Is the Guardian concerned that Jewish criticism of Gunter Grass’ poem may have made him ill?


A guest post by AKUS

The controversy over Gunter Grass’ “poem”, “What Must Be Said”, available in English translation at – of course – The Guardian, has taken a new twist. Gunter Grass has been admitted to a hospital suffering from heart problems.

 After searching the New York Times and Washington Post in vain for any reference to the reason for Grass’ hospitalization of course the Guardian was only too happy to provide the information – in fact, it was the only English language mainstream paper I could find on April 17th to provide a detailed report.

Although the Guardian article, Günter Grass admitted to hospital for ‘scheduled investigation, reports a spokeswoman as saying his hospitalization was for a “scheduled investigation” and asking “who doesn’t have any health problems at [age 84]?”, the Guardian mentions that there is speculation that the controversy over Grass’ poem has “taken a toll on his health”.

In other words, it appears that some speculate that three events are connected – the poem is published, the author is condemned by those he accuses, the author goes to hospital shortly afterwards with heart problems.

But have not cause and effect been reversed?

Rather than assuming that it might be bad for the health of an 84-year-old man to publish a poem which hysterically accuses Israel of planning to “direct nuclear warheads toward an area in which not a single atom bomb has yet been proved to exist” (when it is Iran that has threatened Israel with nuclear annihilation) apparently some believe that the fact that Israel fiercely objected to being libeled in this way is really the proximate cause of Grass’ heart problems!

In a strange way this reminds me of the way women are blamed for being sexually assaulted. “If she hadn’t dressed provocatively, I would never have done it. If women dressed modestly, men would not be tempted to assault them”, is the way the theory goes.

In the same way, we are asked to assume that if Israel had not objected to Grass’ poem accusing it of contemplating genocide, he would be in better health.

Better still, if Germany did not provide Israel with nuclear-capable submarines to counterbalance what Grass believes are imaginary threats it faces from an Iranian “loud-mouth” who “subjugates” his own people (and if he subjugates them, what has he planned for the Jews?) there would be no need to write a poem, the 84 year-old Grass would not have to worry about the future of the world, he would be feeling fine, and everyone would be better off.

Wouldn’t they?

26 comments on “Is the Guardian concerned that Jewish criticism of Gunter Grass’ poem may have made him ill?

  1. In the same way, we are asked to assume that if Israel had not objected to Grass’ poem accusing it of contemplating genocide, he would be in better health.

    No, we are asked to assume no such thing.

    In a strange way this reminds me of the way women are blamed for being sexually assaulted.

    This is the absolute dregs. Using and abusing the issue of rape to attack Grass. Only an unreconstructed man could do this.

    Do you know no shame?

    If AKUS ever had a reasonable moral compass (and multiple anti-Muslim comments suggest not), then it’s been thrown out the window and into boiling lava here.

    This is a fucking disgrace, CiFWatch.

    • No, pretzelberg, what is a disgrace is the language in your final sentence.
      Completely unnecessary and a breach of the rules prohibiting comments that are vulgar, as indeed are some of your other posts.

      I hope Adam you are going to delete such comments or are we to descend into the situation that Oscar Wilde described as “Darwinian principle of the survival of the vulgarest”

      • I don’t believe I’ve ever seen you and your like take issue with “vulgar” comments by other posters. Strange, that – and typical of the double standards displayed by so many here!

        • “I don’t believe I’ve ever seen you and your like take issue with “vulgar” comments by other posters. Strange, that – and typical of the double standards displayed by so many here!”

          Then clearly your memory and comprehension are as poor as your vocabulary and manners.

          “your like” and in your fevered imagination what does that mean precisely?

          • “your like” obviously referring to people who behave like you on this website. But you already knew that.
            Looks like you with the “fevered imagination” on that front.

  2. Grass’s poem rapes the truth by blaming the victim ( Israel ) for the imminent danger of Iranian nuclear weapons being used to blackmail Israel and the West.

    Akus is absolutely right. You, pretzelberg, are the last person who should talk about having a moral compass. You are an unwanted agent provocateur and nudnik, like Berchmans.

    • You are an unwanted agent provocateur and nudnik, like Berchmans

      Hilarious! Are you really that deranged and narrow-minded?

      Pathetic.

      You, pretzelberg, are the last person who should talk about having a moral compass.

      Ha ha. Unlike me, most BTL posters here – like you – are complete and utter bigots.

        • When this post originally appeared, it was – correctly – positioned as a response to Fairplay.
          So well said, Ethelbramable.

