Sunday, 9 April 2017

Dier Yassin massacre remembered 69 years later.


Today the Palestinian people mark the 69th  year since Commanders of  the Ergun (headed by future
Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin,) and the Stern Gang attacked in the early hours of the morning Deir Yassin, a village at the western entrance of Jerusalem containing 750 Palestinian residents. By the time  the villagers realized the intensity of the terrorist attack, hundreds were already dead, the Zionist militia  murdered over 250 - 360 Palestinian villagers in cold blood wounding  many others. Many of the bodies were tossed  in the village well,  and 159 captured women and children  were paraded  through the Jewish sectors of Jerusalem..
What happened in Deir Yassin prepared the ground for the ethnic cleansing of 70% of the Palestinian people. The same ethnic cleansing that occurred then is unfortunately going on today. In 1948 they used direct massacres, but today they use airstrikes in Gaza and shoot innocent young Palestinians in the West Bank.Deir Yassin was not an isolated incident; such a heartbreaking tragedy was flagrantly carried out in conjunction with “Plan Dalet.” Based on a policy of ethnic cleansing and terror, “Plan Dalet” was implemented by the Haganah to force Palestinians to flee their homes and to destroy their villages with the deliberate intent of establishing the State of Israel on Palestinian soil.
For Palestinians and their supporters, the massacre is a symbol. that marks  their deep sense  of dispossession.It is remembered as the pivotal onset of the 1948 Nabka. Deir Yassin is the "other shoe that fell," sparking over 750,000 to flee from their homes, 80 percent of the population at that time, from their homes so that Israel, a colonialist settler state, could be created on their land.Over two million scattered in a far-flung diaspora today, in what remains at the heart of the Israel/Palestine conflict.
The village  lay outside of the area assigned by the United Nations to the 'Jewish State'. It had a peaceful reputation, the Deir Yassin villagers had signed a non aggression pact with the leaders of the adjacent Jewish Quarter, Giv'at Shaul and had even refused military personnel from the Arab Liberation Army from using the village as a base.An Israeli psychiatric hospital now lies on the ruins of Deir Yassin, the remainder of which was bulldozed in the 1980s to make way for new settlements  and incorporated as a neighbourhood of Jerusalem. These streets shamefully carry the names of the Irgun militiamen who carried out the massacre.
Sixty nine years later the Deir Yassin massacre still remains an important reminder of Israel’s systematic measures of displacement, destruction, dispossession, and dehumanization.In keeping with Simon Wiesenthal's observation that "Hope lives when people remember," the suffering of the Jews has been rightly acknowledged and memorialised. But there are few memorials for Palestinians who died in 1948 and since. Their history, in which the massacre at Deir Yassin is a very significant event, has been largely buried and forgotten. And yet, like the descendants of the victims in Armenia (1915-17), in the Soviet Union (1929-53), in Nazi Germany (1933-45), in China (1949-52, 1957-60, and 1966-76), and in Cambodia (1975-79), the descendants of Palestinians want the world to remember what they suffered, what they lost and why they died. The calculated efforts by Israel to completely erase the history, narrative and physical presence of the Palestinian people will not be simply ignored or forgotten. It also serves to ask ourselves the question what  turns a victim into an abuser,a bully that keeps blaming its victims? And over the years we've been taught many things, that invasion was not invasion, occupation was not occupation, apartheid was not apartheid,ethnic cleansing was not ethnic cleansing,and that land theft was not land theft and Palestine was not Palestine.
But many years later the Palestinian peoples collective voice can still be heard from the refugee camps of Lebanon, Jordan and Syria, to the towns of the West Bank and Gaza, to the ghettos inside the Israeli green line. This determination and resilience has earned them respect and support of an increasing number of people around the world. Despite the humiliation and pain of their  occupation, you can't kill their  indomitable spirit and struggle.

Phil Monsour featuring Rafeef Ziadah - Ghosts of Deir Yassin




The writing on the hands are the names of the original villages in Palestine that these people were ethnically cleansed

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

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