city:deir yassin

  • Netanyahu likely to extend secrecy of some 1948 war documents 20 more years

    Defense establishment asked to lengthen classification period to 90 years, from 70, for material on Deir Yassin massacre, among other events

    Jonathan Lis and Ofer Aderet Oct 04, 2018

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to sign regulations extending the period of confidentiality for information in the defense archives from 70 years to 90 years. The Defense Ministry and other organization requested the extension to prevent the release this year of some materials relating to the period of the War of Independence in 1948.
    The extension is intended to prevent the exposure of intelligence sources and methods that are still in use today by security forces. The archives also include information that was received from foreign sources under the condition that it would not be released, say defense officials. The draft regulations state that even after 70 years have passed, exposure of some of the archival materials could harm national security. In 2010, Netanyahu extended the period of confidentiality for security archives from 50 years to 70 years.
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    The legal adviser to the Israel State Archives, Naomi Aldubi, circulated a draft of the new regulations to the relevant government ministries Wednesday. The document states that the new regulations will apply to materials held by the Shin Bet security service, the Mossad and the archives of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, nuclear research centers and the Israel Institute for Biological Research. The new rules would also prevent the publication of raw intelligence from Military Intelligence as well as information concerning intelligence gathering for materials classified as secret and higher, along with materials concerning certain Israel Defense Forces and Defense Ministry units.
    The decision is expected to make life much more difficult for historians, other researchers and journalists and would also limit the public’s access to valuable historical information of public interest. For example, the new regulations would prevent the release of certain materials concerning the massacre at Deir Yassin in 1948.
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    In practice, the government will be able to prevent the release of any document related to the War of Independence that it wishes to keep secret. The new rules also contradict the recommendations of the supreme advisory council overseeing the Israel State Archives, which recommended extending the confidentiality of only some of the documents for five years.

    The Archives Law states that any person has the right to examine documents stored in the state archives, but also grants the government authority to restrict access according to the level of classification — for example, materials classified as “secret” — and according to the amount of time that has passed since the materials were created. This period ranges between 15 and 75 years, in accordance with the materials’ source and contents. For example, the classification period for the minutes of classified sessions of Knesset committees is limited to 20 years; for foreign policy documents the period is 25 years; for police archives, 30 years and for minutes of the security cabinet 50 years. Intelligence materials, including those of the Shin Bet, Mossad, Atomic Energy Commission and Biological Institute, remain classified for 70 years.
    Even after this period expires, the state archives and other archives, such as the IDF Archives, have not acted on their own initiative to release the materials. In practice, the end of the classification period alone is not sufficient for automatic declassification of the material. First, the chief archivist must examine the materials. After that, a special ministerial committee, headed by the justice minister, has the right to apply additional restrictions on access to them.
    The committee used its power to prohibit access to the so-called Riftin report on extrajudicial executions carried out by the Haganah pre-independence army. In 1998, half a century after the report was written, its confidentiality period expired, after which it should have been unsealed. In the 20 years that have passed since then, two state archivists requested, and received, extensions of the classification period from the ministerial committee.
    The draft proposal does stipulate that the relevant organizations must draw up new protocols that would enable the unsealing of classified materials after 50 years, on their own initiative. In addition, they would be instructed to conduct an annual review of their classified documents in order to determine whether they can be declassified.

  • 70 years since the Deir Yassin Massacre. On April 9, 1948, Zionist militias, Irgun and Lehi (a.k.a Stern Gang), attacked the village of Deir Yassin, killing over 100 people including women and children. Reports stated that the residents of the small village were mutilated, decapitated, disemboweled and raped.

    In an article published recently by Israeli newspaper Haaretz, hidden evidence and shocking new testimonies regarding the massacre have been released.

    Neta Shoshani, an Israeli filmmaker who has been researching the history of the massacre, entitled her most recent film “Born in Deir Yassin”. Shoshani interviewed and gathered testimonies from people who were present during the massacre, and evidence from Israeli archives that are hidden from the public.

    She showed the evidence to the Israeli Newspaper Haaretz. The film shows “A young fellow tied to a tree and set on fire. A woman and an old man shot in the back. Girls lined up against a wall and shot with a submachine gun.”

    Among those who testified was Yehuda Feder, former member of Lehi. “In the village I killed an armed Arab man and two Arab girls of 16 or 17. I stood them against a wall and blasted them with two rounds from the Tommy gun.” He told Shoshani, adding “We confiscated a lot of money and silver and gold jewelry fell into our hands.”

