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FW: [Mew] Deir Yassin: the conflict as mass psychosis

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  • Abe Hayeem
    This is an article by Ami Isseroff who published on his website the eye witness account of Meir Peled of the Haganah of the massacre. These are his current
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 11 4:10 PM
      This is an article by Ami Isseroff who published on his website the eye
      witness account of Meir Peled of the Haganah of the massacre. These are his
      current observations on Deir Yassin and the result on the whole conflict.
      Abe

      Deir Yassin: The Conflict as Mass Psychosis
      04/10/2005

      April 9 is the anniversary of the attack by revisionist Zionists on the Arab
      village of Deir Yassin in 1948. This attack, which apparently resulted in
      the massacre of about 100 Arab inhabitants, has attracted a disproportionate
      amount of attention from partisans of the Palestinian cause. Deir Yassin, in
      more senses than one, represents the whole Palestine/Israel conflict in
      miniature. Palestinian advocates have made Deir Yassin a symbol of the 1948
      Nakba tragedy (the flight/expulsion of refugees from Palestine), a blameless
      "righteous victim" at the hands of a vicious enemy.


      However, there is another sense in which Deir Yassin is symbolic of the
      conflict. The whole conflict can be viewed as a long series of "Deir Yassin
      massacres," perpetrated without cause, in the minds of the protagonists, by
      either side, on blameless victims of the other. In each case, the facts are
      totally denied or ignored by partisans of one side, and exaggerated to
      monstrous proportions by the other side. When two peoples are condemned to
      continually relive the same plot with different characters and places,
      history and historical truths cease to be solely academic subjects. The
      history of the Deir Yassin massacre and the perception of that history and
      the psychology of that perception, can therefore give us insight into the
      processes that sustain the conflict.

      The facts of the attack as known are presented at a Web site I created at
      http://www.ariga.com/peacewatch/dy. Briefly, on April 9, 1948, the dissident
      Jewish Irgun and Lehi underground groups attacked the village of Deir
      Yassin,
      at the entrance to Jerusalem, though the village had had a defense pact with
      the Jewish agency. In the attack, four of the attackers and over a hundred
      villagers were killed, many of them women and children. According to an
      affidavit provided by an Irgun commander, about 80 prisoners were shot. A
      number of witnesses, Jewish and Arab, reported independently that a group of
      about 15 persons were taken to a quarry and shot. Me'ir Pail, a Palmach
      (Zionist underground) officer who spied on the attack, and two or three
      additional witnesses, reported women children and old men shot at close
      range.
      The Zionist executive apologized for this attack, which was done by forces
      not
      under its control. The Palestinians subsequently exacted revenge by killing
      about 80 Jews in a convoy to Hadassah hospital, and another 50 who had
      surrendered at Gush Etzion.

      I was surprised and dismayed at the reactions elicited by my Web site and by
      any discussion of Deir Yassin. On the one hand, most pro-Israel visitors
      insist that the massacre never took place at all, even though the Israel
      government decided some time ago to teach about the massacre as part of the
      school history curriculum. For insisting on telling the same truth that is
      taught in Israeli schools, I have been called "traitor," "obstacle to peace"
      and "self-hating Jew."

      On the other hand, pro-Palestinians are insistent that this massacre,
      perpetrated by an inexperienced and undisciplined group of dissident
      soldiers,
      typifies all of the accomplishments of Zionism in Palestine from its
      inception, and was part of a Zionist plot to expel the Arabs of Palestine.
      Each year Palestinians and their partisans, including so-called "peace"
      groups, commemorate the Deir Yassin massacre and insist on turning it into a
      hate Israel platform. Would-be "historians" have tried to link Deir Yassin
      with Plan Daleth (Plan D) of the Hagannah. However, Plan D did not envisage
      massacring anyone, nor did it call for massive permanent expulsions, and the
      attack on Deir Yassin, while tolerated by the Jerusalem Hagannah commander,
      Shaltiel, was not part of the Hagannah plan.

      It seems that no amount of proof would convince either side, and that the
      opinions are not susceptible to empirical evidence at all. Every irrelevant
      or
      impossible argument has been used to refute the evidence of the massacre by
      one side, and every possible device has been used by the other side to try
      to
      turn this one incident, an unplanned massacre perpetrated by a renegade
      group,
      into a symbol of Zionist policy.

