DEIR YASSIN: IPS resources on its anniversary 10Apr11 April 13, 2011

Institute of Palestine Studies -  10 April 2011

The killings in Deir Yassin village took place in April 9-10th 1948, a month before Israel was established. On this anniversary, we provide you with articles and resources about Deir Yassin:


On the twenty-fourth anniversary of the massacre of Deir Yassin, Yediot Aharonot (April 4, 1972) published a report written by “a young Palmach fighter…”. According to Yediot Aharonot, “he is probably the only eye-witness outside the ranks of ETZEL and LEHI who investigated the secret operation at Deir Yassin on April 9, 1948, and set down what he saw with his own eyes and what he heard with his own ears in the report which he sent at the time to Israel Galili, the head of the Haganah command.” (p.142-146)

Historian Joel Beinin called Deir Yassin “the most infamous massacre of Palestinian Arabs.”

He wroye, “The efforts of the Zionist armed forces to retain Jerusalem, including the massacre at Dayr Yassin, were an important factor prompting the Arab population of western Jerusalem and its surrounding villages (Malha, Lifta, ‘Ayn Karim, etc.) to leave.” (p. 11)

Beinin recounted a debate in the Knesset in 1949 in which one member said “If you don’t know [about Dayr Yassin] you can ask” David Ben-Gurion. The Knesset member also said, “thanks to Dayr Yassin we won the war, sir.”

The exchange was published in this article by Amnon Kapeliouk. (p. 23)

Nathan Krystall wrote that a Red Cross official said the 1948 Deir Yassin massacre had no “military reason or provocation of any kind” in his article on the de-population of western Jerusalem. (p. 10)

A 1991 Norman Finkelstein article on myths about Al-Nakba, in response to Benny Morris, mentioned the Deir Yassin massacre, but places it in a campaign to empty much of Palestine of Palestinians.

Palestinian attorney Raja Shehadeh “grew up hearing about the massacre in Deir Yassin but didn’t know that it was one of scores” that took place.

There is some important testimony on Deir Yassin in the classic book, ‘From Haven to Conquest: Readings in Zionism and the Palestine Problem Until 1948.’ Ed. Walid Khalidi, pp. 761-766. PURCHASE

An important book — published in Arabic — is ‘Dayr Yasin: 9 April 1948,’ by Walid Khalidi. It is based on the personal testimonies of thirty survivors of the Dayr Yasin massacre of 1948. It also draws on the accounts of individuals from the groups that perpetrated the massacre: the Irgun, Stern Gang, and the Palmach.

Woven together to form a composite picture of the events leading up to the massacre, this narrative is distinguished from other accounts by its comprehensiveness and its placement of the massacre in its wider geopolitical context. The book contains six maps and six appendices that list the victims and classify them by family, gender, and age.


Title: “Deir Yassin : The Agony” directed by Eyad Al-Daoud.

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