    Former Jerusalem commander of Lehi, Yehoshua Zettler, said “They took dead people, piled them up and burned them.”, and described the residents of the village saying “they ran like cats.” The attackers cut through the village using explosives, blowing up houses, and “within a few hours, half the village wasn’t there any more” said Zettler.

    Mordechai Gichon, before he died last year was a lieutenant colonel in the Israeli army; a Haganah intelligence officer at the time. He was sent to Deir Yassin after the massacre. “When the Cossacks burst into Jewish neighborhoods, then that should have looked something like this,” he said - comparing Deir Yassin to Jewish pogroms. “My impression was more of a massacre than anything else. If it is a matter of killing innocent civilians, then it can be called a massacre.” He told Shoshani.

    Yair Tsaban, a member of the Youth Brigades at the time, was sent to bury the corpses in fear of the Red Cross showing up “at any moment, and it was necessary to blur the traces [of the killings] because publication of pictures and testimonies about what had happened in the village would be very damaging to the image of our War of Independence.”
    Read more: Israeli historian uncovers hidden Palestinian history

    #DeirYassinMassacre #DeirYassin #Palestine

  • In Words and Deeds: The Genesis of Israeli #Violence

    Russian-born Menachem Begin was the leader of the Irgun which, along with the Stern Gang and other Jewish militants, massacred hundreds of civilians in Deir Yassin.

    ‘Tell the soldiers: you have made history in Israel with your attack and your conquest. Continue this until victory. As in Deir Yassin, so everywhere, we will attack and smite the enemy. God, God, Thou has chosen us for conquest," Begin wrote at the time. He described the massacre as a “splendid act of conquest.”

    The intrinsic link between words and actions remain unchanged.

    Nearly 30 years later, a once wanted terrorist, Begin became Prime Minister of Israel. He accelerated land theft of the newly-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, launched a war on Lebanon, annexed Occupied Jerusalem to Israel and carried out the massacre of Sabra and Shatilla in 1982.

    Some of the other terrorists-turned-politicians and top army brass include Begin, Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon, Rafael Eitan and Yitzhak Shamir. Each one of these leaders has a record dotted with violence.

    Shamir served as the Prime Minister of Israel from 1986 – 1992. In 1941, Shamir was imprisoned by the British for his role in the Stern Gang. Later, as Prime Minister, he ordered a violent crackdown against a mostly non-violent Palestinian uprising in 1987, purposely breaking the limbs of kids accused of throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers.

    So, when government ministers like Ariel and Bennett call for wanton violence against Palestinians, they are simply carrying on with a bloody legacy that has defined every single Israeli leader in the past. It is the violent mindset that continues to control the Israeli government and its relationship with Palestinians; in fact, with all of its neighbors.


  • Témoignages du massacre censuré de Deir Yassin : « Ils ont empilé les corps, et ils les ont brûlés »
    18 juillet | Ofer Aderet pour Haaretz |Traduction JPP pour l’AURDIP

    Un jeune garçon est attaché à un arbre et on y met le feu. Une femme et un vieil homme abattus dans le dos. Des filles sont alignées contre un mur et abattues à la mitraillette. Les témoignages recueillis par la cinéaste Neta Shoshani sur le massacre à Deir Yassin sont difficiles à traiter, même 70 ans après les faits.

    Depuis deux ans maintenant, un document dont la lecture est difficile est déposé aux archives de l’association pour commémorer l’héritage du Lehi – les combattants pour la liberté d’Israël, milice clandestine d’avant l’État. Il a été rédigé par un membre de la clandestinité il y a environ 70 ans. Le lire peut rouvrir une blessure saignante de l’époque de la Guerre d’indépendance qui, jusqu’à ce jour, suscite beaucoup d’émotion dans la société israélienne.

    « Vendredi dernier ensemble avec Etzel » - l’acronyme pour l’Organisation militaire nationale, connue aussi sous le nom d’Irgoun, autre milice clandestine antérieure à l’État, dirigée par Menachem Begin – « notre mouvement a mené une opération violente pour occuper le village arabe sur la route de Jérusalem à Tel Aviv : Deir Yassin. J’ai participé à cette opération de la façon la plus active », écrit Yehuda Feder, dont le nom de guerre au Lehi (connu aussi comme Groupe Stern) était « Giora ».