      According to Palestinian partisans, massacres like Deir Yassin, and only
      such
      massacres, were the sole cause of the flight of the Palestinian refugees in
      1948, perpetrated as part of a premeditated "ethnic cleansing" plot by the
      evil Zionists to expel the blameless Arabs of Palestine. It does not matter
      to
      them that the Palestinians attacked the Jews originally and blockaded the
      roads to Jerusalem. It is useless to show that hundreds of thousands of
      Palestinians had already fled before the events of Deir Yassin. It is no use
      pointing out that the Irgun/Lehi action was not sanctioned by the Zionist
      leadership, that Jewish evictions of Arabs followed Arab evictions of Jews,
      or
      that over 420 Jewish civilians were killed by enemy action and many more
      died
      due to starvation and illness during the Arab blockade of Jerusalem. About
      30,000 Jews fled the city during or after the blockade, including several
      thousand who were forcibly evicted from the Jewish quarter in the old city.
      None of the above makes any impression. Each side claims about the suffering
      of the other, "it is not equivalent" "it is not the same thing," it was
      "justifiable revenge" or simply, "it didn't happen."

      What happened in 1948 was known by both sides, but it was actively
      "forgotten," just as what is happening today, all around us, is known to
      both
      sides, but it is actively "forgotten." The facts are made to fit what we
      need
      to believe, for by other names and at other times, the tragedy of, Deir
      Yassin
      is revisited and replayed perpetually by Palestinians, and the equivalent
      tragedies are revisited by Israelis. For Deir Yassin, Jews may substitute
      the
      Hebron Massacre of 1929, or the expulsion from the Old City of Jerusalem, or
      the Hadassah convoy massacre or the Gush Etzion massacre or another incident
      in their version of the history, and the Palestinians may substitute the
      Jenin
      "massacre" any other incident in their version of history.

      The story of Deir Yassin is typical of almost every other incident in the
      history of Palestinian-Israeli relations. There is an act of senseless
      brutality, that is performed in the context of revenge for other acts of
      senseless brutality and competition with other political groups. The deed
      becomes the justification for other outrages, which in turn create the need
      for vengeance and more such deeds. Each side remembers only one part of the
      story, and actively dismisses the rest, which is a threat to their own self
      image, as a group, and as individuals. Two peoples are living a lie. Thus,
      Deir Yassin is the child of many Deir Yassins, and parent to many more.
      Partisans claim that the brutal act, whether it is the massacre at Deir
      Yassin, or the massacre of Jews in Hebron, or suicide bombings, or brutality
      at checkpoints, is characteristic of their opponents, and proves that they
      are
      thoroughly evil and inhuman.

      Critics complain that Zionists have created a "Holocaust industry" to
      capitalize on the suffering of the Jews in Europe. However, the same critics
      are among those who have created a Deir Yassin industry, to trade on the
      suffering of the Palestinians and to inflate an incident into a cause, and
      an
      excuse to denying legitimacy to an entire people. The "Deir Yassin
      Industry,"
      like the museum of the Hebron settlers that is dedicated to the massacre in
      Hebron, is not intended to humanize victims or make the other side feel
      their
      pain. There is no chance that such propaganda can bring about rapprochement
      or
      peace or justice, because the other side is never going to accept a false
      version of history in which they are entirely wrong and delegitimized, or
      accept that the "punishment" for their "misdeeds" is that they have to
      forfeit
      all their rights entirely. Reconciliation cannot be built on hate-mongering.

      The history of Deir Yassin, and of every other event, clear enough in
      itself,
      becomes lost or repressed in a fog of deliberate obfuscation by one side,
      and
      in a torrent of exaggeration by the other. In this way, each group has
      developed their own historical fictional mythology. The myths are supported
      by
      a set of obstinate defense mechanisms, that are impervious to any facts
      except
      those that support the myths. The myths provide a rationale for sustaining
      the
      conflict, which generates more Deir Yassins to create more myths. The
      psychological mechanisms are devastatingly effective. The events of recent
      years have proven that in a hundred or more years of conflict over
      Palestine,
      both sides have forgotten nothing of the myths they created, and learned
      nothing of the truths they have repressed. Until we are willing to learn the
      truths and to dispel the myths, we will all be condemned to relive the
      tragedy
      of Deir Yassin.

