South Africa's Jews are torn
between affluence and apartheid.
LIFE IN ISRAEL
Detroit's new Project Renewal
partner likes to take care of itself.
ERIC M. STARKMAN
George Brody's integrity restored
faith in Detroit's bankruptcy court.
A Palestinian on the West Bank: Putting Deir Yassin in perspective.
Why Jews Must Acknowledge
The Atrocities At Deir Yassin
ne of the principal reasons sup-
porters of Israel have been so suc-
cessful in persuading people of the
virtue of their cause is that they present
the facts. Those facts more often than not
present Israel in a favorable light.
This is why it is so important that we
do not join the efforts of our critics to
rewrite history. I bring this up because of
recent articles I have read on the subject
of what happened at Deir Yassin.
Deir Yassin is frequently raised by
Arabs as an example of the barbarism of
the Jews. The reason it is cited, even to this
day, is because it was a unique event. This
does not bother me. What concerns me is
that certain Jewish writers are unwilling
to acknowledge that what took place was
indeed a low point in Jewish history.
On April 9, 1948, a combined force of
the underground groups Irgun and Lehi
entered the village of Deir Yassin. They
were met by gunfire. They proceeded into
the village and, after several hours and 41
casualties, succeeded in taking Deir Yassin.
In his memoirs, former Irgun leader
and Prime Minister Menachem Begin
claims a warning was issued before the
troops engaged the enemy. Others, in-
cluding authors Bowyer Bell, Larry Collins
and Dominique Lapierre, have presented
evidence that the warning was never heard
Mitchell Bard is a foreign policy analyst in
because the truck carrying the loudspeaker
ran into a ditch.
What is not in question is that the
Jewish paramilitary groups killed more
than 200 Arab men, women, and children.
According to British and Red Cross reports,
many of the civilians were brutally
murdered, which led to the Deir Yassin in-
cident being called a massacre.
There were survivors, but they were not
left completely untouched as Begin asserts.
Instead, many were paraded
unceremoniously through the streets of
Jerusalem. Jewish leaders were so hor-
rified by the incident that the Jewish Agen-
cy sent a letter expressing its "horror and
disgust" to Transjordan's King Abdullah.
For historical purposes, it is important
to acknowledge the atrocities committed at
Deir Yassin. At the same time, the event
must be put in perspective.
First, it occurred during the civil war
in Palestine. Second, the village was along
the supply route to Jerusalem which, at the
time, was being blockaded by Arab forces.
Moreover, the atrocities committed by
the Arabs were no less appalling; that
there is no single famous incident is not
because of a lack of examples, but because
they were more common. In fact, just four
days after the reports from Deir Yassin
were published, Arabs ambushed a convoy
on the way to Hadassah Hospital and kill-
ed 34 doctors, nurses, patients, and soldiers
and wounded 23 more. In just the first four
months after the United Nations' partition
plan, more than 500 Jews were killed.
Continued on Page 12
Stacks 0' Wax
DJ Scott Regan remembers
the good old days of the '60s.
After 50 years, a charity group
is a social club recalling its roots.
The Tigers are not the only team
that displays a lot of spirit.
August 5, 1988
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS