Gunter Grass praises whistleblower Vanunu in new poem on Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, September 30, 2012

German poet Gunter Grass has written another poem attacking the Jewish state and praising nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu.

The verse is included in a new compilation of his work published this weekend in Germany, and is called “Hero of our days”.

Mr Grass, who in his youth was a member of the Nazi Waffen SS during the Holocaust, describes Vanunu as a “paragon” who “helped to bring the truth” to the rest of the world and compares him to the biblical figure of Joseph, who was isolated and attacked by his brothers despite being righteous.

He writes: "heroes such as that are needed in the world, which utters words of peace while planning destruction.”
Vanunu was jailed in 1986 for disclosing confidential information about Israel’s nuclear operation to the British media.

Earlier this year Mr Grass sparked controversy for a poem, published in the German press, that criticised Israel and accused it of damaging global stability with its stance on Iran.

In response, the Israeli Interior Ministry declared him persona non grata.

Last updated: 10:29am, September 30 2012