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In light of the commemorations and bogus postings by Eva, lets revisit this event.

Surprisingly, after the “massacre,” the Irgun escorted a representative of the Red Cross through the town and held a press conference. The New York Times' subsequent description of the battle was essentially the same as Begin's. The Times said more than 200 Arabs were killed, 40 captured and 70 women and children were released. No hint of a massacre appeared in the report. “Paradoxically, the Jews say about 250 out of 400 village inhabitants [were killed], while Arab survivors say only 110 of 1,000.” A study by Bir Zeit University, based on discussions with each family from the village, arrived at a figure of 107 Arab civilians dead and 12 wounded, in addition to 13 "fighters," evidence that the number of dead was smaller than claimed and that the village did have troops based there. Other Arab sources have subsequently suggested the number may have been even lower.

In fact, the attackers left open an escape corridor from the village and more than 200 residents left unharmed. For example, at 9:30 A.M., about five hours after the fighting started, the Lehi evacuated 40 old men, women and children on trucks and took them to a base in Sheikh Bader. Later, the Arabs were taken to East Jerusalem. Starting at 2:00 P.M., residents were taken out of the village. The trucks passed through the Orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim after the Sabbath had begun, so the neighborhood people cursed and spit at them, not because they were Arabs, but because the vehicles were desecrating the Sabbath. Seeing the Arabs in the hands of Jews also helped raise the morale of the people of Jerusalem who were despondent from the setbacks in the fighting to that point. Another source says 70 women and children were taken away and turned over to the British. If the intent was to massacre the inhabitants, no one would have been evacuated.


The village after the attack

After the remaining Arabs feigned surrender and then fired on the Jewish troops, some Jews killed Arab soldiers and civilians indiscriminately. None of the sources specify how many women and children were killed (the Times report said it was about half the victims; their original casualty figure came from the Irgun source), but there were some among the casualties. Any intentional murder of children or women is completely unjustified. At least some of the women who were killed, however, became targets because of men who tried to disguise themselves as women. The Irgun commander reported, for example, that the attackers "found men dressed as women and therefore they began to shoot at women who did not hasten to go down to the place designated for gathering the prisoners." Another story was told by a member of the Haganah who overheard a group of Arabs from Deir Yassin who said "the Jews found out that Arab warriors had disguised themselves as women. The Jews searched the women too. One of the people being checked realized he had been caught, took out a pistol and shot the Jewish commander. His friends, crazed with anger, shot in all directions and killed the Arabs in the area."

Contrary to claims from Arab propagandists at the time and some since, no evidence has ever been produced that any women were raped. On the contrary, every villager ever interviewed has denied these allegations. Like many of the claims, this was a deliberate propaganda ploy, but one that backfired. Hazam Nusseibi, who worked for the Palestine Broadcasting Service in 1948, admitted being told by Hussein Khalidi, a Palestinian Arab leader, to fabricate the atrocity claims. Abu Mahmud, a Deir Yassin resident in 1948 told Khalidi "there was no rape," but Khalidi replied, "We have to say this, so the Arab armies will come to liberate Palestine from the Jews." Nusseibeh told the BBC 50 years later, "This was our biggest mistake. We did not realize how our people would react. As soon as they heard that women had been raped at Deir Yassin, Palestinians fled in terror."

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Comment by TOSIFETTA on April 22, 2009 at 10:58pm
Hiba. I do not question that Dir Yassin occured . What I do have problems with is the depiction of this battle as a massacre. I am quoting Arab sources and some survivors. I am just a messanger trying to correct a message that is not quite correct.

Perhaps you can show me where I have inserted Israeli "truths" that contradict the Arab "truths". I promise to evaluate the additional information you supply and who knows I may even see it your way
Comment by Hiba on April 22, 2009 at 10:29pm
Just as you are turning deaf and dumb now and refusing to see, no part is completely right so open your ears and listen as well.

Each fact and occurence has lies and truhts in it, whether an Arab, Israeli or any other in the whole world.
Comment by TOSIFETTA on April 20, 2009 at 1:47pm
Spreading lies continues. When confronted with truth and proof that these were lies, the Arabs and their supporters just turn deaf and dumb but continue believing their lies.
Comment by TOSIFETTA on April 19, 2009 at 5:29pm
Dir Yassin was certainly not a massacre of a peaceful village, but rather was an Arab-Jewish battle with unfortunate civilian casualties.

Dir Yassin lies on a hill west of Jerusalem, eight hundred meters above sea level, and 700 meters from the Jewish neighbourhood of Givat Shaul. The Dir Yassin fortified position overlooked the westerly Jewish neighborhoods: Givat Shaul, Bet Hakerem, Yefe Nof, and the road to Bayit Vagan. The village also overlooked the section of road linking Jerusalem to Tel-Aviv. Dir Yassin served as a halfway site for forces moving up from the Arab villages of Ein Karem and Malha in the south to Kastel and Kolonia, which overlooked the main Jerusalem - Tel Aviv road.

