Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Remembering Deir Yasin

April 9 marks 60 years since Israeli forces entered the Arab village known as Deir Yassin and brutally massacred between 107 and 120 villagers in 1948. Those killed were mostly unarmed women, children, and old people.

It mattered little to the Israeli forces that Deir Yasin had declared itselt neutral in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. What mattered was the genocidal intent to eradicate Deir Yasin which was located five and a half miles west of Jerusalem.

Commandos of the Irgun, under the command of Menachem Begin, and the Stern Gang carried out the massacre.

Though Deir Yassin was not ceded to the Israeli state by the United Nations, a year later the Jewish settlement of Givat Shaul Beth was erected in its place.

By 1980 the state of Israel destroyed most of the remaining buildings of Deir Yasin to make way for another Jewish settlement. Even the village cemetery was flattened to make way for an Israeli-only highway.

Today, what is left of the Deir Yasin buildings is used as part of an Israeli psychiatric hospital known as Kfar Shaul.

To add insult to this cruel and inhumane eradication of Deir Yasin, Israel has named streets in the Jewish settlements that are taken from the commando units that carried out massacre.

Deir Yasin is a significant struggle marker in the racist resettlement of Palestinian territory by Israel because it marked the beginning of a systematic program to forcefully resettle Jews onto Palestinean land.

Settlements continue even as I write here. See Al Nakba or "the catastrophe" for more discussion.

As the madness of deciding between which American candidate will be most supportive of Israel and its policies not a word is spared for the intense suffering of Palestineans.

Nontheless, as an anti-racist revolutionary, among many others, I cannot forget Deir Yasin and the ongoing struggle to liberate Palestine.

Deir Yasin Remembered, and the Israeli organization known as Zochrot, will read the names of those massacred in what is now Givat Shaul. The reading will take place on Thursday, April 10th, from 4:00pm until 6:00pm.



Dade said...

The Israeli juggernaut is ruthless, efficient, and completely remorseless. I was unaware of this story, before I read your blog, my friend. Thanks for educating me.

The Israeli settlements in Palestine are flagrant "f**k you's" to the entire Islamic world, and to anyone with a sense of justice and decency.

Ridwan said...

Absolutely brother. Hundreds of Palestinean settlements were eradicated after Deir Yasin.

What is going on in Gaza is nothing short of the worst human rights tragedy in recent memory.

Palestineans there are living in squalor and imprisoned by Israel.

The double standard that the West uses to judge Israel's policies toward Palestinean's is appalling.

I grew up in apartheid and can say with confidence that Israel's apartheid is worse by any measure.

Peace Dade,

nunya said...

The settlements piss me off. So does Dar al-Harb and Dar al-Islam

How do you feel about "right of return?"

Frankly, it sounds a little unrealistic to me. 700,000 people fled, and now they are around 5 million.

The Palestinians are not welcome in large numbers in the Muslim world, and they are used as a political football, or as a distraction from corrupt leadership in the Muslim world.

I was at an anti-war rally a couple of years ago that was pretty much abandoned because the Palestinian activists were so obnoxious.

Ridwan said...

Nunya I think that if Palestinean villages and towns had not been destroyed we would have seen population growth anyway.

So, I am for the right of return.

I am also in favor of a two state solution with the proviso that Israel return all land that was not ceded by the 47/48 UN action that created Israel.

This also means that Jerusalem be kept as an international city open to both Israel and Palestine (joint administrative custody).

So what should happen to the Israeli settlements? The land should be returned to Palestineans.

You are absolutely right that Palestineans are not treated justly in the region.

I don't see it as a Muslim problem and contest the notion that there is a Muslim world.

The problem is one faced by all displaced people in the unworkable state system.

South Africa is no more friendlier to African refugees than it is to Palestinean refugees. Both are refugees and viewed as a liability.

So Jordan and Egypt are doing what states do, they act in their own interests only.

And, it is no longer in their interests to absorb anymore Palestinean refugees.

Sad but it is true.

I can't see how corrupt Arab leaders use Palestineans in their favor. The Saudis are among the most corrupt and they are the biggest allies of the West.

