April 9 marked the massacre of Deir Yassin, where an estimated 100 Palestinians were killed in the early morning hours, by commandos of the Irgun (headed by Menachem Begin) and the Stern Gang. Bloggers commemorate the tragedy 60 years later.
Early in the morning of April 9, 1948, commandos of the Irgun (headed by Menachem Begin) and the Stern Gang attacked Deir Yassin, a village with about 750 Palestinian residents. The village lay outside of the area to be assigned by the United Nations to the Jewish State; it had a peaceful reputation. But it was located on high ground in the corridor between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Deir Yassin was slated for occupation under Plan Dalet and the mainstream Jewish defense force, the Haganah, authorized the irregular terrorist forces of the Irgun and the Stern Gang to perform the takeover.
In all over 100 men, women, and children were systematically murdered. Fifty-three orphaned children were literally dumped along the wall of the Old City, where they were found by Miss Hind Husseini and brought behind the American Colony Hotel to her home, which was to become the Dar El-Tifl El-Arabi orphanage.
Sabbah also links to for the Institute for Middle East Understanding website, which has more information about the massacre.
Attending The World sheds light on the political reasons behind the massacre, quoting Menachem Begin, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and the first Likud Prime Minister of Israel:
“Deir Yassin massacre was not only necessary, but without it the state of Israel could not have emerged” said Menachem Begin.
The blogger also publishes a testimony by former Haganah officer, Col. Meir Pa’el, upon his retirement from the Israeli army in 1972:
“In the exchange that followed four [Irgun] men were killed and a dozen were wounded … by noon time the battle was over and the shooting had ceased. Although there was calm, the village had not yet surrendered. The Irgun and LEHI men came out of hiding and began to `clean’ the houses. They shot whoever they saw, women and children included, the commanders did not try to stop the massacre …. I pleaded with the commander to order his men to cease fire, but to no avail. In the meantime, 25 Arabs had been loaded on a truck and driven through Mahne Yehuda and Zichron Yousef (like prisoners in a Roman `March of Triumph’). At the end of the drive, they were taken to the quarry between Deir Yasin and Giv’at Shaul, and murdered in cold blood … The commanders also declined when asked to take their men and bury the 254 Arab bodies. This unpleasant task was performed by two Gadna units brought to the village from Jerusalem.”
In Al- Falastiniya's post, I am Dier Yassin, she asserts that Deir Yassin is more than a “death toll”:
we are so much more than a death toll or a simple story to be told in order to conjure up pity.
i walked home tonight and realized that the streets were not full of blood. i claimed the sidewalk as my own; no one stopped to question me. i walked, and i realized i was perhaps too lucky. “deir yassin, deir yassin, have you heard of what happened at deir yassin? do you want to end up like those of deir yassin?” i have never had to answer this question. i have never had to flee for my life. i have never heard the sound of a gunshot… the sadness is not mine alone- it was not mine originally, i simply inherited it.
We also have a post from John Hilley, who argues how Deir Yassin massacre has been omitted in the western media:
9 April 2008 marked the terrible events of Deir Yassin, sixty years after 254 of the village's Palestinian men, women and children were massacred by Zionist forces.
You didn't hear anything about it on the BBC. You didn't see any recognition of it by the US, EU and other ‘civilized’ Western governments. And you certainly won't find any message of regret over it from a state which has sought to bury the truth of this and multiple other atrocities with all those murdered Palestinians.
For Israel, its allies and their media stenographers, Deir Yassin doesn't merit special commemoration. It's just a name, a village, a place, a painful memory still firmly fixed in Palestinian consciousness.
Finally, Free the Detainees shares with us scenes from New York commemorating the Deir Yassin massacre here.
All photos are courtesy of Deir Yassine site.