Monday, April 16, 2012

`Not a Pinch of Salt's Difference'

Today’s essential reading is D.G. Myers’ “Poison Pen,” a methodical demolition of Günter Grass’ anti-Semitic screed: 

“… people can get away with anti-Semitism these days only by passing it off as anti-Zionism. Since Israel is the political expression of Jewish peoplehood, however, to call into question its right to exist is either to wish the Jews powerless to defend themselves again or to deny they are a people. The first may seem less vicious than the second, but for an ex-SS soldier like Günter Grass, the dream of Jewish powerlessness is deeply embedded in a history of exterminating destruction. And in either case, Grass is an articulate literary spokesman for a new European anti-Semitism that pretends it is merely anti-Zionism, although there is not a pinch of salt's difference between the two.”

1 comment:

William A. Sigler said...

The anti-semitism Myers decries and the secrecy Grass bewails are both all-too-real, and all-too-sad, facts of our political life, two devils dancing together in an incendiary ballet while we all helplessly watch. I acknowledge my mistake in translating Grass’s poem. Nothing good can come from lending any energy to either “side” in the grand mirage that is politics, Middle Eastern or otherwise. I’ve got to grow up.