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69 years ago today – The Deir Yassin Massacre Israel Forces Murder over 100 Palestinians Including Women and Children

By Dina Elmuti | American Herald Tribune | April 9, 2017

I grew up in a country far removed from the horrors of Deir Yassin, but I’ve lived with the snapshots of the massacre my entire life. My grandmother’s Nakba trauma has permeated my inner life, and I’ve known the world of acute agony and the mockery of what human life has been reduced to for the Palestinian people. Every massacre and assault carried out in Zionism’s calculated desire for control adds another layer to the trans-generational transmission of trauma of Palestinians everywhere. Like the bombs that Israel drops on civilian populations, dispersing their incendiary fallout in distant places long after the initial explosion, the psychological trauma continues.

When they said that there would come a time when the old would die and the young would forget, they didn’t realize that Palestinians who grow up fluent in a language of trauma and resistance could never forget. But more importantly, they refuse to.

The significance of the need to preserve the memory of what happened at Deir Yassin remains woven into our DNA. It’s a name that flickers at the edge of our consciousness, resonating in the Palestinian collective memory with chilling significance. My grandmother’s story has taken up residence in my soul. It became the blood coursing through my veins, reverberating in my heart and graven in my memories.

The collective Palestinian narrative is written in indelible link and though it’s a story of unimaginable terror and devastation, shattered dreams and decimated hopes, it’s also one of extraordinary sumud (steadfastness) and resistance. It’s a story that remains unfinished and determined, standing with hope defiant.

Operation Nahshon

My grandmother was nine years-old on the morning of Friday, April 9th 1948 when the Zionist terrorist organizations – the Irgun and Lehi, with the agreement of the Haganah in Jerusalem, carried out Operation Nahshon and opened fire on the villagers of Deir Yassin. By evening, nearly 110 villagers were executed and the village was cleared. But the evidence of the Zionist criminality lay in the rivers of blood and the disemboweled, dismembered, and disfigured bodies of men, women and children.

The villagers endured barbarity at the hands, boot heels, and the edge of bloodied knives of Zionist terrorists who rounded up villagers executing them in decimation for crimes they had never committed. Men were paraded around on trucks before being taken to the village quarry and shot execution style.

Menachem Begin, the leader of the Irgun at the time, consciously inflated the death toll of the massacre from just over 100 to 254 to instill a sense of incoherent terror within people in hopes of eliminating and erasing the Palestinian people from the landscape and from human consciousness – root and branch, bone and blood. News of the massacre triggered the mass, forced exile that emptied Palestine of 80% of its native Arab population. Over 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from the only homes they had ever known. Today, displaced Palestinians remain the largest and longest-standing refugee population in the world.

The beginning of the Nakba was more than an atrocity; it was completely and intentionally genocidal.

It’s been 69 years since the Deir Yassin massacre and the world has moved past it, but its selective amnesia remains present. Its survivors, however, have never forgotten that Palestine continues to be left with human devastation on an unimaginable scale by Israel in its successive operations and assaults. In the litany of Israel’s gruesome crimes and indiscriminate massacres, Deir Yassin was not the most massive in scale but it’s the one that reduced the Palestinian people to ungrievable, dehumanized convenient objects of hatred and violent retribution whenever convenient. It became the precondition for the calculative, prolonged violence and subhuman slaughter of Palestinians. This became the operative philosophy of the Zionist regime that exists today.

“Man’s inhumanity to man” – A poignant irony

Deir Yassin is one of the few Palestinian villages where the Zionist state attempted to erase its inhabitants, but kept its homes and buildings completely intact. Behind the security cameras, guard posts and fence where my family’s village and home once stood now exists a closed psychiatric facility – Kfar Shaul – which houses people with severe mental illness. The irony is not lost on me: The birth of a state predicated on the wholesale slaughter of innocent people on command, a state that has attempted to anesthetize itself to death and depravity, would surely drive anyone of conscience insane. Another breathtaking irony chills my bones every time I stand on the stolen land of my ancestors. Israel’s official Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem, is built in panoramic view of Deir Yassin, standing as a haunting, insidious testament to “never forget man’s inhumanity to man” in absolute denial of the souls of martyrs buried deep beneath.

