Günter Grass, Israel and the Crime of Poetry
Aljazeera / Hamid Dabashi



Günter Grass identifies Israel as a threat to world peace in his poem, 'What Must Be Said'

 Aged and with my last ink,
That the nuclear power of Israel endangers
The already fragile world peace?
Because it must be said
What even tomorrow may be too late to say…
Remaining silent at these dire circumstances is irresponsible and dangerous:I am silent no longer
Because I am tired of the hypocrisy
Of the West…
Yet why do I forbid myself
To name that other country
In which, for years, even if secretly,
There has been a growing nuclear potential at hand
But beyond control, because no testing is available?
...Now, though, because in my country
Which from time to time has sought and confronted
The very crime
That is without compare
In turn on a purely commercial basis, if also
With nimble lips calling it a reparation, declares
A further U-boat should be delivered to Israel,
Whose specialty consists of guiding all-destroying warheads to where the existence
Of a single atomic bomb is unproven,
But through fear of what may be conclusive,
I say what must be said.

recommended by Afshin Ehx