Friday, May 9, 2008

Falling from Heaven: the ethnic cleansing of Palestine



8 May, 2008

Abu Zureyk, Al Abbasiyya, Abu Shusha, Ayan az Zaytun, Awlam, Azz Zema, AHaiqia, Balad ash Sheikh, Bayt Daras, Beer Sheba, Bi'ne, Burayr, al Dawayima, Dayr el Asad, Deir Yassin, Eilbourn, Haifa, Hawwassa, Husayniyya, Ilut, Ijzim, Isdud, Jish, al Kabri, al Khisas, Khibbyza, Lydda, Majd al Kurum, Mansura al Khayt, Nasir ad Din Khribet, Qazaza, Qisarya, Sa'sa, Safsaf, Saliha, Sha'b, Al Samiyya, al Tantoura, al Tira, Tel, Geze, Umm al, Shauf, al Wa’ra al-Sawda, Wadi ‘Ara.

Like the names of the dead, the names of these villages bring heartbreak to all Palestinians. Sixty years ago, last month, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine began.

Sixty years ago, up to six weeks before the British mandate of Palestine was terminated and the state of Israeli was even declared, Zionist terror gangs began their forcible expulsion of more than 122 Palestinian villages and began carrying out military assaults on more than 270 other villages [1].

Sixty years ago on April 9, 1948, 254 unarmed Palestinian men, women and children were murdered in the village of Dier Yassin by Zionist terror gangs - the Irgun (aka as Etzel) lead by Menachin Begin (who was to become a later Prime Minister of Israel) and the Stern Gang (aka as the Lehi). More than 40 other Palestinian villages and towns were to suffer the same fate as Dier Yassin.

The massacre that took place at Dier Yassin was just one of many carried out, as part of a co-ordinated effort between the Zionist terror gangs, the Irgun and the Stern Gang and the Haganah (which was the main Jewish underground organisation which later became the present day Israeli Defence Force) to ethnically cleanse indigenous Palestinians from historic Palestine prior to the UN partition in May 1948. “Plan Dalet” as the operation was known, was carried out under the authority and leadership of David Ben Gurion, the future first Prime Minister of Israel. Its aim was to strike fear and terror into the indigenous Palestinian population in order to ethnically cleanse them from the new state of Israel and to gain even more land for the Zionist state than had been designated under the UN partition plan.


Al Nakba 1948 (Video - 10 mins)

According to the operational orders listed under Plan Dalet, Zionist forces were to carry out the “destruction of [Palestinian] villages (setting fire to, blowing up, and planting mines in the debris), especially those populations centres which are difficult to control continuously”. The operational orders went on to state that the Zionist terror forces should mount “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 forces must be destroyed and the population expelled outside the borders of the state. The villages which are emptied in the manner described above must be included in the fixed defensive system and must be fortified as necessary” [2]

The plan stated “in the absence of resistance, garrison troops will enter the village and take up positions in it or in locations which enable complete tactical control. The officer in command of the unit will confiscate all weapons, wireless devices, and motor vehicles in the village. In addition, he will detain all politically suspect individuals. After consultation with the [Jewish] political authorities, bodies will be appointed consisting of people from the village to administer the internal affairs of the village. In every region, a Jewish] person will be appointed to be responsible for arranging the political and administrative affairs of all [Palestinian Arab] villages and population centers which are occupied within that region”.

The absence of resistance, however, did not save Dier Yassin, just as it did not save dozens of other Palestinian villages and towns. According to Israeli Zionist historian, Benny Morris, the Zionist terror forces carried out at least 24 massacres against Palestinians between April and May 1948 before the declaration of the state of Israel. Palestinians, however, put the number of massacres as being as high as 40.

Morris notes in a 2004 interview with Ha’aretz reporter, Ari Shavit, that “In the months of April-May 1948, units of the Haganah given operational orders that stated explicitly that they were to uproot the villagers, expel them and destroy the villages themselves”. Morris goes onto note, that the action took place as a direct result of orders given by David Ben Gurion. According to Morris, “various officers who took part in the operation understood that the expulsion order they received permitted them to do these deeds in order to encourage the population to take to the roads. The fact is that no one was punished for these acts of murder. Ben-Gurion silenced the matter. He covered up for the officers who did the massacres” [3]

Upon hearing of the massacre, which took place at Dier Yassin and other villages, thousands of Palestinians in more than 85 other villages and towns fled their homes in fear of their lives [4]. The Zionist terror forces then wiped Dier Yassin off the map, as it did with hundreds of other Palestinian villages and built new Zionists towns and cities in their place. On the ground where Dier Yassin, once stood, now stands the Israel town of Givat Shul and the settlement of Har Nof.




