Thursday, 10 April 2008

Remembering Deir Yassin

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 'civilised' 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. But it's a name, a village, a place, a painful memory still firmly fixed in Palestinian consciousness.

Drawing on Ilan Pappe's The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine and other key sources, a fine article from Ronnie Kasrils reminds us that Deir Yassin was part of the Zionists' calculated campaign of pogroms, which is why every person of conscience should be protesting over Israel's 60th 'birthday':

"The atrocity at Deir Yassin is reflective of what happened elsewhere. Israeli historian Ilan Pappe has meticulously recorded 31 massacres, from December 1947 to January 1949. They attest to a systematic reign of terror, conducted to induce the flight of Palestinians from the land of their birth. As a result, nearly all Palestinian towns were rapidly depopulated and 418 villages were systematically destroyed.

Israel will soon mark the 60th anniversary of its establishment. In so doing, Israelis and the Zionist supporters would do well to acknowledge the reasons why, for Palestinians and freedom-loving people throughout the world, there will be no cause to celebrate. Indeed, it will be a period of mourning and protest action; a time to recall the countless victims that lie in Israel's wake, as epitomized by the suffering inflicted on the inhabitants of Deir Yassin, the original site of which is ironically located just a stone's throw away from where the present day Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, was built."
Meanwhile, a who's who of war criminals, corporate tyrants and celebrity apologists will be flown in to mark Zionism's big birthday bash next month:

"Shimon Peres, Israel President Shimon Peres is bringing in top personalities from around the world to celebrate Israel's 60th birthday. United States President George W. Bush, Barbra Streisand, Tony Blair, Mikhail Gorbachev and Rupert Murdoch are among those expected to attend a May conference focusing on Jewish and Israeli contributions to humanity....The list of confirmed guests also includes Henry Kissinger, Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, former Czech President Vaclev Havel, Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz, Google founder Sergey Brinn, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerman, Ratan Tata, chairman of India's Tata group, U.S. billionaire Sheldon Adelson, and Abdurrahman Wahid, former president of Indonesia, a country with no diplomatic relations with Israel." (Associated Press, 9 April 2008.)
While Bush, Blair and Kissinger pose with Olmert for the hall of infamy, statisticians can, at least, use the gruesome spectacle to number-crunch the millions who have perished through their collective war crimes.

Meanwhile, an American Jew with a more studious and moral understanding of Israel's historic 'contributions' has been decisively omitted from the great guest list. Professor Richard Falk of Princeton University recently compared Israel's efforts to murder, subjugate and contain the Palestinians as reminiscent of the Nazis' treatment of the Jews. Falk is about to take office as a special UN investigator on Palestinian rights, replacing John Dugard, another prominent critic of Israel's occupation. The response from Tel Aviv has been predictable:

"The Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that it will not allow the United Nations official appointed to investigate Israeli-Palestinian human rights to enter the country, after he stood by comments comparing Israelis to Nazis. Richard Falk is scheduled to take up his post with the UN Human Rights Council in May, but the Foreign Ministry said it will deny Falk a visa to enter Israel, Gaza and the West Bank". The Foreign Ministry spokesperson called Falk's comments "unacceptable and, in fact, a little strange." "To compare Israel to the Nazis is not just a total falsehood, it's also a personal insult to everybody," he said, adding that the choice of Falk is indicative of the Human Rights Council's negative attitude toward Israel."(AP, 9 April 2008.)
One might more reasonably suggest that Israel's own descent into Nazi-type barbarism is the real historic insult to the six million murdered Jews. The other uncomfortable fact here for Israel is that Falk says this not only as an esteemed academic but as a Jew himself, adding massive empirical and emotional weight to the claim.

Other persona non grata feeling Tel Aviv's ire include ex-US president Jimmy Carter. Author of a book comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa, Carter has now committed yet another 'gone native' sin by announcing his intention to meet the Hamas leader Khalid Meshaal in Syria. The possibility that Carter might be engaging constructively with a key player in the conflict cannot, of course, be countenanced by Olmert and his birthday select.

The bash goes on here in Britain, too, hosted by a range of notables and apologists, from the Queen to local civic leaders. Next month in East Renfrewshire, near Glasgow, the local council will commemorate 'the founding' with a celebratory gathering while flying an Israeli flag from its chambers.

