Deir Yassin

Arabs blame Arab hatred of Israel on the “massacre” at Deir Yassin in April 1948 and claim that Israel was attacked in May 1948, one day AFTER her rebirth, because of Deir Yassin.

Folks, the massacre at Deir Yassin is a hoax, perpetrated by Jew haters, arabists and terrorist apologists.

Here are the facts about Deir Yassin as detailed in a PBS documentary, “The 50 Years War: Israel and the Arabs,” which was broadcast nationally on January 24, 1999.

* Deir Yassin was heavily-armed. Deir Yassin was not an unarmed, peaceful village, as Arab propagandists claim. Rather, it was a heavily-armed nest of terrorists who in 1947-1948 had been attacking nearby Jewish neighborhoods and traffic on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway. The village was not the soft target the Jews had expected. One of the commanders of the Jewish force, Ben Zion Cohen, describes in the documentary how the Arabs were “shooting from every house,” resulting in 42 wounded and 6 dead out of an attacking force of 132 soldiers.

* The Jewish attackers warned the Deir Yassin residents in advance. In order to avoid causing casualties among the Deir Yassin resident, the Jewish soldiers gave up the element of surprise and announced to the villagers in advance that they were approaching. Abu Mahmoud, a Deir Yassin resident interviewed in the documentary, recalled: “Their loudspeakers blared out, ‘Lay down your arms! Run for your lives!’”

*Claims of rape and other atrocities were fabricated to incite Arab violence against Israel. Arab eyewitnesses interviewed in the PBS documentary reveal that they were told by Dr. Hussein Khalidi, a prominent Palestinian Arab leader, to fabricate claims of atrocities at Deir Yassin in order to encourage Arab regimes to invade the Jewish state-to-be. Deir Yassin resident Abu Mahmoud recalls: “We gathered in Jerusalem at the Hebron Gate. We checked who was missing, and who had survived. Then the Pal leaders arrived, including Dr. Khalidi.”

Hazem Nusseibeh, an editor of the Palestine Broadcasting Service’s Arabic news in 1948, reveals: ” I asked Dr. Khalidi how we should cover the story. “He said, ‘We must make the most of this.” So he wrote a press release stating that at Deir Yassin children were murdered, pregnant women were raped. All sorts of atrocities.”

The PBS narrator then says: “Arab radio stations passed on the false reports, ignoring the protests of the witnesses.” Deir Yassin resident Abu Mahmoud adds: “We said, ‘There was no rape.’ He [Khalidi] said, ‘We have to say this so the Arab armies will come to liberate Palestine from the Jews.’”

These admissions are especially significant because Khalidi was one of the originators of the “massacre” allegation in 1948. Khalidi’s claims about Jewish atrocities in Deir Yassin were the basis for an article in the New York Times by its correspondent, Dana Schmidt (on April 12, 1948), claiming a massacre took place. The Times article has been widely reprinted and cited as “proof” of a massacre throughout the past 50 years.

* The number of dead was 110, not 254. The narrator of the PBS documentary states definitively, “110 Arabs died in Deir Yassin”–starkly contradicting the claim by Arabs and their supporters for more than 50 years, that 254 or more Arabs were killed.

* The Arabs who left Israel in 1948 were not expelled; they left voluntarily. Hazem Nusseibeh also says in the PBS documentary, concerning the fabricated Deir Yassin allegations: “This was our biggest mistake. We did not realize how our people would react. As soon as they heard that women had been raped at Deir Yassin, Palestinians fled in terror. They ran away from all our villages.” The PBS narrator then adds: “In the next few months, over half the Arab population, three quarters of a million people, fled their homes in Palestine.”

In other words, the Palestinian Arabs left voluntarily, overreacting to their own leaders’ fabricated atrocity reports. They were not expelled, as Arab propagandists claim.

The ZOA’s study, Deir Yassin: History of a Lie, a 32-page analysis (with 156 footnotes) was released in April 1998. The full text is available on the ZOA web site,

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