    Plus loin dans la lettre, il décrit en détail sa part dans le massacre qui a eu lieu ici. « C’était la première fois dans ma vie que par mes mains et sous mes yeux des Arabes tombaient. Dans le village, j’ai tué un Arabe armé et deux filles arabes de 16 ou 17 ans, venues aider l’Arabe qui avait été abattu. Je les ai placées contre un mur et je les ai mitraillées avec deux rafales de l’arme d’un Tommy », écrit-il, décrivant comment il a procédé à l’exécution des filles avec une mitraillette.

    Dans le même temps, il raconte le pillage avec ses copains dans le village une fois occupé. « Nous avons confisqué beaucoup d’argent et de bijoux en argent et en or, tombés entre nos mains » écrit-il. Il conclut la lettre avec les mots : « Ce fut une opération violente et c’est avec raison que la gauche nous diffame à nouveau ».

    traduction en français de l’article signalé ici :

    • Shoshani a commencé à s’intéresser à l’histoire de Deir Yassin il y a une dizaine d’années, alors qu’elle travaillait à son projet final à l’Académie Bezalel des Arts et du Design à Jérusalem, qui portait sur une documentation de l’hôpital psychiatrique d’État de Kfar Shaul, hôpital qui a été construit sur les terres de Deir Yassin après la guerre.

      Deir Yassine, comme Oradour-sur-Glane, est un nom exotique qui évoque un petit village reculé dans la campagne. En fait pas du tout, c’est aujourd’hui un quartier de #Jérusalem, très connu parce que, à quelques centaines de mètres de là, se situe le musée de #Yad_Vachem, le mémorial de la Shoah...

      #Palestine #Histoire #Massacre #Mémoire #1948

  • Testimonies from the censored Deir Yassin massacre: ’They piled bodies and burned them’ - Israel News -

    A young fellow tied to a tree and set on fire. A woman and an old man shot in back. Girls lined up against a wall and shot with a submachine gun. The testimonies collected by filmmaker Neta Shoshani about the massacre in Deir Yassin are difficult to process even 70 years after the fact
    By Ofer Aderet Jul 16, 2017

    read more:

    For two years now a document that makes for difficult reading has been lying in the archives of the association to commemorate the heritage of Lehi – the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel pre-state underground militia. It was written by a member of the underground about 70 years ago. Reading it could reopen a bleeding wound from the days of the War of Independence that to this day stirs a great deal of emotion in Israeli society.

    “Last Friday together with Etzel” – the acronym for the National Military Organization, also known as the Irgun, another pre-state underground militia, led by Menachem Begin – “our movement carried out a tremendous operation to occupy the Arab village on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv road – Deir Yassin. I participated in this operation in the most active way,” wrote Yehuda Feder, whose nom de guerre in Lehi (also known as the Stern Gang) was “Giora.”

    Further along in the letter, he describes in detail his part in the massacre that took place there. “This was the first time in my life that at my hands and before my eyes Arabs fell. In the village I killed an armed Arab man and two Arab girls of 16 or 17 who were helping the Arab who was shooting. I stood them against a wall and blasted them with two rounds from the Tommy gun,” he wrote, describing how he carried out the execution of the girls with a submachine gun.

    Along with that, he tells about looting in the village with his buddies after it was occupied. “We confiscated a lot of money and silver and gold jewelry fell into our hands,” he wrote. He concludes the letter with the words: “This was a really tremendous operation and it is with reason that the left is vilifying us again.”

  • Testimony from the censored massacre
    A young fellow tied to a tree and set on fire. A woman and an old man shot in back. Girls lined up against a wall and shot with a submachine gun. The testimonies Neta Shoshani collected about the massacre in Deir Yassin make for difficult reading even 70 years after the fact. Some of them will be shown in her new film ’Born in Deir Yassin’ and others are being published here for the first time. To this day, the state is censoring the photographs from the massacre
    read more:

    For two years now a document that makes for difficult reading has been lying in the archives of the association to commemorate the heritage of Lehi – the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel pre-state underground militia. It was written by a member of the underground about 70 years ago. Reading it could reopen a bleeding wound from the days of the War of Independence that to this day stirs a great deal of emotion in Israeli society.
    “Last Friday together with Etzel” – the acronym for the National Military Organization, also known as the Irgun, another pre-state underground militia, led by Menachem Begin – “our movement carried out a tremendous operation to occupy the Arab village on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv road – Deir Yassin. I participated in this operation in the most active way,” wrote Yehuda Feder, whose nom de guerre in Lehi (also known as the Stern Gang) was “Giora.”
    Further along in the letter, he describes in detail his part in the massacre that took place there. “This was the first time in my life that at my hands and before my eyes Arabs fell. In the village I killed an armed Arab man and two Arab girls of 16 or 17 who were helping the Arab who was shooting. I stood them against a wall and blasted them with two rounds from the Tommy gun,” he wrote, describing how he carried out the execution of the girls with a submachine gun.
    Along with that, he tells about looting in the village with his buddies after it was occupied. “We confiscated a lot of money and silver and gold jewelry fell into our hands,” he wrote. He concludes the letter with the words: “This was a really tremendous operation and it is with reason that the left is vilifying us again.”

