Quotes About "Palestine"


Remember: Israel is bad! Its existence keeps reminding Muslims what a bunch of losers they are.
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"There will be no peace until they will love their children more than they hate us."

-Golda Meir-
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'If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more ‎violence. If the Jews put ‎down their weapons ‎today, there would be no ‎more Israel'‎

~Benjamin Netanyahu~
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"Peace for us means the destruction of Israel. We are preparing for an all out war, a war which will last for generations.

~Yasser Arafat~
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"The Palestinian people have no national identity. I, Yasser Arafat, man of destiny, will give them that identity through conflict with Israel."

~ Yasser Arafat ~
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"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel. For our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of Palestinian people, since Arab national interest demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism".

~ Zahir Muhse'in ~

Friday, July 1, 2011

The "Massacre" of Deir Yassin

The day after the UN resolution of November 29, 1947, seven Jews were killed, including four passengers on a bus attacked by Arabs on the road to Jerusalem. The acts of hostility grew more frequent, and in December 1947, 184 Jews were killed throughout the country. In January 1948, the situation was particularly difficult. On February 1, a car bomb exploded in Hasolel Street (present-day Hahavatzelet Street) near the Palestine Post building. Three weeks later there was another catastrophe in Jerusalem. Three booby-trapped trucks positioned in Ben-Yehuda Street exploded, destroying four large buildings, killing 50 and injuring more than 100. On March 11, a car bomb exploded in the courtyard of the Jewish Agency building, killing 12 people, injuring 44, and causing great damage.

Arab acts of hostility had reached their peak by March, moreover, Arabs now controlled all the inter-urban routes. The road to Jerusalem was blocked, settlements in the Galilee and the Negev were also cut off and daily attacks were perpetrated on convoys. In the four months since the UN resolution, some 850 Jews had been killed throughout the country, most of them in Jerusalem or on the road to the city.

Operation Nachshon was launched on April 6, 1948, with the aim of opening up the road to Jerusalem. The village of Deir Yassin was included on the list of Arab villages to be occupied as part of that operation. Indeed, while fierce fighting was going on at Kastel, Arab reinforcements flooded onto the battlefield through Deir Yassin, which helped to drive back the Jewish occupying force.

When the Haganah command learned of the plan of the Irgun and Lehi to conquer Deir Yassin, David Shaltiel, Haganah Commander in Jerusalem, asked them to coordinate the timing of the operation with the scheduled renewed assault on Kastel. He despatched identical letters to Mordechai Raanan (Irgun Commander in Jerusalem) and Yehoshua Zetler (Lehi Commander in Jerusalem), in which he gave their operation his approval:

To: Shapira (code-name of Zetler)
From: District Commander

I have learned that you intend to carry out an operation against Deir Yassin. I would like to call your attention to the fact that the conquest and continued occupation of Deir Yassin is one of the stages in our overall plan. I have no objection to your carrying out the operation on condition that you are capable of holding on to it. If you are incapable of doing so, I caution you against blowing up the village, since this will lead to the flight of the inhabitants and subsequent occupation of the ruins and the abandoned homes by enemy forces. This will make things difficult rather than contributing to the general campaign, and reoccupation of the site will entail heavy casualties for our men. An additional argument I would like to cite is that if enemy forces are drawn to the place, this will disrupt the plan to establish an aerodrome there.

On April 2, 1948, the inhabitants of Deir 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 Deir 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 Deir 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. (Knaana Sherif, The Palestinian villages destroyed in 1948 - Deir Yassin. Bir Zeit University, Documentation and Research Department 1987).

GOING INTO BATTLE
On Thursday, April 8, about 70 Irgun fighters assembled at the Etz Hayim base (at the entrance to Jerusalem). This was the first time that so large a number of underground fighters had gathered openly, without fear of British policemen or soldiers. The atmosphere was optimistic - after four months of attack, retaliation was finally in sight. The fact that two underground movements were acting together enhanced the sense of security and solidarity, and the password chosen was 'Fighting Solidarity' (Ahdut Lohemet).

Raanan, Commander of the Irgun in Jerusalem, opened the meeting and explained that the conquest of Deir Yassin had both military and political objectives. From the military viewpoint, the aim was not only to liberate the western quarters of Jerusalem from the threat of Deir Yassin, but finally to seize the initiative. It was essential to move from defence to attack and to transfer the fighting to enemy territory. The conquest would also raise the morale of the Jewish population of Jerusalem and restore their self-confidence.

