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.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:
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."
"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.