On April 2, 1948, the Arab inhabitants of Dir Yassin began sniping at the Jewish Quarters of Bet Hakerem and Yefe Nof. According to reports by the Shai (Haganah Intelligence), fortifications were being constructed in the village and a large quantity of arms being stockpiled. Several days before the attack on Dir Yassin, the presence of foreign fighters was reported, including Iraqi soldiers and irregular forces. An Arab research study conducted at Bir Zeit University (near Ramallah) relates that the men of Dir Yassin took an active part in violent acts against Jewish targets and that many of the men of the village fought in the battle for Kastel, together with Abd-el-Kadr el-Husseini. The report also stated that trenches had been dug at the entry to the village, and that more than 100 men had been trained and equipped with rifles and Bren guns. A local guard force had been set up and 40 inhabitants guarded the village every night.

On April 6, 1948, Operation Nachshon was launched by the Haganah with the aim of opening up the road to Jerusalem. The Palmach was part of this effort together with the Irgun (under Menachem Begin) and Lehi forces, their first combined operation. On Thursday, April 8, 1948 they launched an attack on Dir Yassin between 4 and 5 AM. A loudspeaker mounted on an armored car warned the Arabs and asked them to evacuate their women and children. Hundreds left, but hundreds stayed. A pitched battle ensued, and when the smoke cleared, 110 to 120 Arabs were killed, 40 Jews were seriously injured and four Jews were dead. The number killed has been confirmed even by Palestinian Arab researchers, such as Bir Zeit University professor Sharif Kanaana who puts the number no higher than 120 (although he clings to the claim of massacre). Another contemporary Arab source deflates the number killed to less than 100, stating, after a count, "that there were no more than 46 corpses". The head of the coroner unit, professor Yehoshua Arieli, testified that the number was 110.

The use of the loudsepaker to warn the civilians to evacuate is a key point, certainly not the action of soldiers planning to murder the population. The loudspeaker is not in dispute. A publication of the Arab League titled Israeli Aggression states:

* On the night of April 9, 1948, the peaceful Arab village of Deir Yassin was surprised by a loudspeaker, which called on the population to evacuate it immediately.

The village was not peaceful, but the essential part of this quote agrees with Jewish accounts.

The massacre claim, meaning the killing of defenceless people, has long since been discredited by the Israeli government and every other historical study. The story persists because pro-Arab sources constantly repeat it, often inflating the number of dead to 250 or more. There are completely fictional accounts written about Arabs being marched to the mosque and shot against the walls, or even worse stories of torture, rape or any other shocking aspect the storyteller invents. As an example, here is how one Arab website describes the scene:

* [The Jews used] machine guns, then grenades and finished of with knives. Women's bellies were cut open and babies were butchered in the hands of their helpless mothers. Around 250 people were murdered in cold blood. Of them 25 pregnant women were bayoneted in the abdomen while still alive. 52 children were maimed under the eyes of their own mothers, and they were slain and their heads cut off.

To say there is not a shread of evidence for these embellishments is giving them too much credit.

On the contrary, there are eyewitness accounts from the time, Jewish and Arab, that tell the story as it happened. For example, according to the Daily Telegraph, April 8, 1998, Ayish Zeidan, a resident of the village and a survivor of the fighting there, stated:

* The Arab radio talked of women being killed and raped, but this is not true... I believe that most of those who were killed were among the fighters and the women and children who helped the fighters. The Arab leaders committed a big mistake. By exaggerating the atrocities they thought they would encourage people to fight back harder. Instead they created panic and people ran away.

Dir Yassin was a reasonable military target for Jewish forces, there was warning given before the battle, a fierce battle was fought with casualties on both sides. No massacre, no mutiliations, no atrocities.

Palestinian Arab eyewitnesses have recently admitted that some of their claims about Dir Yassin were deliberate fabrications. The issue of the Jerusalem Report dated April 2, 1998 describes a BBC television program in which Hazem Nusseibeh, an editor of the Palestine Broadcasting Service's Arabic news in 1948, admits that he was told by Hussein Khalidi, a prominent Palestinian Arab leader, to fabricate claims of atrocities at Dir Yassin in order to encourage Arab regimes to invade the expected Jewish state.

According to the Jerusalem Report:

* Nusseibeh "describes an encounter at the Jaffa Gate of Jerusalem's Old City with Deir Yassin survivors and Palestinian leaders, including Hussein Khalidi... 'I asked Dr. Khalidi how we should cover the story,' recalled Nusseibeh. 'He said, "We must make the most of this." So we wrote a press release stating that at Deir Yassin children were murdered, pregnant women were raped. All sorts of atrocities.' "

The BBC program then shows a recent interview with Abu Mahmud, who was a Dir Yassin resident in 1948, who says:

* ... the villagers protested against the atrocity claims: We said, "There was no rape." [Khalidi] said, "We have to say this, so the Arab armies will come to liberate Palestine from the Jews."

Khalidi was one of the originators of the "massacre" allegation in 1948. It was Khalidi's claims about Jewish atrocities in Dir Yassin that were the basis for an article in the New York Times by its correspondent, Dana Schmidt (on April 12, 1948), claiming a massacre took place. The Times article has been widely reprinted and cited as "proof" of the massacre throughout the past 50 years.

Nusseibeh, who is a member of one of Jerusalem's most prominent Arab families and presently lives in Amman, told the BBC that the fabricated atrocity stories about Dir Yassin were:

* "...our biggest mistake," because "Palestinians fled in terror" and left the country in huge numbers after hearing the atrocity claims.

It has also been alleged that the Dir Yassin hoax was supported by the left-wing political party of David Ben-Gurion in order to smear the right-wing, the Irgun and its commander Menachem Begin.

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