Politically speaking, it would represent a change of approach and constitute a turning point in the war: no further retaliation operations, but from that point on conquest with the aim of holding on to an area. The Jewish people and the entire world would realize that the Jews were not going to give up Jerusalem and, if necessary, would take it by force. (It will be recalled that, according to the UN resolution, Jerusalem was to come under international rule). Raanan added that since the operation was an act of conquest and not of reprisal, the fighters had to avoid inflicting needless injury on Arabs. In particular, he cautioned against harming old people, women and children. Moreover, any Arab who surrendered, including combatants, was to be taken prisoner and not harmed in any way.

In order to prevent unnecessary casualties, it had been decided that the strike force would be preceded by an armored car equipped with a loudspeaker, which would enter the village ahead of the troops. The villagers would be informed that the village was surrounded by Irgun and Lehi fighters, and would be exhorted to leave for Ein Karem or to surrender. They would also be informed that the road to Ein Karem was open and safe.

At 2 a.m. the Irgun fighters, commanded by Ben-Zion Cohen (Giora), were driven from the Etz Hayim base to Bet Hakerem. The force moved into the wadi (riverbed), where the squads split up, each squad climbing up the terraced slope to its allotted field of action.

The Lehi unit assembled at Givat Shaul and proceeded from there towards the target. Some of the force advanced behind the armored car which was proceeding along the path towards the center of the village.

Close to 4:45 am, the village guards spotted suspicious movements. One of them called out in Arabic: 'Mahmoud'; an Irgun fighter, mishearing the cry, thought that someone had shouted the password 'Ahdut' (Solidarity) and responded with the second half of the password in Hebrew: 'Lohemet'. The Arabs opened fire and shooting commenced from all sides.

The armored car advanced along the path and, on reaching the outskirts of the village, encountered a trench and was forced to come to a halt. The loudspeaker was switched on and the message was read out. Heavy fire was directed at the armored car from the adjacent houses and the fighters trapped inside had to be rescued. Injuries were reported, and a first-aid unit set out from Givat Shaul towards the armored car.

The other units began their attack, but Arab resistance was strong, and every house became an armed fortress. Fierce fighting was conducted from house to house. Many of the attackers were injured in the first onslaught, including a number of commanders who had been advancing ahead of their units.

After the center of the village had been occupied, all the wounded were concentrated in one of the courtyards and ways were sought to evacuate them. It turned out that the road to Givat Shaul was impassable because of gunfire from the mukhtar's (local leader) house, which stood on a hilltop overlooking the area.

Since the fighting was taking place in a built-up area, the pace was slow, and both sides suffered heavy losses. In order to silence the source of gunfire, the fighters were forced to use hand-grenades, and in some cases even to blow up houses. There was firing from all sides and half the attackers were put out of action. On top of this, the remaining fighters suffered a shortage of ammunition.

A report on the course of the battle was transmitted by courier to headquarters at Givat Shaul. When word started coming in about the number of casualties and ammunition shortage, several Lehi people went to the Schneller camp and asked a Palmach unit to come to the attackers aid. After receiving the consent of the brigade HQ, the Palmach troops set out in an armored car, equipped with a machine-gun and a two-inch mortar. On arrival in the village, they fired several shells and machine-gun rounds at the mukhtar's house. At that very moment, without prior co-ordination with the Palmach, Yosef Avni charged and captured the mukhtar's house. With the mukhtar's house occupied, firing ceased and the occupation of the village was completed.

When the fighting was over, it was discovered that hundreds of villagers had retreated to Ein Karem, taking advantage of the fact that the road was open. Those who remained in the village surrendered and were taken prisoner. The prisoners, mostly women and children, were loaded onto trucks and taken to East Jerusalem, where they were handed over to their Arab brethren.

Word of the occupation of Deir Yassin spread through the city, and was viewed positively by the Jews of Jerusalem. Not only could the Jewish residents of the western quarters now breath freely, but they felt proud to have finally taken the initiative. The capture of the village marked the completion of the breakthrough of Operation Nachshon, and instilled new hope in the hearts of Jerusalemites. The slogan 'Ahdut Lohemet', which had grabbed the attention of the Jewish community in Jerusalem, reflected the turning point in the response to Arab aggression. In the days that followed, crowds flocked to the Etz Hayim base to express their solidarity with the Irgun fighters.