    Pictures of the occupation of Deir Yassin. Most researchers state that 110 inhabitants of the village were killed there. IDF archive / Defense Ministry
    This letter is one of the historical documents revealed in a new documentary film entitled “Born in Deir Yassin” by director Neta Shoshani, who devoted the past several years to comprehensive historical research on the Deir Yassin massacre, one of the constitutive incidents of the War of Independence, which has remained a blot on Israel to this day.
    In advance of the premiere screening of the film at the Jerusalem Film Festival, Shoshani showed Haaretz the testimonies she has gathered about the incident, the result of extensive digging in archives along with in-depth interviews with the last living participants in the action. Some of them broke a silence of decades when they spoke to her, often for the first time in front of a camera.

  • Yes, Benny Morris, Israel did perpetrate ethnic cleansing in 1948 - Opinion - Israel News |
    The Israeli historian is right about one thing: The understandings that the Arabs should be expelled in 1948 were not carried out in full.

    Daniel Blatman Oct 14, 2016
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    A good historian always examines his conclusions. If he comes to the conclusion that things he wrote previously require a reassessment, he is obligated to face that. But a historian who, at the start of his career, determined that Israel is responsible for the mass flight of the Palestinians in 1948 and later changed his views until he became the darling of the settler right, is a pathetic phenomenon. Benny Morris has followed that path.
    He has betrayed two key duties of the historian: to be open-minded and recognize the extensive research literature that directly relates to his own areas of research; and not to distort his own previous conclusions due to current political insights. [Morris’ “Israel conducted no ethnic cleansing in 1948,” Haaretz, October 10, was in response to Daniel Blatman’s “Netanyahu, this Is what ethnic cleansing really looks like,” Haaretz, October 3.]
    On March 10, 1948, the national Haganah headquarters approved Plan Dalet, which discussed the intention of expelling as many Arabs as possible from the territory of the future Jewish state. Morris wrote about it in his book “1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War” (2010). He stated that the plan aroused a historiographical dispute, with pro-Palestinian historians claiming it was a master plan for expelling the Arabs living in Israel. He claimed that a careful examination of the plan’s wording leads to a different conclusion.
    Whose different conclusion? That of scholars who are experts on ethnic cleansing? Or legal experts who grappled with the problem? No, that of Morris, of course. He does not accept the definition of ethnic cleansing that was carried out by the Jews in 1948. Perhaps there was a “mini” ethnic cleansing in Lod and Ramle. Perhaps some marginal massacre (Deir Yassin), which caused the panicked flight of Palestinians.
    The problem is that these are precisely the circumstances that lead to ethnic cleansing. Had Morris bothered to properly study the documents of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, he would understand why his statements would be considered absurd at any serious scientific conference.
    The following was stated by the prosecutor in the trial of Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian-Serb leader who was convicted of responsibility for the ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Bosnia: “In ethnic cleansing ... you act in such a way that in a given territory, the members of a given ethnic group are eliminated. ... You have massacres. Everybody is not massacred, but you have massacres in order to scare those populations. ... Naturally, the other people are driven away. They are afraid ... and, of course, in the end these people simply want to leave. ... They are driven away either on their own initiative or they are deported. ... Some women are raped and, furthermore, often times what you have is the destruction of the monuments which marked the presence of a given population ... for instance, Catholic churches or mosques are destroyed.”

  • The Poem That Exposed Israeli War Crimes in 1948 - Israel News - Haaretz

    On November 19, 1948, Natan Alterman, whose influential “Seventh Column” – an op-ed in poetry form – appeared every Friday in the daily Davar, the mouthpiece of Israel’s ruling Mapai party (forerunner of Labor), published a poem titled “About This.” Excerpts:
    Across the vanquished city in a jeep he did speed –
    A lad bold and armed, a young lion of a lad!
    And an old man and a woman on that very street
    Cowered against a wall, in fear of him clad.
    Said the lad smiling, milk teeth shining:
    “I’ll try the machine gun”… and put it into play!
    To hide his face in his hands the old man barely had time
    When his blood on the wall was sprayed.