Zionist vindictiveness created a deeply-rooted psychological transference onto a people who had nothing to do with the Nazi Holocaust. Prior to 1948, Deir Yassin was a relatively prosperous and peaceful village, and its residents lived in peace with their Jewish neighbors in nearby villages, especially those in Givat Shaul whom they had signed a peace pact with. My grandmother recalls a different time when Arabs and Jews lived as neighbors attending each other’s weddings and celebrations, smoking arghila, eating dried watermelon seeds, sharing news, and going to the cinema together with their Jewish friends. The Orthodox community of Givat Shaul was one of the first to help the survivors of Deir Yassin following the Irgun-Lehi assault. This was never a conflict that has existed for thousands of years. The Palestinians have never had a problem with Judaism; it’s with injustice.

But here’s the thing about stories of survival: They affirm an inescapable truth that reacquaints both victims and perpetrators with memory, with history, with life, and with justice. Aggressors cannot seem to live with the inconvenient truth of their guilty history but survivors refuse to live without it. The people of the world continue to demonstrate that they are so capable of conveniently forgetting the murderous atrocities in which their fellow peers have participated, so it becomes morally imperative and essential, at the very least, to regularly remind them of it.

Palestine has never been a land without a people. It has always been home to a rich landscape filled with a beautiful people, with their own native land, language, and holy sites at the center of their religions. The Zionists tried to expel a people and attempt to scatter a people into oblivion, for they learned from colonizers before them that there is no precedent for a scattered people’s remaining a people. Their dispersion meant their disappearance. Or so they thought.

Tell the stories

The late Dr. Edward Said once said, “To recall Deir Yassin is not just to dwell on past disasters, but to understand who we are and where we are going. Without it we are simply lost.”

My grandmother’s face aches with despair as she narrates the horror and trauma of Deir Yassin.  Her body has kept score for the past sixty-nine years. She has been acutely aware of the sense of displacement dully throbbing with determination inside the dark spaces between her organs and bones, haunted by a history that has sat uncomfortably out of joint for a lifetime. The emotional pain of displacement and dislocation hurts like no other.

The collective inventory of the Palestinian people rests on our shoulders. To never forget the incomprehensible violence and intolerable pain, the extraordinary valor and the steadfastness that have defined Palestinians. It is our duty to record of every life lived, every sentence spoken, every word transmitted still reverberating within it. As the story of the massacre moves on in memory, the aim of remembering the atrocity and bearing witness takes on new meaning. The words of our parents and grandparents remain a talisman that will continue to be passed down for generations.  These are the stories that teach us resilience, joy, hope and incarnation.

The Nakba continues

What drove the exterminatory impulses of the Zionists was not only the contempt that branded millions of Palestinians as dispensable and sub-human, but also the ideologically pervasive mixture of terror and hatred that continues to blame the Palestinians for all of Israel’s ills and seeks their destruction as a matter of life and death in the interests of the Jewish people’s survival. This is the politics and colonial neurosis of Zionism. Israel justifies its policy of mass eradication through its demagogic abuse of portraying itself the perpetual victim. And for those who don’t understand the sadistic nature of the Israeli settler colonialist violence, the only mention of Israel will continue through the perpetual victim narrative, nothing more than a kind of ersatz victory every time. No matter what Israel has ever done, it’s because they’re always defending themselves – armed with bombs and artillery that unearth entire societies – against the Palestinians. Everything Israel ever does is painted as reactionary under the normalization of Zionist brutality.

Israel has a very finely-tuned feel for how many atrocities it can get away with before the world reacts with revulsion. But when entire families are butchered, immolated[DE1], bombed to oblivion upon breaking their fasts[DE2], when mass murder has become an annual event, when the reprise of internment camps and the reinstitution of torture become acts of policy, where were the cries of “Never again”?

The truth is that for the Palestinian people, the truer shout is not “Never again” but “Again and again and again.”

The post-Holocaust vow that genocide would never again be tolerated has long been hollow. The Palestinian people are living proof that murder looks on its victims with a casual eye. The extraordinary and soul-crushing pain that the Palestinian people have endured, for nearly seventy years now, has been perceived as just and mutable.

The Nakba did not penetrate the world consciousness in the same manner as the Holocaust. Slaughtering people, village by village, didn’t seem too high a price to pay, nor did it appear inhumane. These origins contain the historical seeds of genocide. The silence absorbed the lack of noise with a lack of sound so potent that it blackened this world with something so much richer than Zionist hate. Since Deir Yassin, we’ve known what man is capable of: the silent acquiescence in genocide of another people.

