THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
6 Friday, August 21, 1981
The Arab Myth About Deir Yassin
(Continued from Page 1)
Driving back and forth
from Jerusalem, I spent
many hours in roadside
ditches eluding ambushes
from Deir Yassin. The
"peaceful little village"
about which the Times now
wrote had earned a reputa-
tion as a base for terrorist
attacks on the highway and
the outlying settlements.
The Times' account about
Central Station Monitoring
Deir Yassin convinced me
that something had been
Thousands of satisfied customers
"lost in translation." After
many discussions with
ri e e 4
Mordechai Raanan, then
Irgun commander in
17534 W. 7 MILE, DETROIT
Yelin-Mor, principal Lehi
(Stern group) commander,
and with men who partici-
MICH. DEPT. OF STATE POLICE
pated in the operation, I was
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"All that the name implies."
One of the physicians, Dr.
The element of surprise
able to put all the pieces to-
Avigdori, told Lehi, "Come
The true story was far civilian lives. Suddenly, to my office in a day or two
different from the one the the Arabs opened fire and I'll give you a copy of the
and the armored car top- report." But the promised
Early in April, Hebrew pled into an anti-tank document was never pro-
defense forces in Jerusalem ditch. Hundreds of vil-
Subsequently, a prop-
learned that Iraqi and Jor-
danian soldiers, as well as a structions and fled. But aganda campaign was
launched against the
number of Europeans, had many stayed behind.
Irgun-Lehi "terrorists." The
installed themselves in the
Arab Village near Every house and garden Arab and British press
Jerusalem. On the night of wall served as a position for jumped at the opportunity.
One immediate result was
April 2, Deir Yassin poured the Arabs; the exposed at-
intense fire on the Jewish tackers had to charge each that all hopes for com-
suburbs of Beit Hakerem point. If the defenders gave promise with those Palesti-
up, they were sent behind nian Arabs who migh' re
and Bait Vegan.
For the next several the lines; if they did not, the been willing to co-c. _ist
with the Hebrew population
nights, Hagana and house was bombarded.
As the attackers gained were dashed.
Irgun troops reconnoi-
After Deir Yassin, when
tered Deir Yassin. On ground, they found a
April 7, the Irgun and number of surprises: among Arab settlements were at-
Lehi commanders de- the prisoners were a Mos- tacked, panic often broke
cided to occupy the vil- lem colonel from Yugos- out and the inhabitants
lage to discourage lavia, "a British sergeant, fled, generally behind the
further night attacks and two Iraqi soldiers and other lines of the Arab Legion.
Gradually, their land
to help secure the high- Englishmen. A store of
way to Tel Aviv. The weapons was discovered. and deserted homes were
Hagana was not asked to And a further surprise: 30 of settled by some 800,000
join the operation, but its the Arab "women" pris- Jews who had fled their
commander had no ob- oners turned out to be men! own homes in Arab coun-
In the continuing battle, tries where they had •
jections to it.
Some 120 men and an Irgun commander was lived since before the
women were mobilized for shot by an Arab carrying a time that Islam con-
the attack, but only 100 ac- white flag. The attackers quered the Middle East.
On April 9, 1955, a former
tually participated because continued their advance,
always with the' warning: notable of Deir Yassin,
of the lack of weapons.
The Irgun units were led "Give up! Come out with Ahmed Assad, was quoted
in the Jordanian paper El
by Yehoshua Goldsmit, a your hands high!"
More often than not Urdun as saying: "The Jews
native of Givat Shaul, Deir
Yassin's frequent target. He they were answered by did not intend to harm the
ordered that no one was to heavy gun fire. After inhabitants of Deir Yassin.
fire unless absolutely about a dozen houses But they had no choice
necessary; no unarmed were dynamited, the in- when they encountered
people were to be shot at; no habitants came out more tough resistance and were
property was to be de- readily, first the women, fired upon from all sides .. .
stroyed. The objective was then the children, then The flight of Arabs from vil-
to occupy the village and se- the old men, followed by lages and towns was not a
cure the highway. All pris- young men wearing result of the massacre at
Deir Yassin, but of the
oners would be sent toward khakis.
By 2 p.m., most of the vil- exaggerated reports
the Arab lines to the east.
On Friday, April 9, the at- lage had been taken, though emanating from the Arab
tackers made their way in to the end the defenders leadership."
Nevertheless, the authors
, predawn darkness. At tried deceptions. Men came
dawn, they neared the vil- out with hands up, then Collins and LaPierre, in
lage, preceded by an ar- suddenly drew their their book "0 Jerusalem
mored car equipped with a weapons and began firing. (Simon and Schuster), re-
loudspeaker repeating On * Saturday, the house of ported that the Irgun-Lehi
warnings in Arabic: "The the village head — fortified practiced "cutting up of lit-
Irgun and Lehi are advanc- and stubbornly defended — tle children." When I quoted
ing. Run towards Ein was taken. this to men who had partici-
David Shalteil, the pated in the attack, they
Kerem or seek shelter below
the village. We are here to Hagana commander, had said it reminded them of the
expel the foreign forces in met with the Irgun com- blood-libel of the Middle
mander, Mordechai Ages.
A nine-page document ti-
Raanan, on Friday after-
noon and they agreed that tled "Deir Yassin," pub-
the village would be occu- lished by the government of
pied by the Hagana. On Israel's Foreign Affairs
Monday morning, a unit of Ministry on March 16, 1969,
Gadna, the paramilitary gave a version of the events
youth branch of the almost identical with the
Hagana, entered the vil- Irgun and Lehi reports. It
lage. The Lehi unit left. concluded that, "They (the
Irgun-Lehi had lost five attackers) had no possibil-
men and 44 had been ity of knowing beforehand
wounded. The Arabs had whether any civilians were
lost 220 people. left in the village, after the
As early as Sunday evacuation of 200 before the
morning, there were fighting began. This was no
rumors in Jerusalem that massacre of an unarmed,
the Irgun-Lehi had corn- peaceful village population
mitted atrocities. A Red- by a military unit as )
Cross representative propaganda pretends.
asked for permission to Irgun fought and won a
visit Deir Yassin and the battle; there was no after-
Lehi commander un- math of outrage or brutal
hesitatingly granted his excess."
request. Accompanied by H ousing Project
two Jewish doctors, the
CLEVELAND (JTA) —
Officials of a housing re-
the village. His filial
comment was: "Some habilitation project of the
people were killed by Cleveland Jewish Commu-
explosives, others by nity Federation have an-
gunfire." He made no nounced plans to buy two-
mention of "atrocities" family structures in the
and promised a written area and sell them as single
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