Israel derides `shameful` Gunter Grass poem

A poem by German Nobel laureate Gunter Grass accused Israel of plotting Iran`s annihilation and threatening world peace.

Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu on Thursday described as "shameful" a poem by German Nobel
laureate Gunter Grass, which accused Israel of plotting Iran`s
annihilation and threatening world peace.

"The shameful comparison that Gunter Grass made between
Israel and Iran, a regime which denies the Holocaust and calls
for Israel`s destruction, says very little about Israel and a
great deal about Mr Grass," he said in a statement.

"It is Iran, not Israel, which presents a threat to the
world`s peace and security. It is Iran, not Israel which
threatens the destruction of other states," he said.

"It is Iran, not Israel, which supports the massacre
carried out by the Syrian regime on its citizens."

Israel`s foreign ministry described the Grass poem as
"pathetic."

"The transition of Grass from fiction to science fiction
is in very poor taste; his poem is pathetic and totally
lacking grace," ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said.

Israel`s Haaretz daily took the same tone, with historian
Tom Segev writing that the German writer, who won the Nobel
literature prize in 1999, was "more pathetic than
anti-Semitic."

"The comparison between Israel and Iran is unfair because,
unlike Iran, Israel has never threatened to wipe another
country off the map," Segev wrote, referring to 2005 comments
by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad widely translated
into English as meaning the Jewish state should be "wiped off
the map."

PTI

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