    We shall sing, then, about “delicate incidents”
    Whose name, don’t you know, is murder.
    Sing of conversations with sympathetic listeners,
    Of snickers of forgiveness that are slurred.

    For those in combat gear, and we who impinge,
    Whether by action or agreement subliminal,
    Are thrust, muttering “necessity” and “revenge,”
    Into the realm of the war criminal.
    (translation by Ralph Mandel)
    Extremely moved by the verses, David Ben-Gurion, then chairman of the Provisional State Council in the nascent Jewish state, wrote Alterman: “Congratulations on the moral validity and the powerful expressiveness of your latest column in Davar… You are a pure and faithful mouthpiece of the human conscience, which, if it does not act and beat in our hearts in times like these, will render us unworthy of the great wonders vouchsafed to us until now.
    “I ask your permission to have 100,000 copies of the article – which no armored column in our army exceeds in combat strength – printed by the Defense Ministry for distribution to every army person in Israel.”
    What were the war crimes referred to in the poem?

    Natan Alterman.Moshe Milner / GPO
    The massacres perpetrated by Israeli forces in Lydda (Lod) and in the village of Al-Dawayima, west of Hebron, were among the worst mass killings of the entire War of Independence. In an interview in Haaretz in 2004, historian Benny Morris (author of “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949”) declared that the most egregious massacres “occurred at Saliha, in Upper Galilee (70-80 victims), Deir Yassin on the outskirts of Jerusalem (100-110), Lod (50), Dawamiya (hundreds) and perhaps Abu Shusha (70).”
    Lod was conquered in Operation Dani (July 9-19, 1948), which also targeted nearby Ramle. The political and military leadership viewed the capture of those two towns as crucial, because the concentration of Arab forces there threatened Tel Aviv and its surroundings. Specifically, the aim was for the fledgling Israel Defense Forces to clear the roads and allow access to the Jewish communities on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem road – which remained under Arab control – and to take control of the hilly areas stretching from Latrun to the outskirts of Ramallah. This would mean a clash with units of Jordan’s Arab Legion, which were deployed – or supposedly deployed – in the area.
    Another goal of Operation Dani, which was led by Yigal Allon with Yitzhak Rabin as his deputy, was to expand the territories of the young Jewish state beyond the boundaries delineated by the UN partition plan.
    On July 10, Lod was bombed by the Israeli air force, the first such attack in the War of Independence. A large ground force had also been assembled, including three brigades and 30 artillery batteries, based on the army’s assessment that large Jordanian forces were in the area.
    To their surprise, the IDF units encountered little or no resistance. Even so, there are Palestinian and other Arab sources that allege that 250 people were massacred after Lod was taken. Claims about the scale of the massacre gain credence from Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, who maintains that the army killed 426 men, women and children in a local mosque and the surrounding streets. According to him, 176 bodies were found in the mosque, and the rest outside. Testimony of a Palestinian from Lod lends support to these estimates: “The [Israeli troops], violating all the conventions, shelled the mosque, killing everyone who was inside. I heard from friends who helped remove the dead from the mosque that they carried out 93 bodies; others said there were many more than a hundred.” Clearly, though, there are no agreed-upon, precise figures, and the estimates from both sides are tendentious.
    Israeli troops went from house to house, expelling the remaining inhabitants to the West Bank. In some cases, soldiers looted abandoned houses and stole from the refugees.
    Ben-Gurion’s intentions with respect to Lod remain a subject of debate. Years later, Rabin related how in a meeting with him and Allon, Ben-Gurion, when asked what to do with the residents of Ramle and Lod, gestured with his hand and said, “Expel them.” This version of events was to have been included in Rabin’s memoirs but was banned for publication in Israel, in 1979. His account did appear in The New York Times at the time, and caused a furor. Allon, who also took part in the meeting with Ben-Gurion, vehemently denied Rabin’s account.On July 12, an order was issued by the Yiftah Brigade “to remove the residents from Lod speedily … They are to be directed to Beit Naballah [near Ramle].” .

  • ’Barbarism by an educated and cultured people’ — #Dawayima #massacre was worse than #Deir_Yassin

    “There was no battle and no resistance (and no Egyptians). The first conquerors killed from eighty to a hundred Arabs [including] women and children. The children were killed by smashing of their skulls with sticks. Is it possible to shout about Deir Yassin and be silent about something much worse?” For the first time ever, a letter quoting one of the Israeli soldiers who were part of the Al-Dawayima massacre in October 1948 is published in full.

