Israel has declared Nobel Prize-winning German author Guenter Grass “persona non grata” over a poem that deeply criticises the Jewish state and suggests it is as much a danger as Iran.
In a poem called “What Must Be Said” published last Wednesday, Grass, 84, criticised what he described as Western hypocrisy over Israel’s nuclear programme and labeled the country a threat to “already fragile world peace” over its belligerent stance on Iran.
On Sunday, Israel’s interior minister, Eli Yishai, announced that Grass would be barred from Israel for his attempt “to fan the flames of hate against the state of Israel and the Israeli people”.
The poem sparked outrage in Israel, with officials from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on down criticising Grass.
Netanyahu on Thursday called Grass’s poem “shameful”, while his Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman accused the author of anti-Semitism.
“If Gunter wants to continue disseminating his distorted and mendacious works I advise him to do it from Iran where he will find a supportive audience,” Yishai said on Sunday…
[continues at Al-Jazeera]