Uncomfortably for the Lord Provost, Alex Mackie, and his fellow organisers, people of conscience will also gather outside their shameful assembly to commemorate the Nakba, serving to remind those inside of the ethnic cleansing, apartheid and murderous occupation that's still going on.

Deir Yassin should, like Sharpeville in South Africa, be etched in not just Palestinian consciousness. It's anonymity is a 'testament' to the Israeli propaganda machine's long-standing efforts to suppress the shameful truth of its ethnic cleansing. The dignitaries leading the birthday plaudits wouldn't like the occasion to be 'marred' by inconvenient reminders of these dark events. But, for Deir Yassin and all the other massacres of Palestinians, past and present, this is a party that deserves to be spoiled.

John

6 comments:

asdf said...

Hiya John, enjoyed the article am going to post it on my blog www.israels60thbirthday.com - hope you don't mind?

Will probably see you in E. Ren. ;)

Dave

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joe90 said...

As solidarity begins at home, not abroad - here is something that makes me proud to be Scottish.

Stand up Kirsty from Elgin!

Quote of the Week: Maggie Kuhn
Lawrence of Cyberia
12 Apr 2008

all the best ZP!

ps
Some background to Lawrence's post if, I may, just to jog folks memory.

This news conference was just after the Israeli attack on Lebanon in the Summer of 2006.

Scottish airports were used to ferry cluster munitions (amongst other items) to Israeli forces from the US, in order to drop them on the heads of defenceless Lebanese. They were also used to ethnically cleanse southern Lebanese as unexploded cluster bombs form an anti-personnel minefield wherever they land.

Anyway, I am happy to say, I was one of the letter writers to my local Scottish MP expressing my opposition both to the UK policy of helping Israel diplomatically at the UN and materially by allowing access to Scottish airports by US military cargo planes to and from the US and Israel.

I also objected to Tony Blair, once more, parading himself about in public with George Bush.

This was the death knell of Tony Blair's political career and I gather us Scots were more than prominent in his demise in the summer of 2006.

John Hilley said...

Thanks Dave. Some great stuff at your blog. It all helps keep us abreast of what the media won't report on the anniversary of the cleansing.

On which note, thanks Joe for posting Kirsty's courageous statement against Blair in Ramallah and Maggie Kuhn's inspiring words.

Onwards,
John

joe90 said...

Searching for a solution in Gaza
By Jeremy Bowen
BBC Middle East editor
15 Apr 2008

Anther little gem from the BBC, right at the bottom of Bowen's article -
For many Israelis the idea of trusting Khaled Meshaal and Hamas even one iota is entirely unacceptable.

A recent opinion poll of Israelis stated that 64% of them wanted their government to negotiate and talk with Hamas.

I live in Lanarkshire, Scotland, get paid no money and don't have the resources, sources and contacts Bowen has and yet, I know more about what is going on in Israel-Palestine than Bowen does!


The world's biggest powers imposed sanctions against Hamas when it won elections in 2006....
....They regard Hamas as a terrorist organisation and demanded, still without success, that it recognise Israel, give up violence and accept previous Palestinian agreements with the Israelis.

- A democratically elected government is regarded as terrorists by their illegal occupiers. Classic Orwellian BBC.

Notice Bowen is careful to physically separate the two facts from each other in his text. Hamas is democratically elected - and Hamas is considered a terrorist organisation by their illegal Israeli occupiers and Israel's crucial supporters.

Also Bowen fails to mention that the conditions applied to the democratically elected Government of the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, don't apply to the illegal Israeli occupiers whose crimes are worse than anything Hamas has done. Indeed, Israeli war crimes are the cause of the much lesser crimes of Palestinian terrorism.

Since Hamas used force to take over from its Palestinian rivals Fatah last year Israel has allowed only the barest essentials into Gaza.
- Bowen's BBC-Orwellian world continues, where the US-Israeli backed coup to overthrow democracy and the democratically elected government to the Palestinian Authority, as reported in Vanity Fair, is consigned to oblivion -
The Gaza Bombshell
by David Rose
Vanity Fair
Apr 2008

Not too far away, in occupied Iraq, all BBC reporters talk about is the Western efforts to strengthen and promote democracy in the Middle east, as well.

all the best Zp!

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