• sleepless

    Another great article. Many governments have been acting violently, and Israeli govt is by no means an exception. If we can criticize what is going on today in Israel and Palestine, this is partially thanks to our open-minded Israeli and Jewish brothers and sisters around the world. Thus, Omid’s article is a call for all of us to condemn all kinds of religious & nationalist violence and discrimination, whether in Israel, Afghanistan, or United States. We should stop focusing our religious differences and criticizing the entire communities of Jews, Christians, Muslims, etc. and work for peaceful co-existence in our beloved territories. An important step would be the recognition that there are many people from other faiths who are ready to corroborate for peace even more willingly than others from our own faith.

    We will commemorate April 9 around the world, and never forget the death & persecution of innocent victims of Deir Yassin; not to perpetuate hatred, but to learn from our mistakes, to forgive, to love, and to find ways to co-exist peacefully.

    Thank you, Omid!

  • Tom Joyce

    A great piece, Omid, and a story that needs to be told. In the West we tend to think of “terrorism” as what the other guys do, but in truth, it is not a one-sided phenomenon, nor is it confined to any ethnicity or ideology. Today’s “freedom fighter” is easily painted as tomorrow’s “terrorist,” and vice versa. Just depends on who controls the media, doesn’t it?

  • Jim

    This ‘massacre’ is fictitious, a work of fiction created by the deputies of the nazi Hajj Amin al Husseini. Thus the author is serving as a modern day Goebbels by lying about Jews and inciting hatred of Jews.

  • Hi Jim, go tell that to the families who lost loved ones. Even the Jewish sources such as Jewish Virtual Library acknowledge the massacre. The debate is not about whether its happened, but about its scope, and whether it represented a symptom of the Zionist approach to intimidating the local indigenous population, or an aberration.
    A response to massacre and genocide that refused to take it seriously is moral cowardice.

  • Allan Foster

    In 1900 Arabs in all of Palestine, including the Trans-Jordan, were less than 10% of a much smaller population. Only after American and European Jews began pouring large amounts of money into Palestine did the Arabs show any interest in it. The Arabs should either convert to Judaism or go back to the hellholes they came from.

  • Hi Furious Liberal. It is generally considered polite to at least read the blog that one is allegedly responding to. For your benefit, here again is the key part that you apparently missed:

    “What is the point of calling for memory, including the memory of massacres at Deir Yassin?
    It is not to respond in hatred and venom, and not to respond in kind.
    But to make sure that for those of us who dare to speak of a just and peaceful tomorrow, to always know and remember that justice is not the same as amnesia.

    Those who were driven out are still exiled, still homeless, still stateless.
    Justice means addressing the injustice of the past, not by bringing back the dead—which we cannot—and not by creating new victims, but by acknowledging the atrocity, repenting for it and making sure that their children and grandchildren can live in the dignity and with the resources that was brutally stolen from them.

    It’s true, as Desmond Tutu has taught us: there is no future without forgiveness.
    Neither is there a real forgiveness without repentance.
    Otherwise forgiveness is cheap, unilateral and unrelated.”

  • Allen Foster, your facts are incorrect. In the late 19th century the Arabs made up 96% of the indigenous population of Palestine. by WWI, that number was still around 90%.
    Jews only became a numerical majority through the combined process of “compulsory transfer” of Arabs and importing large number of Jews from Europe and Russia and Middle East.

  • sleepless

    I know Allan Foster’s problem: he seems to be exposed to ‘education’ in Israel. There they officially ‘teach’ that Palestinians did not exist (seriously!!!). This is their way to justify all this inhumane violence there against native Christians and Muslims, who welcomed them to their lands when they were massacred in Europe and treated as non-human beings. Conclusion: we all are human, and we should always remember this. We should stop warmongering and strive for peaceful coexistence.

  • Michael B

    Dear Sir:

    Thank you for removing the first photo which you initially labeled as depicting Deir Yassin but in fact was taken in the Buchenwald Concentration Camp. Unfortunately the replacement photo that you posted actually depicts a horrific scene from the Sabra & Shatilla massacre, in which Christian Phalangists killed Palestinians in a Lebanese refugee camp. The give-away of course is the victims being wrapped in plastic, a commodity not easily available in the 1948 Middle East.

