The Ghosts of Deir Yassin, by Yehuda Avner (Jerusalem Post)
“What this House has just heard is an elaborate exercise in Arab myth-making. On trial here is not what happened at Deir Yassin but what has been invented about Deir Yassin.”: Dr. Gershon Levy
In October 1952, I attended a debate at the Oxford Union between a Dr. Ali el-Husseimi, adviser to the Secretary General of the Arab League Abdul-Khalek Hassouna, and Dr. Gershon Levy, adviser to prime minister David Ben-Gurion. The motion was, “This House Condemns Zionism as Imperialism.”
Gershon Levy I knew. He had lectured at a course I attended in Jerusalem some years before.
As their war of words mounted, the contenders, fighting fire with fire, sought to clinch their arguments with every verbal device they could muster in an effort to vanquish the other over the slaughter that had occurred in a place called Deir Yassin.
Deir Yassin – now Har Nof – was an Arab village on the western outskirts of Jerusalem. It was located across the valley from Beit Hakerem where I was lodging. In the early spring of 1948, Deir Yassin gunmen began taking potshots at Beit Hakerem and other nearby neighborhoods, and at dawn on Friday, April 9, Menachem Begin’s Irgun Zvai Leumi, assisted by members of the Stern Group, attacked the village.
I was 18 at the time, and this is what I scribbled in my diary: “Practically knocked out of bed by big explosion at 5 a.m. and then another at 7 a.m. They were explosions from Deir Yassin, a village across the valley. Told that IZL and Lehi attacked the village. Had always been very quiet and quite friendly. Told that Arab gangs had pushed themselves in. Went at 10 a.m. to investigate. Crawled down valley behind rock. Could see Jews maneuvering into positions. Crashed Jewish lorry on hill.
“Hagana asked for reinforcements for wounded etc. Village captured by 2 p.m. Jewish flag raised over destroyed mukhtar’s house.
“Prisoners taken around town by terrorists [sic] in lorry with their hands up. Idea is to bolster morale. Rumored they were to be shot…. Walking home we saw the captured women and children in a truck. They just stared. Many Jews around. I felt ashamed the way they cheered. Told that Hagana were going to hand them over to the British.”
AND NOW, more than four years later, there I sat crammed into the spectators’ gallery of the Oxford Union, looking down on a chamber packed with students listening to Dr. Ali el-Husseini lashing out at Dr. Gershon Levy over what he asserted was a deliberate Jewish massacre at Deir Yassin.
“Menachem Begin,” he raged, “stands indicted as a war criminal for the deliberate brutal massacre of 254 innocent men, women and children at Deir Yassin. He ordered his thugs to descend upon this quiet village, savage its women, throw scores of mutilated bodies down the village wells, and burn the rest. Those who survived the massacre were, at Begin’s command, loaded onto trucks and paraded throughout Jewish Jerusalem, to be stoned and spat upon, before being taken to a nearby quarry to be shot.”
Then, thunderously, bitterly, in a tear-smothered voice:
“What happened at Deir Yassin was emblematic of the notorious and horrific totality of Zionist massacres and imperialist crimes committed against the Palestinian people. The Deir Yassin massacre and the resultant terror that seized the Palestinian people marked the beginning of the depopulation of Arab Palestine. For millions upon millions of Arabs this tiny village has become a symbol of Zionist imperialistic perfidy, brutality and aggression.”
“I speak of the policy of massacre and mutilation of Jews in the riots of 1920, in the riots of 1921, in the riots of 1929, in the riots of 1936 to 1939, and in the recent 1947-1948 war in which the Arabs set out to massacre and mutilate the Jewish state at birth…”
WITH THAT, he sat down and Gershon Levy jumped up. In an incensed voice that lifted to a shout stopping all applause dead, he fumed, “What this House has just heard is an elaborate exercise in Arab myth-making. On trial here is not what happened at Deir Yassin but what has been invented about Deir Yassin.”
And now, tersely, vigorously, powerfully, as an attorney might address a jury, he made his points – that Deir Yassin, high on a ridge overlooking the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway, was a place of strategic importance in a life-and-death struggle for Jewish survival; that on Menachem Begin’s orders a loudspeaker mounted on a truck had forewarned its inhabitants of the impending assault, thereby surrendering the element of surprise; that the fighting was house-to-house and, therefore, murderous, causing heavy civilian casualties; and that the number of dead was less than half of what Arab propaganda alleged.
Turning now to Ali el-Husseini he said to him in a voice as cold as his eyes:
“I would advise you, sir, not to don the cloak of hypocrisy before an audience as perceptive as this. You cannot pull wool over their eyes, as the show of hands shall presently reveal. For they know it to be true that we Jews, unlike you Arabs, are not a martial people. And unlike the Arab nation” – he was talking to the students again – “the legendary heroes of the Jewish nation are not warriors and conquerors, but prophets and scribes. There never was, never could be, a Begin policy of deliberately attacking civilians as there has been a consistent Arab policy of doing just that. I speak of the policy of massacre and mutilation of Jews in the riots of 1920, in the riots of 1921, in the riots of 1929, in the riots of 1936 to 1939, and in the recent 1947-1948 war in which the Arabs set out to massacre and mutilate the Jewish state at birth; a war, in the course of which a convoy of 77 Jewish doctors and nurses, in clearly marked ambulances en route to the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, met with massacre and mutilation. I speak of the massacre and mutilation of the 35 ambushed in a convoy en route to the Etzion Bloc. I speak of the massacre and mutilation of all but four survivors of Kibbutz Kfar Etzion. I speak of the massacre and mutilation…”
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Lies, myths, manufactured theatrical-like contrived productions have been Arab, Islamic weapons easily for centuries. In modern-days, the Arab lies and fabrications regarding Deir Yassin set the precedent, set the stage for the contemporary Pallywood, Hezbollywood productions seen in recent years; examples of which can be found here, here and here and don’t even nick the surface of Islamic outright lies and frauds perpetrated with the willing complicity of MSM (mainstream media). And just as the Israeli leftists, the agendists, the elitists and effetists were complicit with Arab lies in launching “the season” against the nationalists of pre-statehood days, so-too, the latter day leftists, agendists, elitists and effetists hang their heads in shame at each Arab Islamic false accusation and Pallywood, Hezbollywood production while further cracking down on the Jews who cleave to Eretz Yisrael. MB