New poem earns German author lifetime ban from Israel
- cause Günter Grass, one of Germany’s most famous authors, published a new 69-line poem titled “What Must Be Said" in German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung last week. The poem condemns what Grass perceives to be war-mongering on the part of Israel, repeatedly comparing the country to its bitter rival Iran.
- effect Pundits, authors, and government officials around the world were quick to dismiss Grass’ new poem as little more than the anti-Semitic views of a former Nazi soldier. The debate also opened old wounds in Germany, where many continue to grapple with what’s appropriate when discusssing Israel.
- fallout Israel’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Eli Yishai, has announced that the author has been banned from traveling in or out of the country, saying, “Grass’s poems fan the flames of hatred against Israel and the Israeli people, thus promoting the idea he was part of when he donned an SS uniform.” source
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