Friday, April 06, 2012

Israel - German Submarine Delivery Raising Protest

News Update on April 8: Günter Grass banned from Israel over poem. [BBC]
News Update on April 11: Iranian oil exports to Germany have stopped and imports of EU products have been reduced. [Russia Today, Al-Arabiya]
News Update on April 15: German TV discussion on Günter Grass and his poem reveals different positions. => Complete report further down !

On the occasion of a new German submarine being delivered to Israel, one of the most distinctive literary figures in Germany has launched a public protest and warning. Günter Grass, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and whose books are available in different languages, has published a poem where he describes the imminent danger of a devastating war originating from Israel. In the frame of a difficult relationship between Germany and Israel and that is based on historic developments during World War II, Günter Grass is giving a most interesting evaluation of the current conflict between Iran and Israel. As his poem has been controversially discussed by different pressure groups in Germany and abroad, I prefer to offer my readers an accurate translation of the original text into English and French rather than just another comment. Feel free to quote my translations. - Ulysses -

Günter Grass - What Needs To Be Said
Günter Grass - Ce qui demande d'être dit

translation by / traduit par
Wolfgang Wiesner

" Why do I remain silent, keep silent too long on what is obvious and has been drilled in manoeuvres, at the end of which the survivors among us will remain but mere footnotes.

" Pourquoi je me tais, garde le silence sur ce qui est évident et exercé dans jeux tactiques où, à la fin, ce sont nous, les survivants, qui ne sont que des notes au bas de la page.

It is the claimed right of a preemptive strike that could erase the Iranian people, being subjugated by a loud-mouth and directed to organized cheering, only because in that guy's sphere of control the manufacturing of a nuke is being suspected.

C'est le droit prétendu d'un coup préalable ce qui pourrait effacer le peuple iranien, subjugué par un fanfaron et dirigé à l'exultation organisée. Seulement parce que dans la sphère de celui-là la construction d'une bombe atomique est présumée.

But why do I forbid myself to name that other country by its proper name where for many years, even though secretly, a growing nuclear potential is already available, but out of control because out of examination ?

Pourquoi alors je m'interdit de nommer cet autre pays où pour des années, même en cachette, un potentiel nucléaire en accroissement est disponible mais qui se trouve hors de contrôle n'étant pas accessible à aucune surveillance ?

The common withholding the truth, my silence has subordinated to, I feel it as a burdening lie and constraint, a constraint promising punishment if ignored, and the verdict of "antisemitism" being too familiar.

La réticence de cet état de choses à quoi mon silence s'est soumis, je la sente comme mensonge grevant et pression qui fait entrevoir la punition en cas de non-observation. Voilà l'antisémitisme - le verdict étant bien connu.

But now, that out of my country, being repeatedly taken to task by its own incomparable crimes, another submarine should be delivered to Israel, once again and all businesslike, even though declared as compensation by a ready tongue. Another submarine, the special character of which being to direct all-devastating warheads to a place where the existence of a single nuke is still unproven, the fear of its existence yet accepted as a proof. But now, I say what needs to be said.

Mais maintenant et parce que à partir de mon pays, ce qui est rattrapé à maintes reprises pour l'admonestation par ses propres crimes sans pareils, un sous-marin en plus devra été livré à Israel: Enfin, je dis ce qu'il faut dire. Un sous-marin, livré une fois en plus, aussi en style d'affaires, même déclaré en éloquence comme sorte de réparation, - un sous-marin dont sa spécialité est de lancer des ogives à l'anéantissement total d'un lieu où l'existence d'une seule bombe atomique, bien que pas prouvé, fait foi par crainte.

But why did I keep silent until now ? Because I thought, my personal background, being tainted with an indelible stigma (*), might forbid me to pester Israel with the outspoken truth of the fact. Israel being a country I am obliged to and intend to remain obliged.

Mais c'est pourquoi que je me taisais jusqu'ici ? C'est parce que je pensais que ma naissance, atteinte d'une tache jamais ineffaçable, doit m'interdire de demander trop à Israel, pays auquel je me sente rattaché, ce que je veux rester, doit m'interdire de demander trop avec cette réalité sous forme d'une vérité bien prononcée.

And why not earlier but now I say this, in my elder years and with a rest of ink ? Why saying now that Israel's nuclear power is endangering a global peace being fragile anyway ? Because there must be said what might come too late even by tomorrow. As well, because we Germans, already burdened down by guilt, could now become suppliers of a crime, predicted and expected, thus making it impossible to wipe out our complicity by using the usual excuses.

