German Nobel Prize winner Günter Grass is in the international spotlight after labeling Israel a “threat to world peace” in his new poem. Germany and Israel have both responded by strongly criticizing the writer.
In his prose poem entitled “What must be said” published on Wednesday in the German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung, the 84-year-old Grass criticizes Israel’s role in the conflict with Iran over the latter’s nuclear program. In his opinion it is Israel’s nuclear program that is the real threat to the world, not Iran’s.
Grass emphasizes that Israel has been intensifying its nuclear potential for years, with no international supervision, while any military purpose of Iran’s nuclear program has yet to be proven.
The writer also calls for Germany to stop supplying Israel with submarines, as he believes that Israel is planning to arm them with nuclear warheads.
“Germany could be responsible for a crime that can be foreseen,” Grass says alluding to Israel’s alleged planned attack on Iran in order to prevent it from producing nuclear arms. In his opinion the submarines Israel purchased from Germany could “send all-destroying warheads where the existence of a single nuclear bomb is unproven.”
The Israeli Embassy in Germany has called the poem “blood libel.”
Germany, known to be Israel’s ally, reacted to the poem with criticism. The head of the German parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Ruprecht Polenz, told the daily Mitteldeutsche Zeitung that the Nobel laureate “gets politics wrong.”
“The country that worries us is Iran,” he was quoted as saying.