FACTS AND COMMENTARIES
So much has been written and said about what happened at Deir Yassin that the battle waged on the morning of April 9 has become known as the 'Deir Yassin Massacre'. It is important to analyze the events and to distinguish between fact and fiction.

Massacre means the killing of defenceless people. The 1929 slaughter of the Jews of Hebron by Arabs in the middle of the night was a massacre. When Arab workers at the Haifa refinieries assailed their Jewish co-workers in February 1948, murdering more than 40 of them, a massacre can be said to have taken place. In both cases, the killings were premeditated. The brutal murder of settlers at Kfar Etzion by Arab Legion soldiers in May 1948, after the defenders had surrendered and were defenceless, was also a massacre.

But Deir Yassin?
Firstly, strict orders were given in advance to the fighters not to harm the elderly, women and children. It was also stated explicitly that any Arab who surrendered was to be taken prisoner.

Secondly, an unprecedented action took place at Deir Yassin - a loudspeaker was installed on an armored car to inform the population that the road to Ein Karem was open and safe, and that whoever left the village would not be harmed. The strike force was actually prepared to forfeit the surprise element of battle in order to issue these instructions and thus to prevent Arab civilian casualty.

The Arabs do not deny the use of a loudspeaker; indeed, an Arab League publication entitled "Israeli Aggression" states, inter alia:

"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."

Thirdly, it is universally agreed that there was bitter fighting at Deir Yassin. More than 100 Arab fighters were well equipped and had large amounts of ammunition. The Arabs occupied fortified positions in stone buildings, while the attackers were exposed to enemy fire. The fierce gunfire directed from the houses forced the attackers to charge, throw grenades and, in several cases, to blow up houses. As a consequence, women and children were among the dead.

According to all the documents and testimonies, it is clear today that fewer than one hundred Arabs were killed at Deir Yassin, and not the 240 as published. Moreover, this was the first instance in the War of Independence where battle had taken place in a built-up area, and such fighting typically claims numerous victims. For the same reason, the number of Irgun and Lehi members injured by Arab fire was 35% of the force (5 dead and 35 wounded).

All the Arab casualties were killed in the course of the fighting. Villagers - men, women and children - who surrendered, were taken prisoner and came to no harm. When the firing ceased, they were transported by truck to East Jerusalem and handed over to their Arab brethren.

The Deir Yassin affair had a strong impact on the course of the War of Independence; the battle was summed up as follows in the "History of the War of Independence", prepared by the History Division of the IDF General Staff:

The Deir Yassin affair was publicized throughout the world as the 'Deir Yassin Massacre', causing great harm to the reputation of the Yishuv. All the Arab propaganda channels disseminated the story at the time, and continue to do so to the present day. But the battle indubitably served to expedite the collapse of the Arab hinterland in the period which followed. More than the deed itself, this was achieved by the publicity it received from Arab spokesmen. They wanted to demonstrate to their people the savagery of the Jews and to instill in them a spirit of religious fervor. In fact, however, they intimidated and alarmed them. They themselves now admit their mistake.

Hazen Nusseibeh, an editor of the Palestine Broadcasting Service's Arabic news in 1948, was interviewed for the BBC television series "Israel and the Arabs: the 50-year conflict." He describes an encounter with Deir Yassin survivors and Palestinian leaders, including Hussein Khalidi, the secretary of the Arab Higher Committee, at the Jaffa Gate of Jerusalem's Old City.

"I asked Dr. Khalidi how we should cover the story," recalled Nusseibeh, now living in Amman. 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."

A Deir Yassin survivor, identified as Abu Mahmud, said the villagers protested at the time.

"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'."

In an arlicle "Deir Yassin a casualty of guns and propaganda", by Paul Holmes (Reuters) (http://www.metimes.com/issue98-16/reg/deir.html) he interviewing Mohammed Radwan, who was a resident of Deir Yassi in 1948, and fought for several hours before ruing out of bullets.

"I know when I speak that God is up there and God knows the truth and God will not forgive the liars", said Radwan, who puts the number of villagers killed at 93, listed in his own handwriting. "There were no rapes. It's all lies. There were no pregnant women who were slit open. It was propaganda that... Arabs put out so Arab the armies would invade" he said. "They ended up expelling people from all of Palestine on the rumor of Deir Yassin."

