Guenter Grass dismisses Israeli travel ban
Berlin: Guenter Grass says Israel`s decision to bar him from visiting the country following his poem criticising the Jewish state reminds him of similar steps that dictatorial governments have taken against him.
The German literature Nobel laureate said in a reaction piece published by German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung yesterday that he has previously only been barred from entering a nation by then Communist-ruled East Germany and the military junta in Myanmar about 25 years ago.
Grass says the tone of Israel`s announcement on Sunday reminded him of the reasoning then given by East Germany`s spy minister Erich Mielke.
In his "What Must Be Said" poem, Grass criticised what he called Western hypocrisy over Israel`s nuclear programme and labelled the country a threat to "already fragile world peace" over its belligerent stance regarding Iran.