The Nakba never ended. It is an ongoing catastrophe. 

Justice and only justice

From its inception, Israel has had an insatiable addiction to blood, pouring more bodies into pits of slaughter never allowing the dead to rest in peace. But peace can never be built on the blood and bone of others. The robotic mass annihilation of the Palestinians had brought human bloodlust to a climax which nobody had considered possible by the victims of the Nazi genocide. Zionists have relied on decades of distortion and deceit, but what they always forget is that the millions of bodies have buried them more than anyone else. With each assault on the most vulnerable, disenfranchised, and traumatized people in which Israel pours endless young bodies into pits of death, they follow it. With every massacre, entire generations are revolutionized and filled with more conviction and sumud.

A truly “free” state can never exist when it’s enslaved to the organized aggression it has chained itself to. One day, Israelis will realize the ceaseless turmoil disrupting their peace has nothing to do with opposition to a Jewish state but is rooted in the fact that no human beings anywhere are created to accept injustice so casually. There will come a time when the world will stop asking the Palestinian people to stop resisting their oppression when the boots of the oppressor remains on their throats. The Palestinian people remain the only colonized and oppressed people who are constantly told to guarantee the security and rights of their occupiers and oppressors, who continue to be held responsible for nothing.

While Israeli expansion, expulsion, colonization, and the indefinite justification for violent retaliation under apocalyptic conditions continue, Palestinians are asked to concede and give more. Each year, their beloved homeland and rights wither away, like a diseased heart, speckled, clotted, and hollowed out. A homeland annulled. No two-state delusion will ever be a viable solution. There will be no peace in Israel and Palestinian until a modicum of justice is achieved for the Palestinians.

Our voices will not be muted by dispossession, expulsion, trauma, and denial. In attempting to erase us, the reality created by the Zionists became a fertile soil for the expression of steadfast resistance and perseverance. No matter how many innocent Palestinians are rounded up and executed, disappeared and silenced, there will always be more of us out there: living, excelling, falling in love, getting married, having children to pass on our narrative to. That resistance is what continues to ensure that ‘never again’ is not hollow.

Dina is a first-generation Palestinian-American living in Chicago. She works in the States and overseas with an NGO for victims of torture in the Occupied Territories of Palestine (Ramallah).

April 9, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Israeli archive file shows that Israel’s founder tried to erase Palestinian Nakba

By Saed Bannoura | IMEMC & Agencies | May 18, 2013

A new report published in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz describes the information found in a newly-uncovered document in the government archives, which reveals that the first Israeli government, including the first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, worked to re-write the history of Israel’s founding in 1948 to deny the fact that over 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled.

The file, number GL-18/17028, was apparently missed by the Israeli military censor, who has sealed all other historical documents related to Israel’s creation in 1948. With the advent of historians like Benny Morris, who went through previously de-classified documents in detail and found strong evidence of massacres of Palestinians by Israeli armed militias as well as the forced expulsion of most of the indigenous population of Palestine in 1948, documents that had been de-classified were sealed again and remain so until today.

There are currently no guidelines or timeline as to when the documents will be unsealed. However, the one file that the government censor missed has a great deal within it on the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe), the 65th anniversary of which was marked by Palestinians and their supporters just this past Wednesday.

According to the Ha’aretz expose, “what has been uncovered provides enough information to establish that in many cases senior commanders of the Israel Defense Forces ordered Palestinians to be expelled and their homes blown up. The Israeli military not only updated Ben-Gurion about these events but also apparently received his prior authorization, in written or oral form, notably in Lod and Ramle, and in several villages in the north.”

The file also contains information on the Israeli hasbara (propaganda) campaign that was launched after the expulsion of the Palestinians, to try to re-write what happened and deny that the Palestinian people were forcibly expelled. The Ha’aretz expose says that in the early 1960s, under pressure from the Kennedy administration in the U.S. to address the crisis of the Palestinian refugees, Ben Gurion held a special meeting at the U.N.

According to the authors, “Ben-Gurion was convinced that the refugee problem was primarily one of public image ‏(hasbara‏). Israel, he believed, would be able to persuade the international community that the refugees had not been expelled, but had fled.”

