Before posting next in my series, Antisemitism and Jewish Survival (which will appear on Thursday) I would like to address the issue of Gunter Grass and his incendiary poem accusing Israel as threatening the “fragile peace” of the planet.
For Grass the enemy is not the Islamic Republic of Iran under Ayatollah Khameini and Ahmadinejad supporting Syria and reportedly participating in the murder defenseless protesters; not Iran threatening its Arab neighbors as well as Israel through regime destabilization backed by relentless progress towards nuclear weaponization. Not Iran, but Israel, the persistent target of Iranian threats of annihilation; Iran describing Diaspora Jewry also as targets; Iran: the only country in the world openly denying the Holocaust even occurred!
Gunter Grass received the Nobel Prize in part for his apparent protest against the Holocaust, his country’s persecution, then extermination of the Jews. Except, as things now come to light, Gunter Grass is not that which he self-represents. In, Gunter Grass'' delusions, Yehoshua Sobol writes,
“This is the second time in the last six years that writer Gunter Grass has broken his silence. Last time, he broke a 60-year silence: It took him that long to publicly admit he had served in the Waffen SS. After Grass'' confession, he also started to point out the suffering that the German people endured during World War II, in order to give credence to the claim that Germans were not only the perpetrators – but also the victims – of the war. To nurture a sense of German victimhood, Grass blamed Stalin for murdering 6 million German prisoners of war (POWs).”
In fact, as Sobol points out, only three million German soldiers in total were Russian prisoners. And, “of these 3 million, slightly less than half a million Germans, or 474,967 to be exact, died in Russian captivity.” Grass inflatedby a factor of fifteen the actual number in order to create the illusion of equivalence between the Jews whose murder his Waffen SS participated in, and the numbers of Germans he asserts were also, “murdered.”
To translate Grass’ “Was gesagt werden muss” into English and apply it to its author, “What Must Be Said?”, how might we respond to this calumny?
Georges Metanomski, a frequent contributor to this blog, responding to the public reaction to the Grass’ poem suggests we circulate an Open Letter to the Nobel Academy calling for a retraction of their award to Grass:
“Grass'' article raised a tsunami of outraged polemic. Yet, however well intended, it is counterproductive. While the pro-Israel lobby does not need convincing, the polemic pours oil into fiery antisemitic bandwagon. For bandwagons adhere blindly to awarded notables and Germany’s Grass is a Nobel Prize laureate. His maleficence should not be underestimated.
“He enjoys great political influence and can influence German support of Israel, such as the agreement to supply the submarines.
“The only way to cut his wings is to challenge his award in an open letter to the Nobel Academy regarding his history as a member of the Waffen SS and the fact that his prize, in part responding to his “anti-Nazi” writings are in conflict with the goals and intent of the Academy.
“Consequently, David, I suggest that you write a chapter of your blog dedicated to such open letter. If you agree, we may edit the exact wording afterwards.
“There are many disagreements between we Jews, but in face of danger we should come together. When I fought in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, our two commanders, Mordechai Anielewicz and Marek Edelman gave an example of perfect unity in facing the common enemy, despite their diametrically opposed ideologies.”
As evidence by my involvement, I am in complete agreement with Georges. And I call upon all who read this to participate by first signing and forwarding our letter-in-preparation to the Nobel Academy. Then, in order to turn our small beginning into an avalanche, broadcast the Letter to your entire email list encouraging them to also participate, and themselves send the Letter to their lists, etc.
In this manner will justice be done!