My latest piece on Souciant looks at Germany’s relationship with Israel through the lens of the recent controversy over Gunter Grass’ poem criticizing Israel’s actions vis a vis Iran and its own possession of nuclear weapons. It’s also a new paragraph in the discussion about how people or governments can be pro-Israel and that simply doing what Israel wants is no more the right way to do that than it would be if one thought they were being a good friend to another by letting them do something self-destructive or immoral.
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Something interesting: http://paulaitchison.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/gunter-grass-aged-and-with-the-last-of-my-ink/
The translation at PULSE captures the spirit of the poem; the one at Guardian is more literal. There’s an even worse literal translation floating around, but I wouldn’t waste my time looking for it.
I don’t think Germany is about to forget its history; since the sixties, Germans have laboured too hard to reclaim it. Moreover, Germany is so crowded with memorials — in Berlin, you trip over one on every block — that it’s difficult to imagine how anyone there could forget it. Besides, these multiplying memorials attract waves of tourists, and what country in its right economic mind is going to forget its major tourist attraction?
Grass is an old man. He doesn’t want to die with it on his concience that he didn’t speak out against an act of warmongering and propaganda that could lead to unspeakable consequences. Who better to speak out than someone who actually lived through the worst era of warmongering, propaganda, and unspeakable consequences?
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