One of the lies promoted in the propaganda campaign of the early 1960s was a claim that Arab and Palestinian leaders encouraged the Palestinian people to flee during the 1948 Nakba. But the evidence contained in the one unclassified file does not support that claim. Instead, it was the massacres by Israeli militias in places like Deir Yassin, in which over one hundred men, women and children were lined up and shot, that made so many Palestinians fear for their lives and flee.

The rest of the documents on the subject, including government reports and military narratives, remain classified. Many of the original documents have also been destroyed by the Israeli government, some of which (according to researchers who read them) contained accounts of massacres, rapes, brutality and excessive violence that would have been embarrassing to the Israeli state, as well as calling into question the narrative that the Israeli government promotes and the history it teaches its children.

May 18, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Comments Off on Israeli archive file shows that Israel’s founder tried to erase Palestinian Nakba

Deir Yassin massacre has not ended

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Ma’an – 09/04/2013

BETHLEHEM – The massacre at Deir Yassin in 1948 is still going on today, lawmaker Mustafa Barghouti said Tuesday, as Palestinians mark the 65th year since Jewish militias murdered over 100 Palestinian villagers.

“What happened 65 years ago in Deir Yassin was a horrible massacre which prepared the ground for the ethnic cleansing of 70 percent of the Palestinian people,” Barghouti told Ma’an.

“The same ethnic cleansing is going on today but in a different way. In 1948 they used direct massacres, now they use airstrikes in Gaza and shoot young Palestinians in the West Bank.”

On April 9, 1948, the Lehi and Irgun Jewish militia groups, the latter headed by former Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin, attacked the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin, despite the fact that villagers had signed a non-aggression pact.

Over 100 men, women and children were killed by the Jewish fighters in the village, which was designated as part of the Corpus Separatum plan for Jerusalem as part of the 1947 UN partition plan for Palestine.

Survivor statements from the massacre report that villagers were ordered to line up against village walls before being shot by Jewish fighters, according to Deir Yassin Remembered.

Militia members looted homes and stole jewelry from villagers and there were reports of sexual violence, survivor accounts say.

“What is happening today in Jerusalem is not different to what happened all those years ago in Deir Yassin. Ethnic cleansing is happening at a slower rate today, the form has changed but the content is the same,” Barghouti added.

More than 760,000 Palestinians — estimated today to number 4.7 million with their descendants — were pushed into exile or driven out of their homes as the State of Israel was established in 1948.

Massacres such as those at Deir Yassin were pivotal catalysts in forcing Palestinian civilians to flee their homes for fear of being killed by Jewish militia groups.

The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Information released a statement condemning the massacre, calling it an “open wound” which continues to affect the Palestinian people through continued Israeli aggression.

April 9, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Phil Monsour – Ghosts Of Deir Yassin

The writing on the hands are the names of the original villages in Palestine that these people were ethnically cleansed from.Buy: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/philmonsour4
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Phil-Monsour-Band/213390992033614
Website: http://www.philmonsour.com/ (CD available direct from the artist.)

The video was made with the assistance of Australians for Palestine, Justice for Palestine Brisbane, Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine, and a number of individuals including Margaret Cassar, David Smith, Jeanie Lucas, Ian Curr, Fay Waddington, Richard Burchorn, Anne Monsour and Gordon Thompson.

Ghosts of Deir Yassin
They pretend that it’s forgotten
But somewhere small flowers grow
On the weathered stones of destroyed homes
Somewhere the light’s still in the window
You see that we are rising our day is surely coming
No longer in the shadows
Of the ghosts of Deir Yassin
They change the names on the signs
But it’s in our hearts these words are written
Of the children who don’t know their homes
They will walk the streets from which they are forbidden
You see that we are rising our day is surely coming
No longer in the shadows
Of the ghosts of Deir Yassin

Below is the English translation of the Fadwa Tuqan
poem performed in this song by Rafeef Ziadah.
The Title of the poem is Fee Thikra Al Milad elEshreen
– 20th Birthday Anniversary.
I challenge .. No, my future
I will return with resolve and confidence
I hope one day to return
to my beloved homeland
to the flowers and roses
I no longer fear their power
I will return

Of the old ones now passed on
But it’s their blood our hearts are pumping
They will walk with us when we return to their towns
Whose names will live again
You see that we are rising our day is surely coming
No longer in the shadows
Of the ghosts of Deir Yassin
You see that we are rising
You know the fear is gone
We will return
You see that we are rising our day is surely coming
We are no longer in the shadows
Of the ghosts of Deir Yassin
You see that we are rising our day is surely coming
No longer in the shadows
Of the ghosts of Deir Yassin

September 22, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , , | Comments Off on Phil Monsour – Ghosts Of Deir Yassin

Palestine…. A Moment of Reflection

To Save Palestine is to Save the World

By Nahida | Uprooted Palestinians | April 28, 2012

I often pondered as to why the name Holy Land was given to Palestine?

