11 abril 2012

El contraataque de Grass: Israel reacciona como una dictadura

El escritor alemán y premio Nobel de Literatura (1999), Günter Grass, fustigó la decisión de Israel de declararlo persona non grata por su poema Lo que hay que decir, donde afirma que el Estado Sionista y su arsenal amenaza la paz mundial.

"Se me prohíbe por tercera vez el territorio de un país", señaló Grass al recordar que ya le ocurrió en la Alemania comunista del Este y Birmania en 1986.

Explicó que en ambos casos "fueron aplicadas las prácticas habituales en las dictaduras. Y ahora es el ministro de Interior (Elie Yishai) de una democracia, del Estado de Israel, el que me castiga con una prohibición de territorio".

Grass agregó que "la manera como se justifica Israel me recuerda el veredicto de Mielke", exjefe de la Stasi, policía política de Alemania del Este.

El pasado domingo, el ministro Elie Yishai declaró en un comunicado a Günter Grass "persona non grata en Israel".

Según el titular de la cartera de Interior, el poema de Günter "es una tentativa de atizar las llamas del odio contra el Estado de Israel y contra el pueblo israelí".

El poema del Nobel de Literatura fue publicado la semana pasada y en el escrito, Grass pide a la comunidad internacional que no le permita a Israel lanzar ataques militares contra Irán.

Aseguró que "si Israel ataca instalaciones atómicas de Irán, supuestamente con las llamadas bombas normales, convencionales, podría desencadenar la Tercera Guerra Mundial”.

En el poema, que fue censurado en su país, Grass también condenó la venta de armas por parte de Alemania a Israel.

"Podríamos ser cómplices de un crimen que es previsible”, afirmó y agregó que "el pasado nazi de Alemania y el Holocausto no son excusa para guardar silencio sobre la capacidad nuclear de Israel".

Grass, quien ganó el Premio Nobel de Literatura en 1999 por novelas como El tambor de hojalata, en la que hace una crónica de los horrores en la Alemania del siglo XX, aclaró que el texto debe tomarse como una crítica al Gobierno israelí, no al país en su conjunto. Incluso aseguró sentir “gran simpatía” por Israel.

El Gobierno israelí ha amenazado con atacar Irán con o sin permiso de Estados Unidos porque supuestamente la República Islámica representa una "amenaza" nuclear. Sin embargo, Teherán ha sostenido que su programa sólo tiene propósitos pacíficos y civiles de generación de energía y medicinal.

Pese a las críticas contra Irán, tanto Israel como Estados Unidos han estado involucrados con el uso y desarrollo de armas nucleares.

Israel posee un número no declarado de ojivas nucleares y, a diferencia de Teherán, no ha firmado el Tratado de No Proliferación Nuclear.

Por su parte, Estados Unidos ha desarrollado armas nucleares y ha hecho uso de estás contra las ciudades japonesas de Hiroshima y Nagasaki en agosto de 1945, a finales de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, así como se ha negado a firmar algún protocolo de desarme.

teleSUR-AFP/kg - FC

08 abril 2012

What The Guardian said long before Grass said it - "Israel's nuclear weapons: Time to come clean"

Reportagem The Sunday Times, 05/10/1986

Israel must abandon its obfuscations on nuclear weapons to move towards a true nuclear settlement in the Middle East

The Guardian, Tuesday 25 May 2010

Israel has long based its security policy on the preservation of its monopoly of nuclear weapons in the Middle East. It seems to regard this monopoly as an entitlement so self-evident as to need no examination, whether at home or abroad, and has invented a doctrine of ambiguity, under which it neither denies nor confirms its nuclear status, as a means of preventing, or at least staying aloof from, any discussion. Among the many matters which Israel has concealed, documents suggest, was a readiness to consider the transfer of nuclear weapons to apartheid South Africa, something at variance with Israel's insistence that it has always been a responsible state.

But the great value of the research into the dealings between Israel and South Africa which the Guardian has published this week is not simply that it puts on the record that Israel does indeed have nuclear weapons, nor that it might in the past have thought about handing such weapons to another state, but that it allows us to get beyond the "do they or don't they?" questions to look at the fundamentals of both Israeli and American policy. In the negotiations this month on the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, the United States has shown some flexibility in the face of demands from states who want progress toward a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East, progress which would at some stage have to include a clear Israeli acknowledgment of its nuclear weapons holdings and some degree of readiness to discuss safeguards, such as signing the non-proliferation treaty, as well as a clarification of Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Israel, on the other hand, has been angered by these pressures, with prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu cancelling a visit to Washington earlier this month to avoid having to deal with them. Whether the other Middle Eastern states actually believe a nuclear-free region is attainable is unclear, but what most do believe is that highlighting and questioning Israel's nuclear monopoly is worth doing in itself, and that it might also alter for the better the context in which negotiations with Iran take place.