    On Friday, February 5th 2016, Haaretz published an article in Hebrew by Israeli historian Yair Auron, which covers one of the biggest massacres of 1948. The massacre is of Al Dawayima, west of Al-Khalil (which is often referred to as Hebron). In a 2004 interview with Haaretz, Israeli historian Benny Morris refers to this as a massacre of “hundreds”.

    After the massacre, a letter was sent to the editor of the leftist affiliated newspaper Al-Hamishmar, but never published. As Auron notes, there are still many archives of the time which are classified. Auron also states that there was an investigation that was never concluded and “died out” as a massive amnesty was provided to military personnel in February 1949.

    This is a very exhaustive article, but I found it useful enough to translate this letter in full on its own. The letter, which first “disappeared,’ was provided to Auron by historian Benny Morris. Although these matters have been referred to in passing in historical summaries, the letter has never been published before in full.

  • The forgotten refugees of 1948
    Ibrahim Ahmad | Tuesday 15 September

    A portrait of Haj Hemdan, who is over 90 years old and is one of the very few remaining Palestinian refugees who fled to Egypt escaping the 1948 war in Palestine (MEE/Ibrahim Ahmad)

    In Fadel Island, a humble village in a remote area of Egypt’s Sharqia governorate about five hours by car from Cairo, resides a community of second-generation Palestinian refugees.

    The population was about 2,000 when the original refugees fled to Egypt in May of 1948, fearing a similar fate to those who were massacred at Deir Yassin. They crossed the Sinai desert with their camels, carrying simple belongings, and were welcomed by Egypt’s government. They were settled in the refugee camp of “Gezirt Fadel” - later to become the village it is today - with a promise to be relocated to a better place soon after.

    El-Haj Hemdan - in his early nineties and one of the very few remaining 1948 refugees, with his amazing ability to recall what had happened nearly 65 years ago - told Middle East Eye his story.

    “They said it was a matter of a month or two, and we would be relocated to a place closer to the capital," Hemdan said.

    "We waited and waited, governments changed, kings fled, presidents died, and nothing happened. After five or six years we abandoned our tents and built houses. But still, some of us retained the hope that we would be relocated to a better place. We didn’t understand the lesson yet: Arabs rarely keep their promises.”(...)

  • Zion’s Rebel Daughter
    Gabriel Piterberg, New Left Review

    In another major paper at the time of the 1948 War, Arendt denounced the massacre of Deir Yassin and the killings in Jaffa and Haifa as deliberate measures of terror by the Revisionist wing of Zionism to drive the Arab populations out of Palestine. The building of a separate Jewish economy by the mainstream labour wing of Zionism—which had been its pride—she saw as the curse that made possible the expulsion of the Arabs (‘ almost 50 per cent of the country’s population ’) without loss to the Jews. In the Middle East, surrounded by a vastly larger Arab population, the result could only be a continual inner insecurity. ‘ A home that my neighbour does not recognize and respect is not a home. ’ The newly created state of Israel would be a land ‘ quite other than the dream of world Jewry, Zionist and non-Zionist’—an armed and introverted society, in which ‘political thought would centre around military strategy ’, degenerating into ‘ one of those small warrior tribes about whose possibilities and importance history has amply informed us since the days of Sparta ’, leaving the Arabs ‘ homeless exiles ’, and the Arab problem as ‘ the only real moral and political issue of Israeli politics ’.

  • Dans une lettre datée du 2 décembre 1948, adressée au New York Times, Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt ainsi que 26 autres signataires juifs protestent contre la visite de Menachem Begin aux Etats-Unis

    « Parmi les phénomènes politiques les plus perturbateurs de notre époque, on peut compter l’émergence, à l’intérieur de l’Etat d’Israël, nouvellement créé, du “Parti de la Liberté” ( Tnuat Haherut ), un parti politique apparenté, dans son organisation, ses méthodes, sa philosophie politique et ses prétentions sociales, aux partis politiques nazis et fascistes. Il est issu des anciens membres et sympathisants de l’ancien Irgun Zvai Leumi, une organisation chauviniste, terroriste, de l’aile droite, en Palestine.

    La visite imminente, aux Etats Unis, de Menachem BEGIN, chef de ce parti, est, de toute évidence, calculée afin de donner l’impression d’obtenir un soutien américain pour son parti, à l’occasion des prochaines élections israéliennes, et de celler des liens politiques avec les éléments conservateurs sionistes américains. Plusieurs Américains de réputation nationale ont prêté leur nom pour soutenir sa visite. Il est inconcevable que ceux qui luttent contre le fascisme à travers le monde , si correctement informés sur le passé politique de Mr Begin et ses ambitions, puissent ajouter leur nom au soutien du mouvement qu’il représente.

