Guenter Grass, German Nobel Winner, Criticizes Israel Over Iran Tensions
By JUERGEN BAETZ 04/ 4/12 01:25 PM ET
BERLIN German Nobel literature laureate Guenter Grass labeled Israel a threat to "already fragile world peace" in a poem published Wednesday that drew sharp rebukes at home and from Israel.
In the poem titled "What must be said," published in German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Italy's La Repubblica among others, Grass criticized what he described as Western hypocrisy over Israel's own suspected nuclear program amid speculation that it might engage in military action against Iran to stop it building a suspected atomic bomb.
The 84-year-old Grass said he had been prompted to put pen to paper by Berlin's recent decision to sell Israel a submarine able to "send all-destroying warheads where the existence of a single nuclear bomb is unproven."
"The nuclear power Israel is endangering the already fragile world peace," he wrote. His poem specifically criticized Israel's "claim to the right of a first strike" against Iran.
Grass also called for "unhindered and permanent control of Israel's nuclear capability and Iran's atomic facilities through an international body."