      Ami Isseroff

      This article is also posted at
      http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000350.htm where you can comment on
      the Web. MidEastWeb will also publish and circulate formal comments and
      letters that conform to our guidelines - see
      http://www.mideastweb.org/guidelines.htm




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      Presented by the MidEast Web for Coexistence and the PEACE MidEast Dialog
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    • Deborah Maccoby
      It actually isn t true to say that Plan D didn t call for mass expulsions: here is one of the key passages from Plan D (in practice it applied to most
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 12 3:16 AM
        It actually isn't true to say that Plan D didn't call for mass
        expulsions: here is one of the key passages from Plan D (in practice it
        applied to most Palestinian villages):

        "b)4. Mounting operations against enemy population centers located
        inside or near our defensive system in order to prevent them from being
        used as bases by an active armed force. These operations can be divided
        into the following categories: Destruction of villages (setting fire to,
        blowing up, and planting mines in the debris), especially those
        population centers which are difficult to control continuously. Mounting
        search and control operations according to the following guidelines:
        encirclement of the village and conducting a search inside it. In the
        event of resistance, the. armed force must be destroyed and the
        population must be expelled outside the borders of the state."

        Also Benny Morris writes in "The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee
        Problem Revisited"

        "In May and June (1948) Mapam's leaders assessed that Deir Yassin had
        been one of the two pivotal events in the exodus of Palestine's Arabs
        (the other was the fall of Arab Haifa). This, more or less, was also the
        judgement of HIS-AD (Haganah Intelligence Service - Arab Department),
        which, in its mid-war report on the causes and nature of the exodus,
        defined Deir Yassin as a "decisive accelerating factor" in the general
        evacuation.(p.240)"

        So Deir Yassin wasn't just one event in a cycle of violence, as Ami
        Isseroff makes out; it was certainly pivotal and can be seen as a symbol
        of the whole Nakba - so remembrance of Deir Yassin means remembrance of
        the whole massive injustice against the Palestinians. This is why I
        have attended DYR commemorations in the past, and I think it is
        important for Jews to face up to and acknowledge the Nakba. But the
        problem is that DYR has now become mixed up with anti-Semitic regressive
        Christian ideas and is being exploited as a means of demonising Jews and
        is seen not just as a symbol of massive injustice - acknowledgement of
        which can lead to reconciliation - but of a kind of cosmic sin. I know
        most of the people at the commemoration will not have seen it as such,
        but it is surely very troubling that the people running DYR obviously do
        see it like this. The combination of Shamir on the Board, Gilad Atzmon
        performing and Paul Eisen's "Jewish Power" article just made it
        impossible for me personally to attend, but none of us have called for a
        mass boycott and it was just up to everyone to make up his or her own
        mind.

        Deborah



        -----Original Message-----
        From: Abe Hayeem [mailto:abe.hayeem@...]
        Sent: 12 April 2005 00:10
        To: Just Peace UK
        Subject: [JustPeaceUK] FW: [Mew] Deir Yassin: the conflict as mass
        psychosis



        This is an article by Ami Isseroff who published on his website the eye
        witness account of Meir Peled of the Haganah of the massacre. These are
        his current observations on Deir Yassin and the result on the whole
        conflict. Abe

        Deir Yassin: The Conflict as Mass Psychosis
        04/10/2005

        April 9 is the anniversary of the attack by revisionist Zionists on the
        Arab village of Deir Yassin in 1948. This attack, which apparently
        resulted in the massacre of about 100 Arab inhabitants, has attracted a
        disproportionate amount of attention from partisans of the Palestinian
        cause. Deir Yassin, in more senses than one, represents the whole
        Palestine/Israel conflict in miniature. Palestinian advocates have made
        Deir Yassin a symbol of the 1948 Nakba tragedy (the flight/expulsion of
        refugees from Palestine), a blameless "righteous victim" at the hands of
        a vicious enemy.


