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


Despite the Toll of War at Home and Rising Hostility Abroad, Investors Are Still Choosing Israel

When I first saw news that Google wasn’t going through with its acquisition of the tech startup Wiz, I was afraid hesitancy over its Israeli founders and close ties with the Jewish state might have something to do with it. I couldn’t have been more wrong: the deal is off not because of Google’s hesitancy, but because Wiz feared the FTC would slow down the process with uncertain results. The company is instead planning an initial public offering. In the wake of the CrowdStrike debacle, companies like Wiz have every reason to be optimistic, as Sophie Shulman explains:

For the Israeli cyber sector, CrowdStrike’s troubles are an opportunity. CrowdStrike is a major competitor to Palo Alto Networks, and both companies aim to provide comprehensive cyber defense platforms. The specific issue that caused the global Windows computer shutdown is related to their endpoint protection product, an area where they compete with Palo Alto’s Cortex products developed in Israel and the SentinelOne platform.

Friday’s drop in CrowdStrike shares reflects investor frustration and the expectation that potential customers will now turn to competitors, strengthening the position of Israeli companies. This situation may renew interest in smaller startups and local procurement in Israel, given how many institutions were affected by the CrowdStrike debacle.

Indeed, it seems that votes of confidence in Israeli technology are coming from many directions, despite the drop in the Tel Aviv stock exchange following the attack from Yemen, and despite the fact that some 46,000 Israeli businesses have closed their doors since October 7. Tel Aviv-based Cyabra, which creates software that identifies fake news, plans a $70 million IPO on Nasdaq. The American firm Applied Systems announced that it will be buying a different Israeli tech startup and opening a research-and-development center in Israel. And yet another cybersecurity startup, founded by veterans of the IDF’s elite 8200 unit, came on the scene with $33 million in funding. And those are the stories from this week alone.

But it’s not only the high-tech sector that’s attracting foreign investment. The UK-based firm Energean plans to put approximately $1.2 billion into developing a so-far untapped natural-gas field in Israel’s coastal waters. Money speaks much louder than words, and it seems Western businesses don’t expect Israel to become a global pariah, or to collapse in the face of its enemies, anytime soon.

Read more at Calcalist

More about: cybersecurity, Israeli economy, Israeli gas, Israeli technology, Start-up nation