No Pride in This Memorial: April 9th in Middle East History

Posted on Mon, Apr 08, 2013 @ 10:55 PM
DeirYassinMap
 Map courtesy Wikipedia

An event the Palestinians recall every year is the massacre of 100110 Palestinian villagers at Deir Yassin on the city's western edge on April 9, 1948. It became the most significant aspect of Operation Nachshon, the Jewish campaign to open up the corridor between the Mediterranean coast and Jerusalem.

The attack on the village was carried out by two Jewish underground organizations, Irgun Z'vai Leumi (IZL) and Lohamei Herut Israel (Lehi; also known as the Stern Gang), with the apparent agreement of the Haganah in Jerusalem. The villagers had been friendly toward the Jews, refusing to allow Palestinian resistance fighters to stay there, but they had armed themselves against possible attack. The fighting went so badly for the Jewish attackers that they resorted to dynamiting houses, killing men, women and children. Though many younger male Palestinians escaped, others (women, children and old men) were humiliated by being trucked through Jerusalem in a kind of victory parade and then dumped in Arab East Jerusalem.

Along with many other sources, Benny Morris's 1999 book, Righteous Victimsdetails this confrontation. Deir Yassin's website contains much helpful information as does the associated documentary.

The immediate result of the massacre was such that a Palestinian refugee exodus began. This turning point in the Middle East conflict opened the way for Jewish successes in the days ahead. It also set the stage for fierce reprisal. Four days later, the Palestinians attacked a 10-vehicle convoy traveling to Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus. During the six-hour fight, two armored buses were torched and more than 70 mostly unarmed Jewish doctors, nurses and lecturers died.

The State of Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, later apologized for the events at Deir Yassin.

Tags: palestinians, Ben-Gurion, 1948 war, Deir Yassin, Middle East Conflict

Massacre of Palestinians at Deir Yassin Named Black Stain by Jewish Thinkers

Posted on Wed, Feb 06, 2008 @ 04:43 PM
Martin Buber and one of the seminal events in the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1948

Deir Yassin todayIt was Jewish philosopher Martin Buber who, with three other Jewish thinkers, wrote to Ben-Gurion that the massacre of over 100 men, women and children by Jewish forces at Deir Yassin is "a black stain on the honour of the Jewish nation" and "a warning to our people that no practical military needs may ever justify such acts of murder."

Ben-Gurion never replied despite being sent several copies of the letter.

Two Jewish underground groups are traditionally associated with the events at Deir Yassin: IZL (Irgun Z'vai Leumi) and LHI (Lehame Herut Israel [Stern Group]). But as Israeli historian Benny Morris has pointed out in Righteous Victims (1990, p.207), there was a third supporting group, comprised of Palmach and Haganah elements (there with the approval of the Haganah command in Jerusalem).

Jewish theologian Marc Ellis notes that Martin Buber also wrote in his letter to Ben-Gurion, "The time will come when it will be possible to conceive of some act in Deir Yassin, an act which will symbolize our people's desire for justice and brotherhood with the Arab people."

Speed the day.

Deir Yassin: From Both Sides

Tags: middle east, arab-israeli conflict, israeli-palestinian conflict, 1948, Ben-Gurion, Marc Ellis, Martin Buber, Benny Morris, Deir Yassin

Deir Yassin, the Black Stain at Israel's Founding

Posted on Mon, Feb 04, 2008 @ 04:05 PM

In Palestine 60 years ago: Operation Nachshon and the awful events at the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin—a turning point in the First Arab-Israeli War

Deir Yassin Remembered

During the Jewish campaign to open up the corridor between the coast and Jerusalem in April 1948 (Operation Nachshon), the most significant event was the massacre of 100-110 Palestinian villagers at Deir Yassin on the city's western edge on April 9. The attack on the village was carried out by two Jewish underground organizations, IZL (Irgun Z'vai Leumi) and LHI (Lehame Herut Israel [Stern Gang]), with the apparent agreement of the Haganah in Jerusalem. As the attack progressed, it was met with fierce and unexpected resistance. Though the villagers had been friendly toward the Jews, not allowing Palestinian resistance fighters to stay there, they had understandably armed themselves against possible attack.

Now they resisted. The fighting went so badly for the Jewish attackers that they resorted to dynamiting houses, killing men, women and children.

The details are found in many sources, including Benny Morris's 1999 book, Righteous Victims. The web site for Deir Yassin contains much helpful information as does the memorial documentary.

The immediate result of the massacre was to galvanize Arab hatred, but also to create fear to such a degree that a Palestinian refugee exodus was set in motion. It was indeed a turning point that made the Jewish successes in the days ahead much easier. But it also set the pattern for reprisal. On April 13, the Palestinians launched a six hour attack on a ten-vehicle convoy bound for the Hadassah Hospital-Hebrew University campus on Mount Scopus. In a brutal end to the confrontation, two armored buses were torched and more than 70 mostly unarmed Jewish doctors, nurses and lecturers lost their lives.

Tags: arab-israeli conflict, 1948 war, Benny Morris, Deir Yassin, operation nachshon