What is it about this land that justifies or legitimizes such a description when in fact that land, through myriad of foreign invasions has witnessed some of the cruelest, most barbaric, most unholy, most immoral human behaviour?

My latest visit to my Home-Land Palestine was a heartrending experience with shocking reality; a roller-coaster, a volcano of paradoxical emotions, an extraordinary visual and sensual intensive course, with daily, if not hourly, spiritual lessons.

While the visit itself did not last more than ten days, I however travelled through time, standing on the terrace of my grandparents, I saw what was, what is and what could be.

As I stood on that old terrace of my grandfather’s house, facing the remains of the village of Lifta on one side and the construction of the Jewish colony Givat Shaul with its hideous buildings and eerie cemetery on the other, what I saw was indescribable: a vivid screen shot of two extremes of human existence and endeavour, a visual manifestation of a bizarre reality of two paradoxical worlds narrating the tragedy of what had happened and is still happening to Palestine and the world:

In the horizon, there before my eyes, was written the truth in plain indisputable language.

With poignant Lifta on my left I saw the past: organic, natural, native, rooted, sustainable, gentle, green, alive, flowing, timeless, tender, harmonious, modest, and exquisitely beautiful.

With Givat Shaul on my right I saw the present, violently constructed on the ruins of Deir Yassin by the Jewish-Zionist occupiers; artificial, implanted, pompous, forced, disconnected, rootless, harsh, malignant, cancerous, dead, offensive, aggressive, predatory, foreign, ruthless, and hideous beyond words.

On the terrace of my grandfather’s I saw a Civilization that lived by fostering life VS a Devilization that can only exist by destroying life.

On the terrace of my grandfather I saw a culture of Life being momentarily oppressed by a culture of Death.

On the terrace of my grandfather I understood that for us Palestinians if we are to make it into the future, all we need to do is to vehemently reject the poisonous glitter of the occupiers with all its multifaceted deception: where slavery is sugar-coated with slogans as “modern banking systems”, “global trade”, “free loans”, “buy now pay later” and “economic growth”.

On the terrace of my grandfather I understood that whatever we do we must vehemently oppose any attempt that aims to lure us to “learn” from or mimic the occupier in any shape or form:

Not in the way they run their society, where the selfish concept of “I” and “my interest” are promoted and admired while the foundation of civil human interaction and the altruistic concepts of “we” and the “communal interest” are frowned upon, despised and discouraged as irrelevant backwardness;

Not in the way they conduct business by the use of usury enriching the rich few and impoverishing the masses of poor;

Not in the way they use aggressive agriculture, under the veil of “increasing productivity” they kill the land with chemicals and over-irrigation and destroy the future with GMO sterile seedless uncontrollable crops, they farm animals in the most cruel conditions. Under the veil of modernity they inject seeds of death and un-sustainability, bleeding the land dry of its richness and natural resources;

Not in the way they model their pyramidic hierarchical systems of which millions who languish at the bottom are crushed by a handful who climb to the top.

Not in the way they build colonies brutally carving out the heart of our beautiful landscape, savagely slicing through our precious hills and butchering our millennia-old meadows and mountains only to replace it with prison boxes and creepy tombstones.

On the terrace of my grandfather I saw that a culture of death by its very nature is not sustainable, and cannot possibly survive let alone give birth to life.

On the terrace of my grandfather I saw the manifestation of an exemplary, sustainable, organic, cohesive, open and hospitable civilization, a World Heritage that learned how to peacefully and lovingly coexist and thrive with its neighbours, surroundings and environment.

On the terrace of my grandfather, I understood why and how a land can become Holy and from where the sanctity of this cherished Land emerged.

On the terrace of my grandfather I saw the hands of thousands upon thousands of men women and children tenderly attending the land, lovingly removing the stones from its fields and pathways, where in return I saw the stones write poetry of love and thankfulness with its poppies, daisies and bluebells.