Both America and Israel believe that Israel should retain its nuclear weapons while Iran should not be allowed to acquire them. With the Brazilian and Turkish scheme for the transfer of nuclear material spurned and tougher UN sanctions against Iran on the way, this is an unexamined contradiction which undermines much Middle Eastern diplomacy and cannot be for ever skirted. It is impossible to imagine even the first steps towards a true nuclear settlement in the Middle East without Israel abandoning its obfuscations on nuclear weapons and admitting, as other nuclear powers do, that security is a collective as well as an individual matter.

Gideon Levy - Israelis can be angry with Günter Grass, but they must listen to him

After we denounce the exaggeration, after we shake off the unjustified part of the charge, we must listen to the condemnation of these great people.
The harsh, and in some parts infuriating, poem by Gunter Grass of course immediately sparked a wave of vilifications against it and mainly against its author. Grass indeed went a few steps too far (and too mendaciously ) - Israel will not destroy the Iranian people - and for that he will be punished, in his own country and in Israel. But in precisely the same way the poem's nine stanzas lost a sense of proportion in terms of their judgment of Israel, so too the angry responses to it suffer from exaggeration. Tom Segev wrote in Haaretz: "Unless Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently confided in him, his opinion is vacuous." ("More pathetic than anti-Semitic," April 5 ). Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned Grass' Nazi past, and Israeli embassies in Germany went so far as to state, ridiculously, that the poem signified "anti-Semitism in the best European tradition of blood libels before Passover."
It is doubtful that Grass intended his poem to be published on the eve of Passover. It contains no blood libel. In fact, it is the branding of it as anti-Semitic that is a matter of tradition - all criticism of Israel is immediately thus labeled. Grass' Nazi past, his joining the Waffen SS as a youth, does not warrant shutting him up some 70 years later, and his opinion is far from vacuous. According to Segev, anyone who is not a nuclear scientist, an Israeli prime minister or an Iranian president must keep silent on the stormiest issue in Israel and the world today. That is a flawed approach.
 Grass' "What Must Be Said" does contain things that must be said. It can and should be said that Israel's policy is endangering world peace. His position against Israeli nuclear power is also legitimate. He can also oppose supplying submarines to Israel without his past immediately being pulled out as a counterclaim. But Grass exaggerated, unnecessarily and in a way that damaged his own position. Perhaps it is his advanced age and his ambition to attract a last round of attention, and perhaps the words came forth all at once like a cascade, after decades during which it was almost impossible to criticize Israel in Germany.
That's the way it is when all criticism of Israel is considered illegitimate and improper and is stopped up inside for years. In the end it erupts in an extreme form. Grass' poem was published only a few weeks after another prominent German, the chairman of the Social Democratic Party, Sigmar Gabriel, wrote that there is an apartheid regime in Hebron. He also aroused angry responses. Therefore it is better to listen to the statements and, especially, finally, to lift the prohibition against criticizing Israel in Germany.
Israel has many friends in Germany, more than in most European countries. Some of them support us blindly, some have justified guilt feelings and some are true, critical friends of Israel. There are, of course, anti-Semites in Germany and the demand that Germany never forget is also justified. But a situation in which any German who dares criticize Israel is instantly accused of anti-Semitism is intolerable.
Some years ago, after a critical article of mine was published in the German daily Die Welt, one of its editors told me: "No journalist of ours could write an article like that." I was never again invited to write for that paper. For years, any journalist who joined the huge German media outlet Axel Springer had to sign a pledge never to write anything that casts aspersions on Israel's right to exist. That is an unhealthy situation that ended with an eruption of exaggerated criticism like Grass'.
Grass is not alone. No less of a major figure, the great author Jose de Sousa Saramago opened the floodgates in his later years when, after a visit to the occupied territories, he compared what was going on there to Auschwitz. Like Grass, Saramago went too far, but his remarks about the Israelis should have been heeded: "Living under the shadow of the Holocaust and expecting forgiveness for everything they will do in the name of their suffering seems coarse. They have learned nothing from the suffering of their parents and their grandparents."
After we denounce the exaggeration, after we shake off the unjustified part of the charge, we must listen to these great people. They are not anti-Semites, they are expressing the opinion of many people. Instead of accusing them we should consider what we did that led them to express it..
*  Gideon Levy é membro do Conselho Editorial e colunista do jornal Haaretz, de Israel.