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  • rayznack

    Dear Professor Safi:

    Could you confirm if more Jewish civilians died in the 1948 war than Palestinian/Arab civilians?

    If you want to conclude Deir Yassin wasn’t an aberration wouldn’t you logically conclude the same about the Arab side if they killed more civilians than the Jews?

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  • James

    Hi Prof Safi – while I agree that the Deir Yassin massacre was truly heinous, I take exception to the fact that you provide no mention whatsoever of the Hadassah medical convoy massacre, the Kfar Etzion massacre, etc. which occurred during the same perioud of time but were visited upon Jews by local Arabs – omitting this context makes your narrative an easy one to sell but is nevertheless misleading.

  • James

    Hi Sleepless, would you also be interested in commemorating May 13 (1948), the date of the Kfar Etzion massacre?

  • James

    Again, would appreciate some context. When you speak of ‘importing large number of Jews’ from the Middle East, are you referring to the fact that 800,000 Jews were essentially driven from their homes throughout the region in the wake of Israel’s declared nationhood?

    Note that these were not necessarily Zionists, simply people who lived in the Middle East who were Jewish and were forced out not on the basis of political/nationalistic beliefs (Zionism) but purely on the basis of religion.

    Note also that these individuals have never been offered renumeration from the host countries that expelled them for their lost houses and goods.

  • Allan Foster

    Actually, Omid, your facts are incorrect. In 1900 the single largest ethnic group in Palestine were Russian Orthodox Christian religious pilgrims. Please stop putting forth Islamic lies as facts, as much as you do not want to recognize the true facts.

  • Dave

    “and genocide”

    What is absurd and shameful is your watering down the meaning of genocide. Hundreds of thousands or millions of people dead is genocide. 100 people dead (or whatever amount) is not.

  • Dave

    What is your evidence of “process of compulsory transfer”

    Do you mean the compulsory transfer by Arab leaders telling the Palestinians to leave their homes so they would not be in the way of their armies massacring the Jews?

    “The logic behind this policy was apparently that ‘the absence of women and children from Palestine would free the men for fighting”

    Secretary-General of the Arab League, Abd al-Rahman Azzam

    “he Arab governments’ invitation to the people of Palestine to flee from it and seek refuge in adjacent Arab countries”

    Khalid al-`Azm prime minister of Syria from 17 December 1948 to 30 March 1949

    “We will smash the country with our guns and obliterate every place the Jews shelter in. The Arabs should conduct their wives and children to safe areas until the fighting has died down.”
    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Said

    “”The withdrawals were carried out pursuant to an order emanating from Amman. The withdrawal from Nazareth was ordered by Amman; the withdrawal from Safad was ordered by Amman; the withdrawal orders from Lydda and Rale are well known to you. During none of these withdrawals did fighting take place. The regular armies did not enable the inhabitants of the country to defend themselves, but merely facilitated their escape from Palestine.
    All the orders emanated from one place…”

    Jamal Husseini, Palestinian representative to the United Nations 1948

    “The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny but, instead, they abandoned them, forced them to emigrate and to leave their homeland, and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettos in which the Jews used to live in Eastern Europe, as if we were condemned to change places with them: they moved out of their ghettos and we occupied similar ones. The Arab States succeeded in scattering the Palestinian people and in destroying their unity.”

    Mahmoud Abbas, official journal of the PLO, Beirut, in March 26, 1976:

  • Boris

    The Indigenous population to that area ARE the Jews. It’s supported by both Archeology of the scene AND writings of other cultures. They were there much earlier than Arabs, and had a continuous presence in the area. Palestinians have only existed as a distinct people for the past 70 years.
    Furthermore, if you look at the division of the province of Palestine after WWI, you’ll see it already had an Arab state carved out of it; namely Jordan. So the Palestinians and Jordanians are one and the same.