“The First Death of Günther Grass?”

Thursday, May 3, 2012

That is the title of an article by Bernard Henri Lévy about the German Nobel Prize in literature laureate’s controversial “poem,” which was published in “El País” on April 15. And the subtitle adds that according to Grass “the only serious threat hanging over our heads comes from a tiny country, one of the smallest and most vulnerable in the world, which is also a democracy: the State of Israel”. 

Later he comments upon the real present threats: North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Syria, Iran, of course… and as was to be expected, he fails to mention the actions taken by his country in Gaza, or the obstruction for over 50 years of a peace process that it must urgently reach with its Palestinian neighbors. 

I’m not going to dwell on the details, but I would nevertheless ask Bernard Henri Lévy not to repeat –because it is an immense lie- that Israel is “a tiny and vulnerable country”, since we all know to what extent it not only enjoys the unquestionable support of the United States, but also that Israel’s power lies in the United States, a large part of whose “great sources of action” are in its hands. 

The solution to the Middle East conflict is crucial to eliminating the shameful inefficiency of the G-7, the G-20, those “wuthering heights” summits all greedily devoted to money, and the anachronistic and impassive mediator “quartets”. I feel great respect and affection for the Palestinian people and the Israeli people. I had the opportunity to facilitate meetings between Yasser Arafat and Shimon Peres. And, above all, to seek solutions with a great Israeli leader, Isaac Rabin. Because he reached agreement, he was assassinated. Like Anwar El Sadat; like Robert and John Kennedy; like Martin Luther King… 

As I have observed in the past, today, on the UNESCO headquarters grounds there is a square with an olive tree, designed by Dani Karavan and dedicated to Rabin: the Square of Tolerance… 

For all of the above, don’t write things that don’t at all reflect the truth. Face reality just as it is, and resolve the problems that arise with courage and imagination, as Isaac Rabin did. And, Mr. Lévy, don’t dare say that your country is “tiny and vulnerable” when it has the strongest bodyguard on earth.