In the book "War Without End", by Anton La Guardia (Thomas Dunne Books, N.Y. 2000) we find the following: "Just before Israel's 50th anniversary celebration, I went to Deir Yassin with Ayish Zeidan, known as Haj Ayish, who had lived in the village as a teenager.

'We heard shooting. My mother did not want us to look out of the window. I fled with my sister, but my mother and my other sisters could not make it. They hid in the cellar for four days and then ran away.'

He said he never believed that more than 110 people had died at Deir Yassin, and accused Arab leaders of exaggerating the atrocities.

'There had been no rape', he said. 'The Arab radio at the time 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.'


Deir Yassin - The Village After the Attack




Etzel.Org

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More Quotes About "Palestine"

"There is no such country as Palestine. 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. 'Palestine' is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it".

- Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, Syrian Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937 -
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"There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not".

- Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian, 1946 -
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"It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria".

- Representant of Saudi Arabia at the United Nations, 1956 -
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Concerning the Holy Land, the chairman of the Syrian Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919 stated:
"The only Arab domination since the Conquest in 635 c.e. hardly lasted, as such, 22 years".

"There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent (valley of Jezreel, Galilea); not for thirty miles in either direction... One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings. For the sort of solitude to make one dreary, come to Galilee... Nazareth is forlorn... Jericho lies a mouldering ruin... Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and humiliation... untenanted by any living creature... A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds... a silent, mournful expanse... a desolation... We never saw a human being on the whole route... Hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil had almost deserted the country... Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes... desolate and unlovely...".

- Mark Twain, "The Innocents Abroad", 1867 -
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"In 1590 a 'simple English visitor' to Jerusalem wrote: 'Nothing there is to bescene but a little of the old walls, which is yet remayning and all the rest is grasse, mosse and weedes much like to a piece of rank or moist grounde'.".

- Gunner Edward Webbe, Palestine Exploration Fund,
Quarterly Statement, p. 86; de Haas, History, p. 338 -
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"The land in Palestine is lacking in people to till its fertile soil".

- British archaeologist Thomas Shaw, mid-1700s -
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"Palestine is a ruined and desolate land".

- Count Constantine Fran├žois Volney, XVIII century French author and historian -
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"The Arabs themselves cannot be considered but temporary residents. They pitched their tents in its grazing fields or built their places of refuge in its ruined cities. They created nothing in it. Since they were strangers to the land, they never became its masters. The desert wind that brought them hither could one day carry them away without their leaving behind them any sign of their passage through it".

- Comments by Christians concerning the Arabs in Palestine in the 1800s -
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"Then we entered the hill district, and our path lay through the clattering bed of an ancient stream, whose brawling waters have rolled away into the past, along with the fierce and turbulent race who once inhabited these savage hills. There may have been cultivation here two thousand years ago. The mountains, or huge stony mounds environing this rough path, have level ridges all the way up to their summits; on these parallel ledges there is still some verdure and soil: when water flowed here, and the country was thronged with that extraordinary population, which, according to the Sacred Histories, was crowded into the region, these mountain steps may have been gardens and vineyards, such as we see now thriving along the hills of the Rhine. Now the district is quite deserted, and you ride among what seem to be so many petrified waterfalls. We saw no animals moving among the stony brakes; scarcely even a dozen little birds in the whole course of the ride".

- William Thackeray in "From Jaffa To Jerusalem", 1844 -
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"The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is of a body of population".

- James Finn, British Consul in 1857 -
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"The area was underpopulated and remained economically stagnant until the arrival of the first Zionist pioneers in the 1880's, who came to rebuild the Jewish land. The country had remained "The Holy Land" in the religious and historic consciousness of mankind, which associated it with the Bible and the history of the Jewish people. Jewish development of the country also attracted large numbers of other immigrants - both Jewish and Arab. The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track suitable for transport by camels and carts... Houses were all of mud. No windows were anywhere to be seen... The plows used were of wood... The yields were very poor... The sanitary conditions in the village [Yabna] were horrible... Schools did not exist... The rate of infant mortality was very high... The western part, toward the sea, was almost a desert... The villages in this area were few and thinly populated. Many ruins of villages were scattered over the area, as owing to the prevalence of malaria, many villages were deserted by their inhabitants".

- The report of the British Royal Commission, 1913 -

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