Interior Minister Eli Yishai on Wednesday rejected German author Gunter Grass' likening of Israel's decision to ban him from entering the country to a similar ban once imposed on him by the leader of East Germany's dreaded Stasi secret police.
"There is no doubt that Gunter, as one who came out of a tyrannical regime, usually knows how to identify one. However, this time he's wrong," Yishai said in a statement, making reference to to the author's having served in the Nazi Waffen SS.
Yishai said that he would be happy to explain to Grass in a neutral nation why someone who had served under the Nazi Heinrich Himmler would not be able to enter a state whose people he had advocated exterminating.
The interior minister added that his only mistake was not issuing the entry ban on Grass immediately upon taking up his position, but added, "better late than never."
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