The problem of Palestine is the racist and inhumane policies of the state of Israel.

Peace Nunya,

nunya said...

"I can't see how corrupt Arab leaders use Palestineans in their favor. The Saudis are among the most corrupt and they are the biggest allies of the West."

"The Arab states do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as an affront to the United Nations, and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders do not give a damn whether Arab refugees live or die." -- Ralph Galloway, former UNWRA director, 1958

Prince Saud Al-Faisal interview with Newsweek-Washington Post

What is the condition under which Saudi Arabia would establish some kind of relations with Israel?
If there is total peace and every Arab country signs the peace treaty that was proposed [by Crown Prince Abdullah] and accepted by the Beirut conference [in 2002]. It saidtotal peace for total withdrawal to the '67 borders...

Ridwan said...

Thanks for the links Nunya.

Galloway's comment speaks to blaming the victim. Palestineans are not suffering because Arabs are doing the oppressing. Israel is the human rights violator.

Most states in the region want Israel to accept the UN accords that established it in 47.

Thanks again for the links.


GiGi - The Shy Giraffe said...

another history learn thanks to you. i wonder if there will ever comes a day where there will be peace in the middle east.

looking at how history unfolding, and the treatment of israel against palestian... sad to say, i doubt i'm going to see peace happening in my lifetime...

Ridwan said...

Thanks for your comment Gigi. I know exactly what you are talking about.

At times one grows weary of the continuous unrest and violence. It has been going on for all of my life and more.

The situation with Israel and Palestine will only improve when the West deals with Israel like the human rights violator and oppressor it is.

Peace sista,

nunya said...

Ridwan, I understand that Arabs are not doing the oppressing. Believe me, I get hell for bitching about the settlements and land grabs. I do think that the plight of the Palestinians is used by Muslim leadership as a weapon against Israel though. AND as a distraction from some of the govt. failures to provide a higher standard of living for constituents or even safety measures.

Exponential population growth and a yearning for "first world" standards of living is making life rough all over the planet. The amount of people on the planet has more than doubled in my lifetime, and more than five fold in my mother's lifetime. Almost 7 billion people and only so much arable land. Pile on top of that climate change exacerbated by Co2, generations of slash and burn field clearing involving deforestation which leads to desertification etc.

The first world is going to suffocate in piles of it's own garbage.

(Just try to get politicians here interested in public transport, hell they know it's political suicide to try to get McFatasses out of their SUVs)

Of course most people don't know this when they start breeding in their teens or early twenties, do they?

Ridwan said...

I hear you about wanting to live up to the first world in terms of consumption Nunya.

There was not a moment in Delhi, or anywhere else in big city India, when I could come to grips with the sheer numbers of people.

It makes me shudder to think that Ratan Tata now wants Indians to trade in their scooters and buy cars (Tata Nano).

More cars, more delusions, more people!

Here in my hometown of Kimberley I cringe at the growth each time I head out.

We used to be a small nobody dust bowl with familiar faces. Now we are a small dustbowl nobody town with more and more cars and more and more people.

Just yesterday I was talking to an old timer and he coldly said: "If you think the roads are clogged just wait till you see the city's sewerage system, it is about to explode with the new growth everywhere."

A light went on in my head. I suddenly realized why I was not feeling my town so much anymore ... too damn many people!

And I say this knowing just how selfish it sounds.

Hell when I went back to Portland last year I felt the same. The roads were clogged and Portland felt big, too big.

You are right about our growth. We are getting too big for our own good.

Still, much of the growth and abuse of natural resources lies squarely with the West.

On the Palestinean cause it is my wish that right thinking people and states pressure Israel to relent.

Peace Nunya,

nunya said...


If you go back far enough in the history of human habitation, Westerners were originally Africans. And "Native Americans" share genetic markers with Asians:
Genetic studies demonstrate that Native Americans inherited their mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from a handful of founders who arrived from Asia via Beringia

People have been conquering each other since the dawn of "civilization."
The Third Chimpanzee was quite enlightening for me to read.