José María Ridao - Poema de un alemán

A polêmica desencadeada por Günter Grass

Günter Grass no ha escrito un poema, sino que ha disfrazado de poema un artículo sobre el programa nuclear iraní. Como poema, Lo que hay que decir no aporta gran cosa a la obra del premio Nobel. Como artículo disfrazado de poema, marca un punto de inflexión en su mirada hacia la realidad internacional. Hasta ahora, el país que perpetró contra los judíos uno de los crímenes más monstruosos de la historia ha evitado cualquier protagonismo en el conflicto de Oriente Próximo, limitándose a respaldar a Israel como forma de expiar el pasado. La posibilidad de que Israel lance un ataque contra Irán y el hecho de que Alemania le haya entregado un submarino capaz de hacerlo llevan a que Grass se interrogue, rodeándose de cautelas, si esa forma de expiar el pasado no podría engendrar nuevas culpas.

La primera cautela de la que se rodea Grass es la elección del género literario para exponer sus argumentos, en los que toma distancia de Israel como alemán que llegó a militar en las SS ya próximo el final de la guerra, según relató en Pelando la cebolla. Al desarrollar sus argumentos como poema y no como artículo, Grass intenta situarlos en el terreno acotado de la creación, invitando implícitamente a compartir una emoción antes que a polemizar con unas opiniones. El premio Nobel se declara, además, “envejecido” y confiesa escribir el poema con “su última tinta”, un recordatorio apenas velado de que se encuentra en el último tramo de su vida. Lo que hay que decir lo dice mediante un género literario y desde una circunstancia personal que anticipa una posible censura, y ahí la segunda cautela. “Antisemitismo”, escribe Grass, “se llama la condena”.

Aunque rodeado de cautelas, lo que Grass está poniendo en cuestión en su poema son los fundamentos de la política alemana y, por extensión, occidental, hacia Oriente Próximo. Alemania, viene a decir Grass, ha entendido que asumir la culpa por el Holocausto le exigía guardar silencio ante cualquier política de Israel. Pero asumir esa culpa y la inquebrantable disposición a seguir asumiéndola estaría favoreciendo que Israel —“ese otro país” que, escribe Grass, se ha prohibido a sí mismo nombrar— mantenga un arsenal nuclear sobre el que no se habla y amenace con un ataque al “pueblo iraní, subyugado y conducido al júbilo organizado por un fanfarrón”. La descripción de Irán recuerda en algún punto la de la Alemania nazi, en la que los alemanes, como podría suceder a los iraníes de perpetrarse el ataque, “solo acabamos”, escribe Grass, “como notas a pie de página”.

La última cautela de la que se rodea Grass es la de que “hay que decir lo que mañana podría ser demasiado tarde”, colocando sus argumentos bajo el signo de la perentoriedad. Pero no solo porque, según se desprende del poema, se podría sacrificar a los iraníes en razón de una “sospecha”, la de que, en su país, se persigue “la fabricación de una bomba atómica”; también “hay que decirlo” porque, de mantenerse Alemania en silencio, y de colaborar con la entrega de un submarino, los alemanes, ya “suficientemente incriminados”, según Grass, “podríamos ser cómplices de un crimen que es previsible”, incurriendo en una nueva culpa vinculada a la antigua, y que “no podría extinguirse con ninguna de las excusas habituales”.

Después de invitar a compartir una emoción y no a polemizar con unas opiniones, Grass apunta una salida. Solo sometiendo a inspección simultánea el arsenal nuclear israelí y el programa que desarrolla Irán cabría esperar que se conjurasen los negros presagios. Para decir esto, un alemán como Grass no podía escribir un artículo, sino que tenía que disfrazarlo de poema. No aportará gran cosa a la obra literaria del premio Nobel, pero supone un punto de inflexión en su mirada hacia la realidad internacional. Hablando desde el estigma, Grass confía en abrir un espacio para que otros lo hagan en libertad.

* José María Ridao é diplomata espanhol e colunista de El País, Madrid.