Palestinian children remember the villages ethnically cleansed in 1948
60th Al Nakba Commemoration, Dheisha, Al Azaz and Aida refugee camps, Occupied Bethlehem 2008


The Zionist reign of terror against the indigenous Palestinian population in 1948, however, did not end with Dier Yassin. On April 18, Zionist gangs stormed the Palestinian city of Tiberias in the Galilee, ethnically expelling more than 5,500 Palestinians from their homes. Four days later, 70,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled from their homes in the port city of Haifa [5]. In the months prior to the assault, the Zionist terror gangs had carried out a series of bombings against Haifa’s Palestinian residents [6]. On December 30, the previous year, a Zionist bomb planted in a Palestinian residential neighbourhood killed 6 and injured 41 others. The Zionist bombing sparked riots amongst Palestinian workers at a nearby oil refinery and resulted in the killing of 41 Jewish workers. The Haganah and the Irgun (Etzel) planted a second bomb the following evening resulting what became known as the New Years Massacre at Balad al Shayk, killing more than 60 people. Two months later in February 1948, the Irgun (Etzel) rolled barrels packed with gasoline and explosives down Haifa’s hills into the Palestinian al’ Abasayah Arab neighbourhood. The barrels exploded in an inferno of flames, destroying most of the residential area, causing its residents to flee in terror. One month later on March 22, ten weeks before the state of Israel was declared, the Zionist terror gangs disguised as British officers planted a car bomb, killing 36 Palestinians, the majority of whom were women and children. The bomb blast was so intense it destroyed several public buildings.

Not satisfied with only ethnically cleansing indigenous Palestinians from the land designated as part of a new Jewish state under the UN Partition plan, the Zionist forces moved to begin ethnically cleansing Palestinians from towns and cities which UN had deemed part of a Palestinian state under partition. On April 25, the Irgun (Etzel) began a three week bombing campaign of the “Bride of Palestine”, the port city of Jaffa, which was supposed to be part of a UN sanctioned Palestinian state. Jaffa, which was often referred to as the “centre of heaven” by its residents because of its beauty and location half way between Haifa and Gaza, was the most populous centre in British Mandate Palestine: home to 90,000 Palestinians. With the advent of the Zionist terror campaign, however, the city was to fall from heaven. The assault was so fierce that in the Manshiyyeh quarter, every single building except one was obliterated (the one building left partly standing has since been turned into a museum to glorify the military prowess of the Irgun/Etzel). As the bombing continued, more than 55,000 people fled in terror.


Al Manshiyya district after the Irgun terror - bombing campaign


Grand Saraya district of Jaffa after Irgun terror-bombing campaign

Over the next weeks, more and more villages and towns were to “fall from heaven”. In addition to Dier Yassin, Tiberas, Haifa and Jaffa, more than 400 other Palestinian villages and townships were ethnically cleansed during Plan Dalet and the subsequent war which took place. More than 700,000 Palestinians fled their homes, never allowed to return.

Today, as Israel celebrates “60 years of independence”, the Al Nakba of the Palestinian people continues. On May 5, the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz published a report which noted that since the creation of the Israeli state 60 years ago, there have been 1,634 Israeli civilians killed and 14,000 injured by “acts of terror” [7]. What the article did not mention, however, was that in the much shorter period of 7.5 years (from September 2000 to March 2008 since the beginning of the Al Aqsa intifada) that more than 3615 Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israeli state “acts of terror” and 25,650 Palestinian civilians had been wounded [8]


60th Al Nakba Commemoration, Dheisha, Al Azaz and Aida refugee camps, Occupied Bethlehem 2008

The Haaretz article, also failed to mention that since its creation 60 years ago, the Israeli state has continued the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people via a war of attrition and in the name of “security”. The illegal Israeli occupation which is now in its 40th year, along with all its manifestations – the checkpoints, the wall, the illegal settlements, the illegal confiscation of land, the restriction of freedom of movement, arbitary arrest and administrative detention, target assassinations, aerial bombing, the siege of Gaza – while all aimed at controlling the Palestinian population is also aimed at systematically driving the Palestinian people off their land.