        However, there is another sense in which Deir Yassin is symbolic of the
        conflict. The whole conflict can be viewed as a long series of "Deir
        Yassin massacres," perpetrated without cause, in the minds of the
        protagonists, by either side, on blameless victims of the other. In each
        case, the facts are totally denied or ignored by partisans of one side,
        and exaggerated to monstrous proportions by the other side. When two
        peoples are condemned to continually relive the same plot with different
        characters and places, history and historical truths cease to be solely
        academic subjects. The history of the Deir Yassin massacre and the
        perception of that history and the psychology of that perception, can
        therefore give us insight into the processes that sustain the conflict.

        The facts of the attack as known are presented at a Web site I created
        at http://www.ariga.com/peacewatch/dy. Briefly, on April 9, 1948, the
        dissident Jewish Irgun and Lehi underground groups attacked the village
        of Deir Yassin,
        at the entrance to Jerusalem, though the village had had a defense pact
        with the Jewish agency. In the attack, four of the attackers and over a
        hundred villagers were killed, many of them women and children.
        According to an affidavit provided by an Irgun commander, about 80
        prisoners were shot. A number of witnesses, Jewish and Arab, reported
        independently that a group of about 15 persons were taken to a quarry
        and shot. Me'ir Pail, a Palmach (Zionist underground) officer who spied
        on the attack, and two or three additional witnesses, reported women
        children and old men shot at close range.
        The Zionist executive apologized for this attack, which was done by
        forces not
        under its control. The Palestinians subsequently exacted revenge by
        killing about 80 Jews in a convoy to Hadassah hospital, and another 50
        who had surrendered at Gush Etzion.

        I was surprised and dismayed at the reactions elicited by my Web site
        and by any discussion of Deir Yassin. On the one hand, most pro-Israel
        visitors insist that the massacre never took place at all, even though
        the Israel government decided some time ago to teach about the massacre
        as part of the school history curriculum. For insisting on telling the
        same truth that is taught in Israeli schools, I have been called
        "traitor," "obstacle to peace" and "self-hating Jew."

        On the other hand, pro-Palestinians are insistent that this massacre,
        perpetrated by an inexperienced and undisciplined group of dissident
        soldiers,
        typifies all of the accomplishments of Zionism in Palestine from its
        inception, and was part of a Zionist plot to expel the Arabs of
        Palestine. Each year Palestinians and their partisans, including
        so-called "peace" groups, commemorate the Deir Yassin massacre and
        insist on turning it into a hate Israel platform. Would-be "historians"
        have tried to link Deir Yassin with Plan Daleth (Plan D) of the
        Hagannah. However, Plan D did not envisage massacring anyone, nor did it
        call for massive permanent expulsions, and the attack on Deir Yassin,
        while tolerated by the Jerusalem Hagannah commander, Shaltiel, was not
        part of the Hagannah plan.

        It seems that no amount of proof would convince either side, and that
        the opinions are not susceptible to empirical evidence at all. Every
        irrelevant or
        impossible argument has been used to refute the evidence of the massacre
        by one side, and every possible device has been used by the other side
        to try to
        turn this one incident, an unplanned massacre perpetrated by a renegade
        group,
        into a symbol of Zionist policy.

        According to Palestinian partisans, massacres like Deir Yassin, and only
        such
        massacres, were the sole cause of the flight of the Palestinian refugees
        in 1948, perpetrated as part of a premeditated "ethnic cleansing" plot
        by the evil Zionists to expel the blameless Arabs of Palestine. It does
        not matter to
        them that the Palestinians attacked the Jews originally and blockaded
        the roads to Jerusalem. It is useless to show that hundreds of thousands
        of Palestinians had already fled before the events of Deir Yassin. It is
        no use pointing out that the Irgun/Lehi action was not sanctioned by the
        Zionist leadership, that Jewish evictions of Arabs followed Arab
        evictions of Jews, or
        that over 420 Jewish civilians were killed by enemy action and many more
        died
        due to starvation and illness during the Arab blockade of Jerusalem.
        About 30,000 Jews fled the city during or after the blockade, including
        several thousand who were forcibly evicted from the Jewish quarter in
        the old city. None of the above makes any impression. Each side claims
        about the suffering of the other, "it is not equivalent" "it is not the
        same thing," it was "justifiable revenge" or simply, "it didn't happen."

