Grass says critical poem meant to target Netanyahu

Nobel literature laureate Guenter Grass is under fire for a poem that criticises Israel.

Last Updated: Apr 07, 2012, 20:32 PM IST

Berlin: Nobel literature laureate Guenter Grass, who is under fire for a poem that criticises Israel, has told German media that he was singling out the Jewish state`s government, not the country as a whole.

In the poem published in European dailies earlier this week, the 84-year-old German author criticised what he described as Western hypocrisy over Israel`s nuclear program and labelled the country a threat to "already fragile world peace" over its stance on Iran.

He`s since been accused of anti-Semitism, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rebuked his views as "ignorant and objectionable”.
In an interview published on Saturday by the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Grass says he sought foremost to single out the policies of "Netanyahu`s current government”.

Bureau Report