Since the beginning of the Al Aqsa Intifada, Israel has destroyed more than 13% of Gaza’s agricultural land alone. During the same period the Israeli state, via its occupation forces, has demolished completely more than 2932 Palestinian homes in the Gaza Strip alone, while a further 2848 were partially demolished [9]. These acts of terror against a Palestinian civilian population were carried out as illegal and punitive collective punishment or in order to make way for the illegal expansion of illegal Israeli settlements and the infrastructure needed to serve these colonies.


60th Al Nakba Commemoration, Dheisha, Al Azaz and Aida refugee camps, Occupied Bethlehem 2008

According to B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights, house demolitions have resulted in more than 13,000 Palestinians being left homeless [10]. In addition, through out the Occupied West Bank, dozens of dozens of Palestinian villages remained “unrecognised” and deemed illegal by the Israeli occupier, although they have existed for decades and even hundreds of years prior to the establishment of the Israeli state. The Israeli state’s refusal to recognise these villages is designed to legitimise the ongoing, systematic ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the traditional homes and lands by its occupation forces and its “civil administration” in the OPT.

Israel continues its policy of ethnic cleansing by also regularly restricting the freedom of movement of Palestinians. Israel’s policy while carried out in the name of “security” is designed to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian population through “quiet transfer” by making life so difficult for Palestinians that they will “voluntarily” leave. According to B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the OPT, “the restrictions of movement that Israel has imposed on the Palestinian population in the Occupied Territories over the past five years are unprecedented in the history of the Israeli occupation in their scope, durations and in the severity of damage that they have caused to the three and half million Palestinians who reside there” [11].

Today, Israel will ‘celebrate’ its creation and as we hear the fire works the illegal settlements around us, the Palestinian people will remember their dead, their imprisoned and their loved ones in refugee camps through out the Middle East and their family and friends who make up the 7 million strong Palestinian Diaspora around the world. Today, as Israel baths itself in vulgar nationalism and the glorification of its military prowess, the Palestinian people will recall the Nakba and the ethnic cleansing of their home land. And today, as the Israel celebrates the ethnic cleansing of another people in order to create “a homeland for the Jews”, the Palestinian people will remain in a state of sumoud (steadfastness) in their determination to remain on what is left of their traditional land and to be a free people once again.


Notes:

[1] Palestine 1948: Map of towns and villages depopulated by Zionist Invasion
Prepared by Salman Abu-Sitta, 1998. Produced by Palestine Land Society.
[2] Sefer Toldot Hahaganah [History of the Haganah], vol. 3, ed, by Yehuda Slutsky (TelAviv: Zionist Library, 1972), Appendix 48, pp 1955-60.
[3] Survival of the Fittest? An Interview with Benny Morris by Ari Shavit, 16 January 2004
[4] Palestine 1948: Map of towns and villages depopulated by Zionist Invasion
Prepared by Salman Abu-Sitta, 1998. Produced by Palestine Land Society.
[5] Neff, D., (1994) Arab Jaffa Seized Before Israel's Creation in 1948 in Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
[6] Haifa Refinery Riots, Middle East Web
[7] Haaretz, 5 May, 2008, 16 Israeli civilians killed this year in terror acts, 1,634 since May, '48
[8] and [9] Palestinian Centre for Human Rights www.pchrgaza.org/PCHR/statistics.html
[10] and [11] B’Tselem: Israeli information centre for human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories www.btselem.org/English/

9 comments:

Rob said...

Kim,

Here is the latest from Benny Morris for you to ponder:

"Madam, - Israel-haters are fond of citing - and more often, mis-citing - my work in support of their arguments. Let me offer some corrections.

The Palestinian Arabs were not responsible "in some bizarre way" (David Norris, January 31st) for what befell them in 1948. Their responsibility was very direct and simple.

In defiance of the will of the international community, as embodied in the UN General Assembly Resolution of November 29th, 1947 (No. 181), they launched hostilities against the Jewish community in Palestine in the hope of aborting the emergence of the Jewish state and perhaps destroying that community. But they lost; and one of the results was the displacement of 700,000 of them from their homes.