Et c'est pourquoi que je le dis si tard, dans mes dernières années et avec le fond de l'encre, que la puissance nucléaire d'Israel mets en danger la paix globale, fragile de toute façon ? Parce que ce qu'il faut dire c'est ce qui pourrait arriver trop tard le lendemain prochain, aussi que nous, les allemands si accablés, pourraient devenir les fournisseurs d'un crime, assez prévisible pour que notre complicité ne soit pas rachetable par des excuses habituelles.

And I admit: I don't keep silent any more while being fed up with Western hypocrisy. Moreover, there will be hope that many others free themselves from opportune silence and might, instead, demand from those responsible for visible danger to refrain from using force. And then likewise demand that unhindered and permanent control by means of international authorities of, both, Israel's nuclear potential and Iran's nuclear facilities should be accepted by both countries' governments.

Et je l'admets: Je ne me tais plus parce que je me dégoûte de l'hypocrisie occidentale. Qu'on puisse espérer également que beaucoup plus d'autres pourraient se libérer du silence et qu'ils demandent la renonciation à la violence de ceux qui causent la violence visible, aussi bien qu'ils insistent pour que les gouvernements des deux pays acceptent un contrôle permanent et sans obstacles du potentiel nucléaire israélien et des installations nucléaires iraniennes par une autorité internationale.

It's only such that help can be brought to all of them, Israelis and Palestinians, and even more, all quarrelling people that are densely inhabiting this region and which is occupied by madness. This, in the end, would even help us. "

Et c'est ainsi, seulement, que l'aide peut arriver aux peuples d'Israel et de la Palestine et, plus encore, à tous les hommes vivants, serrés et réciproquement hostiles, dans cette région et qui est occupée par l'égarement humain. Et c'est ainsi que l'aide peut arriver aussi à nous. "

(*) = While speaking about the stigma of his personal background, Günter Grass is referring to the days of his youth when he was serving in Hitler's elite forces ("Waffen-SS"), yet without being a decided follower of nazi rule. His literary works that came into being after World War II always underlined that he had learnt his lesson like many others of his generation. It's already years ago that I learnt more about Günter Grass and enjoyed some of his works with growing respect for the author. - Ulysses -

German submarine U-33 (above) powered by most advanced fuel cell technology (below).

UPDATE for April 15:
A German TV discussion on Channel 1 dealing with the above mentioned Grass poem on Israel has unearthed the following positions:
Michael Wolffsohn, a Jewish historian born in Israel considers the Grass poem as including an antisemitic tendency. He is mainly supporting the official position of Israel, yet trying to weaken the facts predicting a feasible Israeli assault on Iran and playing down the importance of German weapons delivery to Israel.
Dirk Niebel, German minister for aid to developing countries and who personally learnt about strict treatment of Palestinian citizens even in their territories. He prefers some kind of "matter-of-fact" evaluation of Israeli policy that enables the possibility of further German-Israeli talks. Like Wolffsohn he is playing down the importance of German weapons delivery to Israel.
Michael Degen, famous German actor and survivor of the holocaust is lacking understanding of the Grass poem and feels himself unable to classify it as free from antisemitism. On the other hand, Degen is not in favour of Israel's policy that supports or ignores Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories.
Jakob Augstein, a well-known German journalist, acknowledged son of "Spiegel" magazine founder Rudolf Augstein, fully supports the intention behind the Grass poem and underlines its necessity, thus distinguishing himself from many of his German colleagues. As to an earlier remark of Günter Grass hinting at "gleichschaltung" of the German press when it comes to critisize Israel, Augstein confirms his view of a press in "secret agreement" on the publishing of positions that might be unwelcome [and therefore hazardous to the career of a journalist].
Heide Simonis, a former regional prime minister [state of Schleswig-Holstein] and personal friend of Günter Grass is critisizing the Grass poem in style but not necessarily in its basic content. What has to be critisized from her part is German Chancellor Merkel's public address in front of Israel's parliament [Knesseth] and that should ensure Israel of Germany's "intrinsic debt to guarantee the very existence of Israel", that declaration being critisized for creating a legal problem in the frame of Germany's constitutional law. Furthermore, Frau Simonis is an opponent of any weapons deal between Germany and Israel as German constitution forbids any delivery of weapons whatsoever to crisis area.

German Chancellor Frau Merkel in her 2008 Knesseth speech.

