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Switch to Forum Live View Günter Grass declared persona non grata in Israel
2 years ago  ::  Apr 09, 2012 - 4:49PM #11
rocketjsquirell
Posts: 14,472

Chari


Has anyone in Germany (besides the government which obviously knows) considered why a tiny country like Israel would need long range submarines? It is precisely to prevent nuclear and other war ( sort of you can destroy us but even then we can still destroy you - MAD strategy) So far it has worked, more or less. Peace would be better, but until then, being prepared and stronger is Israel's only protection.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 09, 2012 - 5:00PM #12
rocketjsquirell
Posts: 14,472

I saw this on JPOST and figured someone might be interested on how at least one Israeli paper is looking at how German politicians are looking at the controversy. Chari, are they getting it right?


Berlin politicians split over Grass travel ban'
www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx...

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 09, 2012 - 6:28PM #13
arielg
Posts: 9,105

I have read the poem.  It is amazing that so much should be made of so little.  A clear example of how anything said  about Israel should be approached like  walking on eggshells. 


Grass  is right.  It is time to say some things that need to be said. Time to get over this insane  guilt that the Zionists have been  milking  since WW2,  by constantly painting themselves as the perpetual victims of the world in order to get away with things they should not be getting away with.


 The world and Israel are  vastly  different today than they were when they were victimized, eons ago. Many new victims have replaced them.


 

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 09, 2012 - 7:14PM #14
CharikIeia
Posts: 8,303

Apr 9, 2012 -- 5:00PM, rocketjsquirell wrote:


I saw this on JPOST and figured someone might be interested on how at least one Israeli paper is looking at how German politicians are looking at the controversy. Chari, are they getting it right?



I'd say, they exaggerate the degree of support of the Israeli government's decision to ban Grass. The huge majority of politicians is just amazed at the over-reaction.


Apr 9, 2012 -- 6:28PM, arielg wrote:


I have read the poem.  It is amazing that so much should be made of so little.  A clear example of how anything said  about Israel should be approached like  walking on eggshells.


 


It's very unfortunate that this is blown so out of proportions, yes.


By the way, taken from your last J'Post link, Squirrel:


A Grass-sponsored memorial was desecrated last week in the university city of Göttingen, and spray painted with the words “shut your trap” and the SS Nazi emblem.


I wonder who did this... This is the way that Nazis behave, but normally on Jewish graveyards.

tl;dr
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 09, 2012 - 7:26PM #15
CharikIeia
Posts: 8,303

Apr 9, 2012 -- 1:47AM, habesor wrote:


I would appreciate your translation of the poem and your interpretation of it as a German and as a European.




It's long, and poetry is difficult to translate. I found a translation at the WaPo site:


www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east...


It seems less structured and I cannot follow the language as I can in the German original, so maybe it is not the best translation, but it contains no mis-translations at least, as far as I could tell.



Now, as for my opinion about Grass's poem as translated by Google, I think that he was more than a little "over the top". He hasn't said much more than any other European Leftist would be expected to say or write. So I don't find much of the poem particularly disturbing. There are two or three elements that I disagree with or cannot fathom why he left them out. One of the left outs was the pressure that countries like Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf states are putting on the USA (while encouraging Israel) to attack the nuclear facilities in Iran.  Which brings me to the next point: Grass's view of a world which only contains Israel and Iran (and German suppliers of Israel). In truth, this perspective and Grass's placing Israel as the main danger to world peace (if I understand him correctly) could be an allusion to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, or if not exactly an allusion, perhaps a statement which resonates with those who believe the protocols to be true. That bothers me a bit.


Finally, like many on the left, Grass assumes the pose of the heroic messenger of truth to the powerful, no matter what the danger. I think that this is posturing with almost no basis in reality. If you really want to see messengers of truth to the powerful who are actually in danger, one might look at imprisoned Iranian or Palestinian journalists. I used the word "almost" because I can understand how a German might feel particularly self-conscious about criticism of the Jewish state, given our histories. But along with the excessive criticism, it seems to me that Grass is overdoing the posturing.


Char, I await your response.


Habesor



I think we agree on the (lack of) merit of this particular poem.

tl;dr
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 09, 2012 - 11:24PM #16
rangerken
Posts: 15,812

Just an asside in total moderator mode. Being multilingual I can and do affirm that poetry usually does NOT translate well.  Just look at any work by Goethe and see how odd it seems in English without some serious paraphrasing, and the same applies to Moliere from French to English, and of course Shakespeare from English to anything else...you totally lose the beauty of the iambic pentameter.


For example... in French... a nice, rhyming and melodic children's poem and song goes...


sur le pont, d'Avignon, on y dance ,on y dance


sur le pont, d'Avignon, on y dance tout en rond


In English that's...


On the bridge of Avignon one dances there, one dances there


On the bridge of Avignon, one dances there all around


It just doesn't translate into anything remotely the same.


Or the German...from an old childen's song...


Unsere fahne flattert uns voran


In English...


Our flag flutters in front of us


Totally a different feel.



Well, I AM an 'academic' now...LOL Cool



Rangerken...in total phd mode

Libertarian, Conservative, Life member of the NRA and VFW
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 10, 2012 - 10:28AM #17
habesor
Posts: 5,429

Char,


Is there really so little critical discussion of Israeli policies in Germany? Usually when such a statement is made, it is factually incorrect and the person making the statement is really complaining that his side is not being listened to or lacks credibility with the majority of the listeners.


On this forum I've seen interlocutors declare that their opponent accused them of Antisemitism when no such accusations were made. It's kind of ironic that in a debate on the Arab-Israeli conflict one often has to refrain from pointing out the obvious Antisemitic nature of a statement because you will be accused of playing the Antisemitism card, as if that were somehow illegitimate. Generally speaking, I refrain from bringing Antisemitism into a discussion, not because there aren't people who are anti-Israel because they don't like Jews but rather because I tend to find that fact irrelevant. Oddly, if someone is anti-Israel because they don't like Jews, they usually make inconsistent, counter factual or illogical arguments which are fairly easy to shred, without having to point out what is obvious to most observers.


Habesor

Habesor
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 10, 2012 - 5:07PM #18
habesor
Posts: 5,429

Char,


Mike Wallace died recently. He was a famous American TV journalist who was noted for his interviews with various personalities. As part of the memories recalling of his life some interviews were made available for review on the internet. The URL below links to an interview with Abba Eban, Israel's ambassador to the UN and the United States in the 1950's. The interview is from 1958 and Eban had to reply to charges of Israel expansionism, dual loyalties of Jews and other issues that sound strangely familiar though it is more than a half century later. 


www.hrc.utexas.edu/multimedia/video/2008...


The interview can be seen or read. The video recording has some rough spots in terms of sound quality. An advantage of the written transcript is that you can skip over the cigarette commercials. 


Habesor

Habesor
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 10, 2012 - 5:12PM #19
CharikIeia
Posts: 8,303

Apr 10, 2012 -- 10:28AM, habesor wrote:


Char, Is there really so little critical discussion of Israeli policies in Germany?



I guess the answer is 'yes'.


There is a quite strong consensus to better not patronise Israelis.


The chancellor recently spoke of support of Israel as a raison d'état of Germany's.

tl;dr
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 10, 2012 - 11:54PM #20
Erey
Posts: 17,351

Israel is not the only western country that does this kind of thing.  I think it was Michael Savage the conservative talk show host who was denied admitance into the UK  a couple of years ago. Just because someone in the government did not like him.  They considered him dangerous


www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jul/12...

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