Gunter Grass and his words have caused damage but they will not accomplish the triumph of evil

A lot of damage has been done by useful idiots for the Iranian totalitarian dictatorship – Gunter Grass being the most recent example. But there is one thing these people won’t accomplish: the triumph of evil

Gunter Grass has courted controversy once again in his most recent poem
Saba Farzan
On 10 April 2012 10:41

Someone very wisely once told me we don’t need to compare the Iranian regime to Nazi Germany to shed light on how evil the Iranian dictatorship is; the evilness of Iran’s despotism speaks for itself.

I entirely agreed, but added that my reason for comparing these terrible regimes is a very particular one: remembering our responsibility. The world failed bitterly in preventing the Holocaust as it failed to take the threat Nazi Germany posed seriously. Iran’s nuclear weapons program is again such a threat.

In this crisis, I never thought that I would wake up to the day when a German writer would compose the kind of trash recently produced by Gunter Grass. The Nobel-winning author has excelled himself in maintaining his attack on Israel by criticising the democratic state, in a recently penned poem, for its nuclear programme, calling the country a threat to world peace and stating that it must not be allowed to launch military strikes on Iran.

Very sadly, Grass has found a willing partner in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung for getting this kind of nonsense printed.

I’m moved by so many strong responses from our civil society and politicians who reject Grass’ pamphlet but I’m still hurt by the pain this terrible publication caused – in my heart, in my mind, in both my countries, in Israel and around the rest of the globe.

Allow me to say this point-blank: I don’t care if this is a poem. What I care about is where an 84 year old man found the arrogance to appease a fascist regime that has taken the country of my childhood hostage? What I care about is why an 84 year old man attacked, unjustifiably, the only democracy in the Middle East, the Jewish democratic state of Israel, and simply lied about his solidarity with Israel.

From whatever angle I look at what Grass has done there’s no rational explanation to it. There’s only – and this is the real tragedy here – anti–semitism and inhumanity in its worst form.

Just look at the plain facts of this crisis: it is the Islamic Republic that has threatened Israel and democratic nations time and again. It is the Islamic Republic that has spread Islamist terrorism around the globe – killing and wounding so many innocent people. It is the Islamic Republic that has turned the country of Iran into a prison with severe repression and torture.

I feel humiliated by Grass’ disgusting publication. I feel humiliated as a German–Iranian; as someone who sees her responsibility in manifold dimensions: remembering the Holocaust, preserving democracy and respect for human rights and preventing a nuclear armed Islamic Republic.

I have a message for Mr Grass: this poem has shown that he is accomplice to evil – a fact will remain forever.

Accordingly, Israel’s decision to ban Grass from entering the country was correct. Grass’s attack with words, that has hurt so deeply, has not been left without response. It is, in a way, similar to how Europe is – at long last – dealing with Iranian human rights violators through travel bans. In both cases a strong message is transmitted: if you continue along a path of inhumanity and disregard for universal values, don’t think your actions will be received without consequence. They won’t.

Another very smart person once gave me some more sound advice on Iran: surround yourself with positive people and think and work towards positive steps in this cause for liberty for Iranians.

After all, a lot of damage has been done by so called useful idiots for the Iranian totalitarian dictatorship – Gunter Grass being the most recent example. But there is one thing these people won’t accomplish: the triumph of evil. And one thing these people won’t prevent: the downfall of fascism in the country of my childhood – not to mention the beginning of true partnership between Iran’s young and bright generation and the State of Israel.

Saba Farzan is a German-Iranian journalist. Her articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal Europe, Standpoint Magazine, The Australian, and Huffington Post Canada

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