Netanyahu cannot deny the truth of Grass' poem, so he attacks the messenger.
Grass also has his supporters. Jakob Augstein, a columnist for the leading German newspaper, Der Spiegel writes:
"The brief lines that Gunter Grass has published under the title 'What Must Be Said' will one day be seen as some of his most influential words. They mark a rupture.
"It is this one sentence that we will not be able to ignore in the future: 'The nuclear power Israel is endangering a world peace that is already fragile.'
"It is a sentence that has triggered an outcry. Because it is true. Because it is a German, an author, a Nobel laureate who said it. Because it is Gunter Grass who said it.
"And therein lies the breach. And, for that, one should thank Grass. He has taken it upon himself to utter this sentence for all of us."- Advertisement -
The New York Times reported the story entirely from Israel's perspective. In the story on the poem, the Times ignored the truthfulness of the poem and focused instead on the "controversy" it stirred up. Why should we expect anything different? It is the Times, after all, that has been a major player in the "protect Israel's narrative" campaign.
We have seen before how Israel manipulates any story it deems a threat.
In 2009, the Goldstone Report revealed the details of Israel's massive slaughter of citizens in Gaza, a three-week assault carried out in the name of Israeli security.
In the initial report from a UN panel chaired by Judge Richard Goldstone, an eminent South African jurist experienced in tackling war crimes cases and himself an avid Jewish Zionist, concluded "that Israel had committed multiple war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during its 2008-09 invasion."
Did Israel deny the Goldstone Report? Of course not. The evidence was too overwhelming. Rather than confront the truth of Goldstone's findings, Judge Goldstone was hauled off to South Africa, his native land, where he held personal meetings with rabbis there.
Soon, Judge Goldstone had second thoughts. He wrote a Washington Post op-ed in which he famously said..."If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document."
The Palestine Chronicle examines further the aftermath:
"Goldstone does not with any clarity explain what he means by this sentence. Paradoxically and shamefully for the judge, the more we know about the Gaza massacre, the more accurate the Goldstone Report appears -- not less.
"We may never know why Goldstone changed his position -- it is certainly not the result of new revelations refuting the report's validity, irrespective of what he implied in his article.
"We know that he had been the subject of an international smear campaign of unprecedented dimensions and nastiness. Maybe the pressure was simply too much for him.