It is true, as Erskine Childers pointed out long ago, that there were no Arab radio broadcasts urging the Arabs to flee en masse; indeed, there were broadcasts by several Arab radio stations urging them to stay put. But, on the local level, in dozens of localities around Palestine, Arab leaders advised or ordered the evacuation of women and children or whole communities, as occurred in Haifa in late April, 1948. And Haifa's Jewish mayor, Shabtai Levy, did, on April 22nd, plead with them to stay, to no avail.

Most of Palestine's 700,000 "refugees" fled their homes because of the flail of war (and in the expectation that they would shortly return to their homes on the backs of victorious Arab invaders). But it is also true that there were several dozen sites, including Lydda and Ramla, from which Arab communities were expelled by Jewish troops.

The displacement of the 700,000 Arabs who became "refugees" - and I put the term in inverted commas, as two-thirds of them were displaced from one part of Palestine to another and not from their country (which is the usual definition of a refugee) - was not a "racist crime" (David Landy, January 24th) but the result of a national conflict and a war, with religious overtones, from the Muslim perspective, launched by the Arabs themselves.

There was no Zionist "plan" or blanket policy of evicting the Arab population, or of "ethnic cleansing". Plan Dalet (Plan D), of March 10th, 1948 (it is open and available for all to read in the IDF Archive and in various publications), was the master plan of the Haganah - the Jewish military force that became the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) - to counter the expected pan-Arab assault on the emergent Jewish state. That's what it explicitly states and that's what it was. And the invasion of the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq duly occurred, on May 15th.

It is true that Plan D gave the regional commanders carte blanche to occupy and garrison or expel and destroy the Arab villages along and behind the front lines and the anticipated Arab armies' invasion routes. And it is also true that mid-way in the 1948 war the Israeli leaders decided to bar the return of the "refugees" (those "refugees" who had just assaulted the Jewish community), viewing them as a potential fifth column and threat to the Jewish state's existence. I for one cannot fault their fears or logic.

The demonisation of Israel is largely based on lies - much as the demonisation of the Jews during the past 2,000 years has been based on lies. And there is a connection between the two.

I would recommend that the likes of Norris and Landy read some history books and become acquainted with the facts, not recycle shopworn Arab propaganda. They might then learn, for example, that the "Palestine War" of 1948 (the "War of Independence," as Israelis call it) began in November 1947, not in May 1948. By May 14th close to 2,000 Israelis had died - of the 5,800 dead suffered by Israel in the whole war (ie almost 1 per cent of the Jewish population of Palestine/Israel, which was about 650,000). - Yours, etc,

Prof BENNY MORRIS, Li-On, Israel.
February 21, 2008"

Rob said...

You also seriously misrepresent 'Plan D'. This was simply the Haganah's master plan for the defence of the Jewish state. It's available on the IDF's website. It canvasses who the enemy are likely to be and what their likely strategy is, then goes on to outline the defence. Part of the defensive strategy was to occupy the Arab villages on the front line and garrison them. If the villagers resisted, they were to be expelled beyond the borders of the Jewish state. Of note, it is only the defensive front line that is considered here,not the Jewish state as a whole. Since the Jews did not want to fight an invading force with a hostile militia at their backs, the military logic was impeccable - as Morris remarks at the end of his letter.

Kim said...

Rob,
Actually no I don't misrepresent it - what is quoted is from the plan itself.

As with Plan Dalet, you simply need to go and read the words of the Zionist leaders themselves, including Ben Gurion to see what a racist, colonial ideology Zionism is.

And if the Zionists were only being defensive, how is that the they were working in coordination up to 5 months before a state was even declared and they were attacking areas that were designated as part of the Palestinian state (such as Jaffa).

No Rob, as I outline in the post, the Zionist terror gangs were attacking Palestinian civilian residential areas in December (and earlier) of 1947. This had nothing to do with "defensive", it was to do with agressive ethnic cleansing and colonialism.

As for the IDF website - you are seriously not suggesting are you Rob that the IDF website is a neutral source of information???

Kim said...

Rob,
as for Benny Morris - I always find it interesting that Zionists once they realise how racist and appalling their statement are they try to back pedal.