On the terrace of my grandfather, I saw the attentive hearts of my people singing melodies of affection and adoration as they tenderly depicted their poetic verses in sublime harmony with their environment. Their little hand-picked stones thoughtfully arranged, perfectly in tune with the landscape around. Sensitively, compassionately and to the best of human endeavour, mimicking in fine details the Divine-artwork, without causing injury or harm to whatever lays in the way. Out of stones, rocks, flowers and trees they have created a timeless panorama of breathtaking beauty.

On the terrace of my grandfather, I saw the hands of generations of my ancestors patiently caressing its sleepy hills and artistically painting the landscape with the brush of pure love, swathing it with Holiness and Sacredness, preserving its Divine-given authenticity and protecting life that dwells on it.

On the terrace of my grandfather I saw breathing homes with flowery grassy roofs, I saw homes with eyes, homes with hearts, homes that smile and weep, homes that rejoice meeting her loved ones and that mourn those whom have been lost.

On the terrace of my grandfather I saw homes that welcome its dwellers with hugs and kisses and put its children to sleep by tales of love, magical bedtime stories and singing prophetic lullabies.

On the terrace of my grandfather, I finally understood the meaning of the name Holy Land, Blessed Land, Sacred Land and why that name was bestowed on our Palestine.

On the terrace of my grandfather, I saw Love of Life, Love of Land and Love of Humanity beautifully and supremely intertwined with spirituality, religiously protecting all that is around, thus creating a Holy Land, with excruciating beauty and dazzling glory, a Sacred Landscape, a Majestic Prayer and a Soul-Capturing Sanctuary with infinite charm and mesmerizing grace.

On the terrace of my grandfather, I saw how is it possible for humanity to be saved, to survive and thrive by saving and following the example of Palestine.

On the terrace of my grandfather I understood that the day of their demise is a stone throw away and the day of our Liberation is not far anymore.

On the terrace of my grandfather I realised that stopping and reversing the destruction of this land, and its inevitable Full Liberation, is not only necessary and urgent from the standpoint of Justice. Palestine is far more.

Palestine and its ominously peaceful and sustainable model is NOT a mere nostalgic ideal, but the most perfect source of inspiration and blueprint to design a futuristic, yet solidly rooted and time tested society, in which human interaction, environmental intervention, timeless architecture, agriculture, ethical commercial exchange and spiritual quest are the peak of human achievement. They are not incompatible with contemporary technology and population growth, they are the safeguards and KEY to a sustainable, peaceful and brighter future.

Whether some like it or not, in order to rescue this Sacred World Heritage, it will need a difficult surgery: the removal of the invading death culture that has shown its colossal failure to integrate the Land and its People.

Beauty and Humanity shall prevail.

I warmly invite the world along with my fellow Palestinians to rediscover and embrace our Palestinian culture of Life following the flowering footsteps of the Prophets of this Holy Land, Palestine.

April 28, 2012 Posted by | Environmentalism, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Deir Yassin Day in London

By Paul Eisen* | Uprooted Palestinians | April 8, 2012

On April 23 in London, Deir Yassin Remembered and The General Union of Palestinian Students will be commemorating Deir Yassin Day 2012.

Deir Yassin Day commemorates the Deir Yassin massacre of April 9th 1948.

Not the only massacre at that time and by no means the worst, Deir Yassin signaled and has come to symbolise, the dispossession of the Palestinian people and their continuing exile.

April 23 is also the birthday of Miguel Cervantes creator of Don Quixote and of Roy Orbison creator of “Only the Lonely” – and a man who, just when you thought he could go no higher – up an octave he’d go. It’s also the birth- and death day of William Shakespeare – highly appropriate for a man known for his immaculate dramatic structure and pleasing endings.

But in England April 23rd is above all, St. George’s Day. St George is the patron Saint of England and strangely, St George was a Palestinian.

George hailed from the Palestinian town of Lydda, turned into an airport in 1948 and named Lod, and named again after the great ethnic-cleanser David Ben Gurion. Like Deir Yassin itself, the story of Lydda could serve as a template for all the expulsions and massacres of 1948.

At Deir Yassin the perpetrators massacred over a hundred villagers and burned their bodies. Others were loaded onto trucks and paraded through the streets of Jewish Jerusalem, then taken to a nearby quarry and shot. Orphaned children of Deir Yassin, dragged from under the bodies of their dead and dying relatives were taken and dumped, dazed and bleeding, in a Jerusalem alley.