    Avant que des dommages irréparables ne puissent être causés par des contributions financières, par des manifestations publiques de soutien au profit de Begin et par la fabrication, en Palestine, du sentiment qu’une grande partie de l’Amérique est en train de soutenir les éléments fascites en Israël, le Peuple américain doit être informé sur les antécédents et les objectifs de Mr Begin et de son mouvement.

    Les déclarations publiques du parti de Mr Begin ne révèlent pas son ambition actuelle. Aujourd’hui, ils parlent de liberté, de démocratie et d’anti-impérialisme, jusqu’à ce qu’ils aient prêché ouvertement, tout récemment, la doctrine de l’Etat fasciste. C’est dans ses actions que le parti terroriste trahit ses réelles aspirations ; à la lumière de ses actions passées, nous pouvons juger de ce à quoi l’on peut s’attendre dans le futur.

    Attaque d’un village arabe :

    Un exemple choquant a été donné par leur comportement au sein du village arabe de Deir Yassin. Ce village, situé à l’écart des routes principales et entourées de terres juives, n’a pris aucune part à la guerre et a même combattu des groupes arabes qui avaient l’intention d’établir leur base dans ce village. Le 9 avril, selon le New York Times, des groupes terroristes ont attaqué ce paisible village, qui n’était en rien un objectif militaire dans ce conflit, et ont tué la plupart de ses habitants ( 240 personnes : hommes, femmes, enfants ), et en ont gardé quelques uns en vie, afin de les faire parader, en tant que prisonniers, dans les rues de Jérusalem. La plus grande partie de la Communauté Juive fut horrifiée par cette démonstration et l’Agence Juive envoya un télégramme d’excuses au roi Abdullah de Cisjordanie. mais les terroristes, bien loin de regretter leur geste, tirèrent fierté de ce massacre, en firent largement publicité, et invitèrent tous les correspondants étrangers présents dans le pays, pour voir les cadavres entassés et les dégats causés au village de Deir Yassin.

    L’incident de Deir Yassin illustre le caractère et les actions du Parti de la Liberté.

    A l’intérieur de la Communauté juive, ils ont prêché un mélange d’ultra-nationalisme, de mysticisme religieux et de supériorité raciale. A l’instar d’autres partis fascistes, ils ont pris l’habitude de briser des grèves et ont exercé, eux-mêmes, des pressions afin d’éliminer les syndicats indépendants. Dans leur élan, ils ont proposé la création de corporations syndicales sur le modèle de l’Italie fasciste. Au cours de ces dernières années de violence sporadique à l’encontre des intérêts britaniques, le I Z L et les groupes STERN ont inauguré le règne de la terreur au sein de la Communauté juive de Palestine. Des enseignants étaient battus pour les avoir dénigré, des adultes furent abattus pour ne pas avoir autorisé leurs enfants à les rejoindre, C’est par des méthodes de gangsters, des coups, des vitrines brisées, des vols à grande échelle, que les terroristes sont parvenus à intimider la population et exiger une lourde contribution.

    Les membres du Parti de la Liberté n’ont pris aucune part dans l’heureuse édification de la Palestine. Ils n’ont réclamé aucune terre, construit aucune colonie, et n’ont fait qu’affaiblir l’activité de la défense Juive. Leurs efforts pour l’immigration, à grand renfort de publicité, étaient minutieux et principalement orientés en vue de l’immigration de compatriotes fascistes.

    Des décalages constatés :

    Les décalages entre les prétentions hardies, formulées à présent par Begin et son parti, et le constat du bilan passé, en Palestine, portent l’empreinte d’un parti qui n’est pas ordinaire. C’est la marque indiscutable d’un parti fasciste pour lequel le terrorisme ( à l’encontre des Juifs, des Arabes, aussi bien que des Britaniques ) et les masquarades sont des moyens d’action, et un “Etat suprême”, le but.

    A la lumière de ces considérations évidentes, il est impératif que la vérité, au sujet de Mr Begin et de son mouvement, soit diffusée dans ce pays. Il n’y a rien de plus tragique que de constater que le leadership du Sionisme américain a refusé de mener campagne contre les efforts de Begin, exposant de ce fait ses éléments constitutifs au danger encouru par Israël de soutenir Begin.