The fact is other historians have confirmed what Morris has confirmed but they don't then try to say it wasnt true as he does.

As does Ben Gurion's diaries (suggest you read them sometime)

And as for 1947, the fact is Ben Gurion didnt want partition any more than the Palestinians (read his diaries) but he settled for it as in interim solution. He states clearly in his diaries, he sees partition as a way of establishing a foot hold in Palestine and then after its done the Zionist will use military agression to gain the rest of it (don't believe me? As I said read his diaries its all there in black and white).

And as for the Palestinians - well of course they rejected partition. How would you feel Rob is someone came into your home and said, well sorry matey, there were people living here 2000 years ago and sorry, you have to give them half your house (doesnt' matter they have been living in Europe for the last 1000 years and you ahve been living here for the last 1500 years or so). Just shut up and be quite, oh and when they take half the house, they will also take a bit more each year, but shhhh, don't complain. After all its just your house.

Kim said...

Oh and a final couple of quotes from Morris:

In the interview he does with Shavit for Harretz, the interview ends with Morris saying:

"Something like a cage has to be built for them [The Palestinians]. I know that sounds terrible. It is really cruel. But there is no choice. There is a wild animal there that has to be locked up in one way or another"

How silly of me... of course Zionism is not a racist ideology...

Also in relation to the ethnic cleansing, Morris states in the interview:

Shavit: You went through an interesting process. You went to research Ben-Gurion and the Zionist establishment critically, but in the end you actually identify with them. You are as tough in your words as they were in their deeds.

Morris: You may be right. Because I investigated the conflict in depth, I was forced to cope with the in-depth questions that those people coped with. I understood the problematic character of the situation they faced and maybe I adopted part of their universe of concepts. But I do not identify with Ben-Gurion. I think he made a serious historical mistake in 1948. Even though he understood the demographic issue and the need to establish a Jewish state without a large Arab minority, he got cold feet during the war. In the end, he faltered.

Shavit: I’m not sure I understand. Are you saying that Ben-Gurion erred in expelling too few Arabs?

If he was already engaged in expulsion, maybe he should have done a complete job. I know that this stuns the Arabs and the liberals and the politically correct types. But my feeling is that this place would be quieter and know less suffering if the matter had been resolved once and for all. If Ben-Gurion had carried out a large expulsion and cleansed the whole country - the whole Land of Israel, as far as the Jordan River. It may yet turn out that this was his fatal mistake. If he had carried out a full expulsion - rather than a partial one - he would have stabilized the State of Israel for generations.

So there you go, Benny Morris in his own words in an interview to an Israeli newspaper states clearly, there was ethnic cleansing but he thinks there wasn't enough of it...

Again, how silly of me... of course Zionism is not a racist ideology that stole another people's land...

Rob said...

Kim,

Another interesting article for you.

Personally, I've always been pretty dubious about the Zionist account - that all the refugees just fled. But this article looks well-researched and persuasive, and tells a very different account to the usual Palestinian narrative. For example, that it was the Arabs who in many cases forced the Palestinians to flee (especially foreign fighters with the Arab Liberation Army), that the Zionists often pleaded with them to stay, and that the forced expulsions were very few and arose only from military exigency.

Now this could just be Zionist propaganda, of course.

Kim said...

Dear Rob,
yes an interesting article and yes, definitely Zionist propaganda.

A quick question - did you actually read the quote you posted from Benny Morris? In it he states (quoting from your post)- It is true, as Erskine Childers pointed out long ago (in the 1960s actually, along with a Palestinian academic, whose name escapes me at the moment) that there were no Arab broadcasts urging the Arabs to flee en mass; indeed, ther were broad casts by several Arab radio stations urgeing them to stay put".

However, as Morris goes onto note, at a local level in a number of place Arab leaders did advise or order the evacuation of women and children.

This as Morris noted happened, for example, in Haifa. What he fails to fail fully, this came after a 6 month bombing and terror campaign by the Irgun (as outlined in my article) and it came in the wake of Dier Yassin (less then 10 days after it). Palestinians were aware of the Massacre and this played no small part in some local leaders and communities deciding to leave as they were worried their communities would befall the same fate (this was acknowledge later by Begin, as one of the primary reason for victory in Jaffa).