        What happened in 1948 was known by both sides, but it was actively
        "forgotten," just as what is happening today, all around us, is known to
        both
        sides, but it is actively "forgotten." The facts are made to fit what we
        need
        to believe, for by other names and at other times, the tragedy of, Deir
        Yassin
        is revisited and replayed perpetually by Palestinians, and the
        equivalent tragedies are revisited by Israelis. For Deir Yassin, Jews
        may substitute the
        Hebron Massacre of 1929, or the expulsion from the Old City of
        Jerusalem, or the Hadassah convoy massacre or the Gush Etzion massacre
        or another incident in their version of the history, and the
        Palestinians may substitute the Jenin
        "massacre" any other incident in their version of history.

        The story of Deir Yassin is typical of almost every other incident in
        the history of Palestinian-Israeli relations. There is an act of
        senseless brutality, that is performed in the context of revenge for
        other acts of senseless brutality and competition with other political
        groups. The deed becomes the justification for other outrages, which in
        turn create the need for vengeance and more such deeds. Each side
        remembers only one part of the story, and actively dismisses the rest,
        which is a threat to their own self image, as a group, and as
        individuals. Two peoples are living a lie. Thus, Deir Yassin is the
        child of many Deir Yassins, and parent to many more. Partisans claim
        that the brutal act, whether it is the massacre at Deir Yassin, or the
        massacre of Jews in Hebron, or suicide bombings, or brutality at
        checkpoints, is characteristic of their opponents, and proves that they
        are
        thoroughly evil and inhuman.

        Critics complain that Zionists have created a "Holocaust industry" to
        capitalize on the suffering of the Jews in Europe. However, the same
        critics are among those who have created a Deir Yassin industry, to
        trade on the suffering of the Palestinians and to inflate an incident
        into a cause, and an
        excuse to denying legitimacy to an entire people. The "Deir Yassin
        Industry,"
        like the museum of the Hebron settlers that is dedicated to the massacre
        in Hebron, is not intended to humanize victims or make the other side
        feel their
        pain. There is no chance that such propaganda can bring about
        rapprochement or
        peace or justice, because the other side is never going to accept a
        false version of history in which they are entirely wrong and
        delegitimized, or accept that the "punishment" for their "misdeeds" is
        that they have to forfeit
        all their rights entirely. Reconciliation cannot be built on
        hate-mongering.

        The history of Deir Yassin, and of every other event, clear enough in
        itself,
        becomes lost or repressed in a fog of deliberate obfuscation by one
        side, and
        in a torrent of exaggeration by the other. In this way, each group has
        developed their own historical fictional mythology. The myths are
        supported by
        a set of obstinate defense mechanisms, that are impervious to any facts
        except
        those that support the myths. The myths provide a rationale for
        sustaining the
        conflict, which generates more Deir Yassins to create more myths. The
        psychological mechanisms are devastatingly effective. The events of
        recent years have proven that in a hundred or more years of conflict
        over Palestine,
        both sides have forgotten nothing of the myths they created, and learned
        nothing of the truths they have repressed. Until we are willing to learn
        the truths and to dispel the myths, we will all be condemned to relive
        the tragedy
        of Deir Yassin.

        Ami Isseroff

        This article is also posted at
        http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000350.htm where you can
        comment on the Web. MidEastWeb will also publish and circulate formal
        comments and letters that conform to our guidelines - see
        http://www.mideastweb.org/guidelines.htm




        ** DO NOT REMOVE WHEN FORWARDING **

        Please send this mail - with this footer - to friends and help spread
        the
        word- Thank you.

        --- Copyright MidEast Web for Coexistence ----
        May be reproduced by e-mail only without permission provided contact
        information remains intact. Other uses require permission. Presented by
        the MidEast Web for Coexistence and the PEACE MidEast Dialog Group.

        Original articles are posted on the Web at
        http://www.ariga.com/peacewatch and /or http://www.mideastweb.org AND
        MUST NOT BE COPIED TO YOUR WEB SITE WITHOUT PERMISSION (note - replace
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        Subscribe: MEW-subscribe (at) yahoogroups.com

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