    Les signataires,ci-dessous désignés, ont recours à ce moyen de présenter publiquement quelques faits marquants mettant en cause Mr Begin et son parti ; et insister auprès de toute personne concernée de ne pas soutenir cette dernière démonstration de fascisme. »

    Isidore ABRAMOWITZ

    Hannah ARENDT

    Abraham BRICK

    Rabbi Jessurun CARDOZO

    Albert EINSTEIN

    Herman EISEN, M.D.

    Hayim FINEMAN

    M. GALLEN, M.D.


    Zelig S. HARRIS

    Sidney HOOK

    Fred KARUSH

    Bruria KAUFMAN

    Irma L. LINDHEIM

    Nachman MAISEL

    Seymour MELMAN


    M.D. Harry M. OSLINSKY

    Samuel PITLICK

    Fritz ROHRLICH

    Louis P. ROCKER

    Ruth SAGIS

    Itzhak SANKOWSKY


    Samuel SHUMAN


    Irma WOLFE

    Stephan WOLF

    New York, Dec. 2, 1948

    • 1948, face au massacre de Deir Yassin

      Jacques de Reynier, un délégué arabisant, est à la manœuvre depuis Jérusalem pour organiser la venue de Genève de huit collègues, dont trois médecins, et dix infirmières. Le 10 avril 1948, le Haut Comité arabe, l’autorité des Arabes de Palestine, le prie de venir en aide aux blessés et d’évacuer les morts de Deir Yassin, village musulman aux portes de Jérusalem, où un massacre a été perpétré la veille. Il s’y rend le dimanche 11 avril. Dans le rapport qu’il rédige deux jours plus tard (lire ci-dessous), il cite le chiffre de 200 morts, une évaluation faite par le commandant des troupes juives qui ont procédé à l’assaut. Jacques de Reynier sera le seul témoin extérieur d’un épisode qui va s’imposer dans la mémoire palestinienne comme le symbole de la Nakba, la « catastrophe », à savoir la défaite militaire face à l’armée juive et l’exode massif – entre 700 000 et 800 000

      (je mets ce lien car je n’arrive pas à fixer celui du Temps)

  • Aujourd’hui, anniversaire du massacre de #Deir_Yassin.

    Deir Yassin Remembered

    Early in the morning of April 9, 1948, commandos of the Irgun (headed by Menachem Begin) and the Stern Gang attacked Deir Yassin, a village with about 750 Palestinian residents. The village lay outside of the area to be assigned by the United Nations to the Jewish State; it had a peaceful reputation. But it was located on high ground in the corridor between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Deir Yassin was slated for occupation under Plan Dalet and the mainstream Jewish defense force, the Haganah, authorized the irregular terrorist forces of the Irgun and the Stern Gang to perform the takeover.

    In all over 100 men, women, and children were systematically murdered. Fifty-three orphaned children were literally dumped along the wall of the Old City, where they were found by Miss Hind Husseini and brought behind the American Colony Hotel to her home, which was to become the Dar El-Tifl El-Arabi orphanage.

  • Deir Yassin, 9 avril 1948

    Le 9 avril a une résonance particulière dans la mémoire palestinienne. Il y a 65 ans, le 9 avril 1948, la Palestine connaissait son Oradour-sur-Glane. 120 miliciens de l’Irgoun et de Lehi, deux groupes terroristes, assistés de la Haganah, prennent d’assaut le village de Deir Yassin.

    Hommes, femmes et enfants seront tués de sang-froid. Comme l’écrit Dina Elmuti, petite fille d’une rescapée de ce massacre, dans un témoignage publié sur le site Electronic Intifada, cette boucherie marquera un tournant dans l’histoire de la Palestine : « Le massacre de Deir Yassin n’est ni le plus important ni le plus horrible. Mais les atrocités commises, la sophistication des méthodes et les armes utilisées contre les civils en font de loin le plus sadique et le plus vicieux », précise Dina Elmuti.

  • We must never forget the massacre in Deir Yassin

    Remember the date: Friday, 9 April 1948, a day of infamy in Palestinian history. My grandmother was nine years old at the time of the Deir Yassin massacre and every day since she has lived with a steadfast commitment to never forget.


    Fathers, grandfathers, brothers and sons were lined up against a wall and sprayed with bullets, execution style. Beloved teachers were savagely mutilated with knives. Mothers and sisters were taken hostage and those who survived returned to find pools of blood filling the streets of the village and children stripped of their childhoods overnight.