thursday, April 12, 2012

Günter Comes Full Circle

(Cross-posted at Israel Thrives.)

Nobel prize winning writer, Günter Grass, was a Nazi. As a member of the Waffen SS, he was a soldier and a fighter for Nazi beliefs, values, and ideals. If he was a "good" Nazi he believed that Jews are responsible for much, if not most, of the world's misery and therefore needed to be stomped like a cockroach.

The Germans didn't slaughter the Jews because they were mean, they did it because they believed that the Jewish people were a disease on German culture and society, if not cultures and societies throughout the world. In particular, the Nazis accused its population of Jews (which amounted to about 1 percent of the whole) of being responsible for World War II, itself. They considered the Jewish people a menace who needed to be crushed. Whatever else Günter Grass thought that he was doing as a young Nazi, he promoted this bloody defamation of the Jewish people. It was a view that led to the slaughter of two-thirds of Europe's Jewish population, including much of my own family.

Since that time, of course, Grass has redeemed himself... or so we all thought. The writer of The Tin Drum was widely believed within liberal Jewish circles to be a Nazi who reclaimed his humanity. In all fairness, I have not closely followed this man's career, but he is someone that I was aware of growing up. I read The Tin Drum as a kid and I saw the movie. My recollection, faulty as it may be, was that this was an artist of sensitivity and intelligence.

That's what I thought.

Every once in awhile... however... unfortunately... to my never-ending horror and disgust... an artist or thinker that I admired comes busting out with malicious anti-Semitic nonsense of the type that historically has gotten us killed. When I first heard Helen Thomas yammering about the need for Jews to "get the hell out of Palestine" and to move back to Poland and Russia and Alpha Centauri Seven, I practically fell out of my chair. I just couldn't believe it.

And now we discover that the great, world-renowned writer, Günter Grass, still believes that the Jews are a menace to the world who want nothing more than genocide for another people, for no other reason than shear malice. He wrote:

It is the alleged right to the first strike / That could annihilate the Iranian people/ Subjugated by a loud-mouth / And guided to organized jubilation / Because in their sphere of power / It is suspected, a nuclear bomb is being built.

Annihilate the Iranian people? Really? Merely because we "suspect" a bomb is being built?

Over at Bloomberg News, Jeffrey Goldberg has some words:

Perhaps it reads better in the German, or perhaps Grass is simply T.S. Eliot’s inferior in anti-Semitic poetry, but put aside the poem’s aesthetic shortcomings and consider the idea advanced in the first two lines: That Israel, which in reality is contemplating targeting six to eight nuclear sites in Iran for conventional aerial bombardment, in fact wants to annihilate the Iranian people in a “first strike.”

This is, of course, delusional. Not even the Iranian regime seems to believe this. To make yourself believe that Israel is seeking to murder the 74 million people of Iran, you must make yourself believe that the leaders of the Jewish state outstrip Adolf Hitler in genocidal intent.

In this way the former Nazi, Günter Grass, much like his former compatriots, the original Nazis, is again telling the world that the Jews are a menace that must be stopped at all costs. The hideous irony is that the Israelis are not calling for the genocide of anyone.  All they want is to be left alone so that they can build computer doodads and send Natalie Portmans out into the world.  The fact is, however, that many of the surrounding 200 to 300 million Arabs (and Persians) are calling for the slaughter of the Jews. We are 1/50th of the region's population, yet western European's often tell one another that the Jews are menacing the Arabs and Muslims, even as so many Arabs and Muslims scream to the hillside about their genocidal desire to murder us.

How's that for twisted and sick?

And, so, Günter Grass comes full circle. He started out supporting a political movement that defamed the Jewish people, leading to our slaughter, and now he intends to go out defaming us again.

Good-bye, Günter.

You're done for the day.

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