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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Gunther Grass

There are a few more days yet until the last day of Passover.

When I read things like this in McClatchy:
JERUSALEM — Israel's interior minister declared the celebrated German author Gunter Grass "persona non grata" on Sunday, barring his entry to the country, in response to a new poem in which the Nobel laureate called Israel's undeclared nuclear arsenal a threat to world peace.
The case was the latest of several in recent years in which Israel has refused entry to controversial figures critical of its policies.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai said in a statement that Grass's poem, published last Wednesday, "is an attempt to fan the flames of hatred against Israel and the Jewish people, and thus promote the idea with which he was publicly affiliated in the past when he wore the SS uniform."
Grass disclosed in 2006 that he was drafted toward the end of the Second World War to serve in the Nazi Waffen SS unit. A spokesman for Yishai said that was the technical basis for the entry ban.
"If Gunter wishes to continue propagating his distorted and false works, I suggest he do so from Iran, where he will find a supportive audience," added Yishai, the leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party.
Now Salman Rushdie, who knows a thing or two about religious bullying, has criticized the Israeli government's action.

Salman Rushdie... I have often observed that the difference between very strict Conservative Jews and very strict Conservative Muslims is vanishingly small, and they do not tolerate differences of opinion nor shades of meaning.

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