Following poem, Israel bars entry to Guenter Grass

Published April 8, 2012 9:18AM (EDT)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel has banned German intellectual Guenter Grass from visiting the country because of a critical poem published by the Nobel laureate last week.

In his order, Interior Minister Eli Yishai used an Israeli law that allows him to bar entry to ex-Nazis. Grass, 84, admitted in 2006 that he served in the paramilitary Waffen-SS in the final months of World War II.

Yishai said Sunday, "If Guenter wants to continue to spread his twisted and lying works, I suggest he does this from Iran, where he can find a supportive audience."

Grass published a poem called "What Must Be Said" last Wednesday in which he claimed a nuclear Israel was a threat to world peace and called for supervision of both Israel and Iran's nuclear facilities.

By Salon Staff

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