Nobel Prize-winning German writer Guenter Grass said, Israel is a threat to world peace and said it must not be allowed to launch military strikes against Iran.
Grass, 84, a seasoned campaigner for left-wing causes and a critic of Western military invasions such as Iraq, also condemned German arms sales to Israel in his poem “What must be said”, published in several newspapers on Wednesday.
“Why do I say only now … that the nuclear power Israel endangers an already fragile world peace? Because that must be said which may already be too late to say tomorrow,” Grass wrote in the poem, published in German in Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
“Also because we – as Germans burdened enough – may become a subcontractor to a crime that is foreseeable,” he wrote, adding that Germany’s Nazi past and the Holocaust were no excuse for remaining silent now about Israel’s nuclear capability.
“I will not remain silent because I am weary of the West’s hypocrisy,” wrote Grass, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999 for novels such as “The Tin Drum” chronicling the horrors of 20th century German history, according to Reuters.
Israel, most experts estimate that it has at least between 100 and 200 nuclear warheads, often threatens the Islamic republic with an attack.
These could be carried by Dolphin submarines it has bought from Germany.
Germany said recently it would sell Israel a sixth Dolphin submarine and shoulder part of the cost, although it also cautioned its ally that any military escalation with Iran could bring incalculable risks.
The poem, also published in the New York Times and in Italy’s La Repubblica, called for an international ‘agency’ to take permanent control of both Israel’s nuclear weapons and Iran’s atomic plant.