Remembering Günter Grass and His Enormous Hypocrisy

The German novelist Günter Grass, who died yesterday, devoted much energy to lecturing his fellow Germans on their need to come to terms with the Nazi past. He also condemned Israel with great enthusiasm. But not until 2006—just in time to promote a new memoir—did he admit that he had himself been a member of the Waffen-SS. The editors of the New York Sun write:

The German Nobel laureate spent most of his career as a moral scourge, preaching for peace, the environment, and all the good leftist causes. He was an opponent of the reunification of Germany into a single, free, anti-Communist democracy. . . . After the pipe-puffing pontificating prevaricator finally confessed his membership in the Waffen-SS, the head of the Germany’s Central Council of Jews, Charlotte Knobloch, declared that Grass’s “long years of silence over his own SS past reduce his earlier statements to absurdities.” . . .

It’s not our purpose here to get on too high a horse. It is a great thing to be a novelist, and some of Grass’s earlier works are literary accomplishments. Nor is it our aim to tar all leftists with the brush of Grass. But there is this recurrent streak on the left that reminds us from time to time that the left itself, with its dirigiste conceptions, is not so far from the rightist tyrants. The real moral high road is [the] avenue of liberty, a story that Günter Grass managed to miss.

Read more at New York Sun

More about: Arts & Culture, Germany, Israel, Leftism, Nazis, Nobel Prize, SS

How America Sowed the Seeds of the Current Middle East Crisis in 2015

Analyzing the recent direct Iranian attack on Israel, and Israel’s security situation more generally, Michael Oren looks to the 2015 agreement to restrain Iran’s nuclear program. That, and President Biden’s efforts to resurrect the deal after Donald Trump left it, are in his view the source of the current crisis:

Of the original motivations for the deal—blocking Iran’s path to the bomb and transforming Iran into a peaceful nation—neither remained. All Biden was left with was the ability to kick the can down the road and to uphold Barack Obama’s singular foreign-policy achievement.

In order to achieve that result, the administration has repeatedly refused to punish Iran for its malign actions:

Historians will survey this inexplicable record and wonder how the United States not only allowed Iran repeatedly to assault its citizens, soldiers, and allies but consistently rewarded it for doing so. They may well conclude that in a desperate effort to avoid getting dragged into a regional Middle Eastern war, the U.S. might well have precipitated one.

While America’s friends in the Middle East, especially Israel, have every reason to feel grateful for the vital assistance they received in intercepting Iran’s missile and drone onslaught, they might also ask what the U.S. can now do differently to deter Iran from further aggression. . . . Tehran will see this weekend’s direct attack on Israel as a victory—their own—for their ability to continue threatening Israel and destabilizing the Middle East with impunity.

Israel, of course, must respond differently. Our target cannot simply be the Iranian proxies that surround our country and that have waged war on us since October 7, but, as the Saudis call it, “the head of the snake.”

Read more at Free Press

More about: Barack Obama, Gaza War 2023, Iran, Iran nuclear deal, U.S. Foreign policy