|Grass at 16 (right) in his Waffen SS uniform.|
Moral inversions abound and are described brilliantly by Sarah Honig in Another Tack: The German Robbed Cossack. They have had a long history of preparing the ground leading to Ahmedinejad's calls for
Israel's extinction. She presents, for example, Leo Tolstoy's response to various entreaties by Jews to speak out against the Russian pogroms. Tolstoy was annoyed; the Jews have brought it upon themselves and must behave better. “The Jews must, for their own good, conduct themselves by the universal principle of ‘do onto others as you would have them do to you.’ They must resist the government nonviolently...by living lives of grace, which precludes not only violence against others, but also the partaking in acts of violence.”
As Honig writes: "Given the background of
Eastern Europe’s downtrodden Jewry, such ’turn-the-other-cheek’ sermons appear chillingly pitiless (to say the least) because all the Jews had been doing was turning the other cheek. Taken in a broader context, Tolstoy argued against Jewish self-defense before any self-defense was actually attempted. Jews, Tolstoy in effect said, share culpability for their tribulations, must suffer quietly and cannot rise to protect themselves."
For Grass and others throughout history, "Anti-Semites – whether they specialized in mere pogroms or outright Holocausts – habitually portrayed themselves as the aggrieved side."
Grass, "Like Tolstoy before him, demand they do nothing to defend themselves. If they do, they become, in Grass’s idiom, ‘the greatest danger to the world.’ It’s
Israel that threatens and not vice versa. By his criteria, our forebears threatened Egypt’s pharaohs, the Amalekites, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, Haman’s Persians, Greeks, Romans, Crusader marauders, Muslim conquistadors, Spanish inquisitors, Chmielnicki’s Ukrainian mass-murderers, Russian pogromchiks, to say nothing of the Germans, whose fuehrer always screamed hysterically about the danger posed to the world by ‘the forces of International Judaism,’ compelling him to formulate a ‘final solution’ to their problem." Iran
In Grass and the Sueddeutsche Newspaper, Dr. Clemens Heni notices another aspect of the inversion: "In the very beginning of his text Grass portrays himself and all of ‘us’ as possible ‘survivors’ of a hypothetical future war. Intentionally or not, Grass uses a term reserved for Jewish survivors of the Shoah. He is portraying himself as a possible victim of Jews, projecting his own guilt onto the victims."
Yet, as Heni posits, "Some might argue that Jews and the state of
Israel are living in a pre-Holocaust time due to the fact that Iranian President Ahmadinejad said on October 26, 2005, at a conference in Teheran about ‘A World without Zionism,’ that must be ‘wiped off the map.’” Israel
Bernard-Henri Levy catches another inversion in Grass’s fear that
Israel will force Germany's complicity in a potential Iranian holocaust because of it's sale of nuclear submarines to the Jews: "Germans are 'already sufficiently burdened' (one wonders with what) without becoming, what's more, 'complicit' in the present and future 'crimes' of ." Israel
And then there is the useful idiot, Larry Derfner, defending Grass in +972, the Israeli anti-Zionist website often cited by the NYTimes: “Gunter Grass told the truth, he was brave in telling it, he was brave in admitting that he’d been drafted into the Waffen SS as a teenager, and by speaking out against an Israeli attack on Iran, he’s doing this country a great service at some personal cost while most Israelis and American Jews are safely following the herd behind Bibi over the cliff.”
How cunning the use of 'following the herd behind Bibi'. Does that not have a whiff of Jews going sheepishly to their deaths? And isn't it grand of the former Nazi to warn them of the danger?