Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Grass II – The Question not Asked

The Dutch coffee shop owner told me that as he has never heard of Gunter it couldn’t be high quality. Whatever the quality, Günter Grass’ anti-Israel stanza has caused much excitement, especially in Germany and in Israel.

Grass may be a fading old writer hankering after publicity. Maybe anti-Semitism has also played a role. Stupidly or maliciously he suggested that in a pre-emptive strike, Israel would annihilate the Iranian population. This is an outrageous accusation. He could have posed a morally tougher question:

The purpose of Israel’s nuclear weapons is for its enemies to believe that under certain circumstances they would be used. If Israel’s existence would be at risk, it would make use of these doomsday weapons.

For that to be an effective deterrent, it must be understood that an attack on Israel could lead to mutual destruction.

I expect that Grass, like many other non-Israelis if asked whether Israel should use its nuclear weapons AFTER it was attacked – would say NO. They would condemn the country that destroyed Israel, they would offer condolences to the bereaved, but they would not accept a counterattack.

Grass’s moral issue should have been the possible use by Israel of U-boats supplied by Germany to accomplish such an eye-for-an-eye.


  1. He does not see himself as an asker of questions, I`m sure.
    Rather he much prefers to pose as a giver of answers (irrespective of whether any questions were put to him in the first place).

  2. This GRASS poem is not worth my comments!

  3. Hallo David, kommt darauf an, wie Israel angegriffen wird. Wird es mit Massenvernichtungswaffen angegriffen, dann ist eine Reaktion mit einer Massenvernichtungswaffe nachvollziehbar. Wird es mit konventionellen Waffen angegriffen, dann eben nicht. So einfach ist das!

  4. יפה כתבת -

  5. Your Gunther Grass conclusion seems sadly true.

  6. Gestern stand ein guter Artikel von Louis Begley
    in der FAZ " Was nicht hätte geschrieben werden müssen "

    Natürlich unterschreibe ich auch Deinen Blog 100%-
    das Einreiseverbot finde ich allerdings zumindest ungeschickt .

  7. Hi,

    You did not seem to mention your opinion clearly about a counter strike.

    Beside that fact that I believe that such a strike, if provoked by measures toward elimination of Israel (for instance the use of weapons of mass destruction) is morally fully justified. I am sure that the threat, the sincere threat to use such weapons (if Israel indeed posses them) is STABLE from a game theory perspective. I advice the read of the noble lecture of Israel Aumann at:

    In any case the region will benefit from the Arab and Muslim realization that Israel is here to stay AND from the Israeli realization that controlling 100% of the territories (and its population) is not possible. This joint enlightenment is a necessary condition (far from being fulfilled at the moment) for a fruitful agreements or even talk to take place.