Daily Israel Report

Israeli Letter-poem to Grass: If We Go, Everyone Goes

Poet Itamar Yaoz-Kest, a Holocaust survivor, penned a public "letter-poem" in reply to German Günter Grass' attack.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 4/8/2012, 5:58 PM

Gunter Grass
Gunter Grass
Reuters

Israeli poet Itamar Yaoz-Kest, a Holocaust survivor, has penned a public "letter-poem" in reply to the "poem" in which German Günter Grass accused Israel of "endangering the already fragile world peace." 

The letter-poem was published on journalist Ze'ev Galili's blog, in Hebrew, under the name: "The Right to Exist: a Poem-Letter to the German Author." It addresses Grass, who has admitted to being a member of the Waffen SS during World War II, by name.

The "letter-poem" starts thus:

Danger,

I want to be a danger,

I want to be a danger to the world,

so that after my destruction, not a single blade of grass will remain on the face of the Earth,

or a single blade of grass for Gunther Grass's pipe,

upon the Earth where, since I was born, I pose a danger to the world.

Because it is my right!

It is my right to live or die while annihilating my annihilators, without riding again as a crying-boy in a transport train,

Into the world-vacuum, while placing my head in the lap of a mother who is disappearing into the fresh air of the Land of Wotan,

and  the urine tin darts dark-yellow specks onto the walls of the cabin – like gunshots that spray

a yellowish-reddish liquid from besides the train guards, and among them – maybe – the soldier G.G., also, wearing a steel helmet.

Later in the poem, Yaoz-Kest issues what appears to be a statement of intent along the lines of "the Samson Option":

And so, as the strong light of the Land of Israel enters my home, I turn on the radio and cannot help listening to the sermons of the ayatollahs of Iran and to the words of the respected Iranian minister, who shows the map of the Land of Israel with his two hands, to say: "It is so small… Within six or seven days it can be erased from the map", or in your language: "ausradieren". And here I am listening to the sermons of the imams in the mosques of the Land of Israel and the Arab lands as they declare "ausradieren!", but they are always referring to me and not to you, Gunther Grass.

And yet, there is a right reserved only to us Jews (if indeed any human on Earth has this right): to be destroyed and to take the weary and sated world with us to the non-existence, along with its wondrous libraries and heart-stirring tunes – just so, after we descend to the grave, while the ground emits radioactive rays to all four winds.

Indeed – we have the right! It is mine, too!

For it is the right of the Nation of Israel to finally shut the gates to the world after it leaves this place (not of its free will!), and we have the right to say, at the price of the 3,000 year old fear: "If you force us yet again to descend from the face of the Earth to the depths of the Earth – let the Earth roll toward the Nothingness."

The Samson Option – taking out Israel's enemies with it, possibly causing irreparable damage to the entire world – has been floated by Israeli strategists including Ariel Sharon, as a last-ditch option if Israel faces annihilation.

Israel's Interior Ministry has banned Grass from entering Israel following his "letter-poem."