Gunter Grass, a former member of the Waffen SS during World War II, has been banned from Israel after writing that the Jewish state is a threat to world peace.
“Grass’ poems are an effort to raise the flames of hatred against Israel and the Jewish people, thus promoting the idea he espoused in the past when he wore the SS uniform. If he wishes to continue disseminating his false and contorted works, I suggest he do so from Iran, where he can find a supportive audience” wrote Israel’s Interior Minister Eli Yashai on Facebook over the weekend.
Yishai was referring to the poem “What Must Be Said“, which proclaimed Israel’s vocality on the issue of striking Iran militarily is threatening global stability.
The poem was originally published in Germany where reaction has been mixed.
“To put Israel and Iran morally on the same level is not intelligent, it is absurd,” said the country’s Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle. Some news site commentators have come to the defense of Grass.
The Polish born writer won the 1999 Nobel Prize for literature, after publishing “The Tin Drum”, a work the Nobel committee believed had helped German literature progress following a period of “moral destruction.” It was in 2006 that Grass admitted to being a Nazi soldier during the Second World War.