German marchers criticize Israel’s threats against Iran

German Nobel literature laureate Gunter Grass

Threats and war preparations poison the political climate.”

Pro-Peace Organizer Willi van Ooyen

Traditional Easter rallies for peace across Germany have expressed support for Nobel literature laureate Gunter Grass who criticized US and Israeli policies in the Middle East.
About 1,000 Germans took to the streets of central Berlin on Saturday and called for an end to Israel’s threats against Iran.

Grass accused Israel of plotting against Iran in his recent poem published on Wednesday.

“Gunter Grass is right,” and “Thank you, Gunter Grass” read banners in the northern city of Bremerhaven, the venue of one of about 70 demonstrations organized across the country.

Also on Saturday, speeches in support of Grass were given in the southwestern city of Stuttgart, where about 1,000 people held a demonstration, Willi van Ooyen, spokesman for the organizers said.

“Threats and war preparations poison the political climate,” van Ooyen said referring to Israel’s threats against Iran’s nuclear energy program.

About 400 demonstrators took to the streets in the southern city of Munich and 100 in Leipzig in the east.

Iran has lauded Grass’s poem as a “literary work of human and historical responsibility.”

In an interview with Munich daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung, which published the poem, Grass hit back at “hordes of journalists” who would allegedly rein in his freedom of expression.

Grass, a long-time leftist activist, accused Israel of threatening world peace in his poem.

Easter marches have been organized in what was then West Germany since 1960 and generally target armed conflicts and nuclear power and the threat it represents for humanity.

In 2011, Germany decided to definitively abandon nuclear power by 2022.

( / 08.04.2012)

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