لَتَجِدَنَّ أَشَدَّ النَّاسِ عَدَاوَةً لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُواْ وَلَتَجِدَنَّ أَقْرَبَهُمْ مَّوَدَّةً لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ الَّذِينَ قَالُوَاْ إِنَّا نَصَارَى ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ مِنْهُمْ قِسِّيسِينَ وَرُهْبَانًا وَأَنَّهُمْ لاَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ

" You will find the most vehement of mankind in hostility to those who believe (to be) the Jews and the idolaters (*). And you will find the nearest of them in affection to those who believe (to be) those who say: Behold! We are Christians. That is because there are priests and monks among them, and because they are not arrogant. "
[The Holy Quran 5:28]

(*) = The idolaters are those who worship the Golden Calf or any other idol.

Temple of the Golden Calf

A 3-Stars-Location

News of the Day from Al-Arabiya's Arabic website:

رفسنجاني اتهم الرئيس الإيراني بنسف العلاقة مع الرياض

[Former Iranian president] Rafsanjani accuses the Iranian president [Ahmadinejad] of damaging relations with Riadh [Saudi Arabia].

في أعقاب الضجة التي أثارها هاشمي رفسنجاني من خلال تصريحاته التي انتقد فيها سياسة الحكومة الإيرانية في التعاطي مع ملف العلاقات السعودية الإيرانية والمفاوضات مع كل من مصر والولايات المتحدة الأمريكية جاء الرد عليه اليوم من على منبر صلاة الجمعة في العاصمة الإيرانية على لسان أحمد خاتمي إمام جمعة طهران المؤقت

In the aftermath of all that fuss which has been raised by Hashemi Rafsanjani on the basis of his declaration and that disapproves the Iranian government's policy concerning Saudi-Iranian relations as well as negotiations with Egypt and the U.S.A., [finally] came the repercussion ex-cathedra at today's Friday Prayers in Iran's capital by means of Ahmad Khatami, the provisional Imam of all Tehran.

رجل دين إيراني يتهجم على السعودية ويدافع عن الأسد

Religious man from Iran attacking Saudi Arabia and defending Assad.

Ahmad Khatami - Provisional Imam of Tehran

وتعليقاً على تصريحات رفسنجاني بخصوص المفاوضات مع الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية ووصفه للعلاقات بواشنطن بالضرورة العقلانية قال أحمد خاتمي: لا أحد في البلاد يحظى بالمكانة التي تسمح له بالحديث حول المفاوضات مع أمريكا لأن المرشد الأعلى هو الوحيد الذي بهذه المكانة وليس أي شخص آخر

Moreover, as a comment on Rafsanjani's proclamations, regarding those negotiations with the U.S.A. and the specific character of relations with Washington [and that should] necessarily be of a rational quality, Ahmad Khatami said: " Nobody in the country benefits from any authority that allows itself a conversation on changes in the negotiations with America because the supreme [leader] has to be the only authority [to decide] this matter and no-one else. "

For a better understanding:
Hashemi Rafsanjani = A former president of the Islamic Republic of Iran (1989-1997), now regarded as an elder statesman and pragmatic conservative, seeking to avoid conflict with the U.S. and the West.

Global distribution of the last 200 visitors to
- - according
to external webstatistics of April 18, 2012:

Click to the picture for a better resolution !

The tip of the iceberg:
Global visitors to - - and who are interested in Günter Grass and his political poem " What needs to (or: must) be said ", as recorded by web-statistics.

Please note: Only such visitors have been detected together with the region they came from who are using a final country tag (i.e. ".us", ".de", ".au" etc.) in their address. Personal identification should be almost impossible and probably irrelevant as this site only presents legal content. In rare cases when visitor statistics might enable the identification of visitors in "problematic" regions, such data are neither given away to interested parties nor stored anywhere. - Ulysses -

Further global visitors to that blogspot, yet not using a special reference to Günter Grass, came from different places in Germany, from Taipeh (Taiwan), Saint-Étienne in the French Rhone-Alpes region (Centre Régional Des Oeuvres Universitaires Et Scolaires), Vienna (Austria), Valencia in Spain (Universidad de Valencia), Sofia (Bulgaria), Halifax in the Nova Scotia region of Canada (Dalhousie University), Sydney and another location in the New South Wales region of Australia, Moscow (Russia) and from Iowa state in the U.S.A.. Additional British visitors came from Essex and Richmond-Upon-Thames.

Global distribution of visitors referring to my English translation of Günter Grass:

1 comment:

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