At Lydda the Israelis massacred 426 men, women, and children; 176 slaughtered in the town’s main mosque and the remainder driven into exile. Forced to walk in the summer heat, they left behind them a trail of bodies – men, women and children. It was the Palestinians’ very own ‘Trail of Tears’.

And, just like at Deir Yassin, the town of Lydda was repopulated with Jewish immigrants, the name Hebraised to Lod and, like the name Deir Yassin, the name Lydda was wiped off the map.

At our commemoration DYR and GUPS will be joined by the Palestinian Delegation, the Palestinian community of the U.K. and many British and other supporters. We will also be joined by Abu Ashraf, now of Azaria but once of Deir Yassin – because in April 1948 Abu Ashraf lived in Deir Yassin and, on April 9th at the time of the massacre, was a few days short of his eighth birthday.

So, it’s fitting that our commemoration be held on April 23rd, St. George’s Day; in London, the capital of England, and led by Abu Ashraf of Deir Yassin.

* (With thanks to Stuart Littlewood)

April 8, 2012 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Deir Yassin Day in London

The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Ilan Pappe

Review by William Podmore

Pappe, an Israeli historian and a senior lecturer at Haifa University, has written a superb account of the Israeli expulsion of the Palestinians from their land in 1948. He quotes David Ben Gurion, leader of the Zionist movement from the mid-1920 until the 1960s, who wrote in his diary in 1938, “I am for compulsory transfer; I do not see anything immoral in it.” This contradicts the Zionists’ public claim that they were seizing a land without a people.

Pappe writes of the Israelis’ March 1948 plan for evicting the Palestinians, “The orders came with a detailed description of the methods to be employed to forcibly evict the people: large-scale intimidation; laying siege to and bombarding villages and population centres; setting fire to homes, properties and goods; expulsion; demolition; and, finally, planting mines among the rubble to prevent any of the expelled inhabitants from returning.”

Between 30 March and 15 May 1948, i.e. before any Arab government intervened, Israeli forces seized 200 villages and expelled 250,000 Palestinians. The Israeli leadership stated, “The principal objective of the operation is the destruction of Arab villages … the eviction of the villagers.” On 9 April, Israeli forces massacred 93 people, including 30 babies, at Deir Yassin. In Haifa, the Israeli commander ordered, “Kill any Arab you encounter.”

This all happened under British rule in Palestine, where Britain had 75,000 troops: Britain’s Mandate did not end until 14 May. The Labour government connived at the Israeli onslaught, although the British state was legally obliged as the occupier (and also by UN resolution 181) to uphold law and order. Yet the Labour government announced that it would no longer be responsible for law and order and it withdrew all the British policemen. It also forbade the presence of any UN bodies, again breaching the terms of the UN resolution. The government ordered British forces to disarm the few Palestinians who had weapons, promising to protect them from Israeli attacks, then immediately reneged on this promise.

On 24 May 1948, Ben Gurion wrote, “We will establish a Christian state in Lebanon, the southern border of which will be the Litani River. We will break Transjordan, bomb Amman and destroy its army, and then Syria falls, and if Egypt will still continue to fight – we will bombard Port Said, Alexandria and Cairo. This will be in revenge for what they (the Egyptians, the Aramis and Assyrians) did to our forefathers during Biblical times.” These ravings of an insane warmonger hardly betrayed any genuine fear of a `second holocaust’. The Palestinians were suffering massive expulsion, not trying to destroy the Jewish community.

Pappe summarises, “When it created its nation-state, the Zionist movement did not wage a war that `tragically but inevitably’ led to the expulsion of `parts of’ the indigenous population, but the other way round: the main goal was the ethnic cleansing of all of Palestine, which the movement coveted for its new state. A few weeks after the ethnic cleansing operations began, the neighbouring Arab states sent a small army – small in comparison to their overall military might – to try, in vain, to prevent the ethnic cleansing. The war with the regular Arab armies did not bring the ethnic cleansing operations to a halt until their successful completion in the autumn of 1948.”

Overall, the Zionist forces uprooted more than half of Palestine’s population, 800,000 people, destroyed 531 villages and emptied eleven urban neighbourhoods of their inhabitants. Pappe concludes that this was “a clear-cut case of an ethnic cleansing operation, regarded under international law today as a crime against humanity.”

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January 4, 2012 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 4 Comments