  3. Go and start your own Website, pretzel, and then I’ll take great pleasure in baiting you there. Until then, your empty words here will stand for posterity as those of a vain and self-opinionated nudnik with too little sense and too much time on his hands.

    When you dare to contradict Professor Rubin and other experts, you make yourself look ridiculous.

    • Did you set up CiW? I don’t think so.
      Was I here before you, making positive contributions to the website that prompted many articles? Yes.
      Will I be here after you’ve left? Yes.
      Do you agree with many comments of mine here? Yes (not that you’d admit it).
      Do you have anything but juvenile insults when you disagree with me? No.

      Are you an intellectual midget? Absolutely.

      Now fuck off to some other website and stop making a fool of yourself.

      • Unless we’re all able to do what Woody Allen did, and pass our final exams in the Metaphysics class by looking into the soul of the person sitting next to us, it seems that saying people actually agree with you when there’s no evidence this is true or not is–whether it’s meant to be insulting or simply a representation of strength for a silent majority–childish and kind of stupid.
        Going back to the original point, this is one of those times when the CiF is getting tagged because of their abysmal track record on any Israel-related subject. From a real newspaper, the timeline of Grass feeling sick would feel like part of a chain in reasonable reporting. From this one, it reads like CiF trying to pin the blame for Grass’ icks on the mean people who countered his asinine arguments.

        • saying people actually agree with you when there’s no evidence this is true or not is–whether it’s meant to be insulting or simply a representation of strength for a silent majority–childish and kind of stupid

          In this case it meant neither nor – and you’ve got a lot of growing to do, kid.

          It’s called “reasonable assumption.”

          Go back over what you’re written. Feel “childish and kind of stupid”? You should do.

            • And you probably cannot imagine how entertaining I find hopelessly narrow-minded comments from the likes of you, Fairplay and AKUS.

              You people really are a hoot!

          • Pretz, I know you are upset that you were banned from CiF, but calm down – don’t take it out on us folks here. Anyway, if you haven’t done so, you can always go back under another name – instead of Pretzel, perhaps sufgania.

            • Gosh, your mind does work in strange ways, doesn’t it? I’m not “taking it out on us folks here” – as you can see from various other posts of mine on this site recently.

              But you’d never acknowledge them, would you? Of course you just join the cowardly masses.

              • pretzelberg, you are obviously upset about something and far more upset than any reasonable person would be about what is written here. Let it be! The more you disintegrate (and you are disintegrating old son) the more foolish you appear. Gather what’s left of your dignity and bow out and come back when you have calmed down!

      • He was joking in a dark comedy way, because he was kidding about the kind of false vileness that CiF has been shown to actually take seriously.

      • Pretz – genuinely, I don’t get it. You often come on this site and comment (along with many others) about your disgust at the Guardian’s myopia with regard to Israel. You are often as scathing as anybody else.

        You also often comment here (as do I) when you feel CW or some of the btl commentators have over-stepped the mark or seen demons where there are none.

        But when you do the latter (as is particularly evident on this thread) you seem to blow a gasket, losing all objectivity and resorting to blanket condemnations of the type you criticise others for.

        I often agree with your fundamental points (although I’m not sure about your problem in this case), but these get lost in a round of abuse and counter-abuse when you take such an aggressive tone as you have on this thread.

        As I say, I don’t get it.

        • I understand what you’re saying.
          In this case, yes, I went on the front-foot – expressing my disgust at AKUS’ post.

          But why should I be reticent towards a poster like Gerald, who a) recently agreed with a poster who called me a Nazi (!!!) and b) singles me out re. vulgar language?

          Then there’s Fairplay, who calls me a “vain and self-opinionated nudnik”, and Ben’s “childish and kind of stupid”.

          These people have nothing but personal insults to counter me with.

          Do you now get it?

          • OK, I’ll bite, pretzelberg. Most grown-ups either ignore it if they believe that someone is singling them out or respond in the sort of measured way which makes the perceived insult or whatever redundant, thereby leaving the perpetrator with nowhere to go.

            You, however, have responded like a three-year-old in a tantrum (and before you start on me, I am describing what I see rather than meaning that as an personal insult).

            It seems to me that you had and have choices here. Either to strop or to apologise or to ignore it and take time out until you calm down. Bear in mind that no-one is attacking YOU although I accept that you may feel that they are, it seems to me that they are taking issue with your OTT responses. You appear not to be aware of that very important distinction.

            You have the potential to contribute positively here so why not do that?

            That’ll be $100, please. ;-)

        • I could explain GoonerEll, but it’d involve assumptions I have made taking into account all pretz’s posts whenever he goes off on one. I wouldn’t want to go there unless I charged my usual fee for the consultation :-)

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