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A travel ban is still censorship.
I support Grasse
Is it not perverse that speaking the truth has to be defended, with regrettable reluctance, by the self-appointed free speech police.
What a shame there is no freedom of speech at all in any shape or form in any Arab/Moslem state or in apartheid Pakistan.
Maybe someone at PEN might like just for once to comment on this? Or is it that the view is taken that Moslems are a form of sub humanity and traditional rights (expression, vote, rule of law etc) are concepts way beyond their ability to reach?
Meanwhile any 'violation' of freedom to express by democratic Israel must be the subject of rigorous scrutiny. How dare the Israelis feel upset when a former member of the Waffen SS draws an analogy between democratic Israel and islamofascist Iran ; ignores Iran's repeated calls to annihilate the Israeli nation and believes the aggressors to be Israel?
"what a shame there is no freedom of speech at all in any shape or form in any Arab/Moslem state or in apartheid Pakistan."
The Pakistani press is far more vibrant and open than you would expect. Don't please generalize especially if you have no evidence or experience to back-up such an idiotic statement.
English PEN and PEN International comment upon and condemn the lack of free expression in Muslim countries all the time. The very briefest of glances at our website would have shown this. But just because free speech is worse somewhere else, that does not and should not mean we cannot condemn censorship wherever we see it. Otherwise, we would only ever be writing about North Korea, and crucially we would never complain about suppression of free speech in the UK either. Thankfully we are not so constrained, and a major part of PEN's campaigning work at the moment is demanding reform of the UK's out-of-date libel laws.
Israel has imposed no censorship nor limited Grass's right to free speech. In fact Grass's offensive little poem has been published in full in most Israeli newspapers. Mr Sharp appears to be unaware of this!
What Israel has done is declare Grass persona non grata and activated a piece of legislation that enables the Interior Minister to prohibit entry to a former Nazi. Grass by his own admission was a member of the waffen SS at the age of 17. He has never been forthright as to the role he played in the SS. Did he play a role in butchering Jewishbchildren or the elderly as young members of the SS were trained to do? Israel has every right to keep out an alien undesirable from its territory. The UK Border Police do this every day.
I'm afraid Mr. Sharp seeks to find a controversy over 'freedom of expression' whereas in fact in this case none exist.
Cannot wait to see Israel denouncing its best friend Bush. Grass was a teenager drafted to an army the same way the Israeli youths are drafted to commit crimes on the occupied territory. Prescott Bush was an adult dealing profitably with the Nazi regime; the procured money have been used by the Bush family to gain more money and power. Bush as persona non grata in Israel?
What the fuck are you talking about?
Read the article.
The ploy to discredit the messenger rather than the message is a sign of weakness. So what if a 17 year old Grass was in the SS? The Israeli state seems ready to do business with Germany without asking how many of the German businessmen it deals with were party members or sympathisers. Moreover, the actions of youth should not be held against the adult indefinitely; there but for the grace etc...
Israel has become adept at producing a smokescreen over it's own nefarious activities (Orwell/1984?) and uses all the dirty tricks in the book. We need more people like Grass.
'so what if a 17 year old joined the Waffen SS and probably committed atrocities against Jewish kids and the elderly'! just about sums it up eh Philodoc?
Grass served in the Waffen-SS for 5 months and was a tank driver/gunner in the 10. SS Pz Division "Frundsberg". He saw combat on the Eastern Front against the Red Army in heavy fighting around Spremberg. No Jews, no atrocities other than in your warped imagination.
You are a lying scumbag sums it up better I think.
islamonazi scum rush in to defend former Waffen SS member. How typical!
My freedom of expression must enable me to burn the racist Koran and condemn the sanctioning of pedophilia, rape and mass murder in Islam.
tribalism makes people mentally sick...
"probably committed atrocities"? Where and when?: in your psychotic dreams? Does "probably" mean 51% likely? Do you have any evidence?
Teenagers are immature. I fully expect that even you, if you had grown up in Hitler's Germany would have felt patriotic and been totally unaware of the underlying politics. Do we condemn all Germans for allowing Hitler to achieve power? Are they all guilty of atrocities? Get Real!. Next Time you seek to quote me, do it properly.
They still haven't gotten over the cartoons," Four plead not guilty to plot to massacre Danish newspaper staff over Mohammad cartoons" http://www.nypost.com/p/news/international/cartoons_plead_guilty_over_pl...
Can you ever imagine a time when there could ever be some kind of self critical examination of the False prophet Mohamed and Islam without Muslims trying to kill someone or annihilate a whole country because of it?
Israel is a shining example of a grown up democracy that hasn't been infected by left wing lawyers and liberal elites who are making a living out of gullible guilt ridden half wits who hate to see anyone exhibit decisive and confident behaviour. That highlights there own bed wetting and neurotic tendencies of over analysing and worry about the said purposeful and positive behaviour that deep down they know is right, but they will argue the toss to keep themselves in a self righteous and self important role, telling us how right they are and wrong everyone else is.
Julia, save your breath.
Israel has been infected with the former Soviets, these leftist and totalitarians. Who needs legislature in Israel when the minister of foreign affairs Abigdor Lieberman as a loudspeaker for ethnic cleansing?
As the piece is about Israel banning a critic, I mentioned Israel. But, yes, most of the Muslim states too are to be condemned for their attitude towards free speech. Unlike you I do not discriminate.
Free speech for all - unless you criticise the Israeli government's policies, or American government support for the Israeli government's policies. That's how it goes, isn't it?