In relation to the article you linked - its interesting they quote Jabotinsky extensively in it as sayin oh how lovely we can all live together. They fail but to quote his most famous essay, The Iron Wall.

In the Iron Wall, Jabotinsky says:

"Zionist colonization, even the most restricted, must either be terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population. This colonization can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall which the native population cannot break through. This is, in toto, our policy towards the Arabs. To formulate it any other way would only be hypocrisy"

The Iron Wall he refers to is an iron wall made of bayonet steel.

The article you linked also makes the spurious arguement that it was the leadership of the Palestinians, who were the only ones who had an opposition to the Zionists and they mislead their people (oh yes, thats right, blame the victims!).

However, as Jabotinsky notes in the IRon Wall:

"Any native people – its all the same whether they are civilized or savage – views their country as their national home, of which they will always be the complete masters. They will not voluntarily allow, not only a new master, but even a new partner. And so it is for the Arabs. Compromisers in our midst attempt to convince us that the Arabs are some kind of fools who can be tricked by a softened formulation of our goals, or a tribe of money grubbers who will abandon their birth right to Palestine for cultural and economic gains. I flatly reject this assessment of the Palestinian Arabs. Culturally they are 500 years behind us, spiritually they do not have our endurance or our strength of will, but this exhausts all of the internal differences. We can talk as much as we want about our good intentions; but they understand as well as we what is not good for them. They look upon Palestine with the same instinctive love and true fervor that any Aztec looked upon his Mexico or any Sioux looked upon his prairie. To think that the Arabs will voluntarily consent to the realization of Zionism in return for the cultural and economic benefits we can bestow on them is infantile. This childish fantasy of our “Arabo-philes” comes from some kind of contempt for the Arab people, of some kind of unfounded view of this race as a rabble ready to be bribed in order to sell out their homeland for a railroad network.

This view is absolutely groundless. Individual Arabs may perhaps be bought off but this hardly means that all the Arabs in Eretz Israel are willing to sell a patriotism that not even Papuans will trade. Every indigenous people will resist alien settlers as long as they see any hope of ridding themselves of the danger of foreign settlement".

Interesting that the author of the article you linked is quite content to quote certain writings of Jabotinsky but not just not this writing of Jabotinsky - hmmm could it be because it, it undermines and goes completely against his arguement...

Kim said...

Dear Neville from Malta,
thanks for you comment - I am not sure what happened but I accidently deleted it when I attempted to moderate the comments (I hit publish but not sure what happened...) Sorry to have accidently have deleted it, but thanks for the nice words and support!

cheers, Kim

Yishai said...

Interviews: 50th Anniversary Of Deir Yassin Massacre

In retrospect, Palestinians of today admit that one of the most terrible mistakes they made back in 1948 was to over-report the details of the Deir Yassin massacre. "The goal was to mobilize Arab support for the Palestinians who were slaughtered by the Zionists but what really happened was that more and more Palestinians became scared and left their country," said Hazem Nusseibeh, a leading Palestinian figure who currently lives in Jordan. In 1948 he was among the key figures of the city of Jerusalem.

..."True, there was exchange of fire with the Jews. Prior to the attack, they used to come to the village and distribute leaflets calling for the establishment of friendly and brotherly relations with us offering a formula of 'do not hit us, we won't hit you.' Our youths confronted them and did not listen to them. Our youths used to go out to the eastern side of the village and beat up whatever Jew they saw."

...Mohammed Asaad Radwan Al Yassini, 70, who currently lives in the Old City of Jerusalem, confirmed that some of the men were dressed in women's outfits.

...Did they use speakers and what did they say?

"They called on us to surrender, to throw our weapons and to save ourselves. But we did not imagine them breaking into the village.

...Ali Yousef Jaber, Abu Yousef, is also 70 years old. He lives in Am'ari refugee camp near Ramallah. Excerpts below:

"I would like to stress on the fact that no rape incidents took place. That was part of a big lie that some of the Arabs and some of our leaders invented but were refuted by our villagers. I was among a group of people who went to Saad Eddin Al Aref to talk to him about this. He told us he wanted to frame them and attribute to them a brutal crime. I said to him: if you want to frame them, do not use Deir Yassin, or our women. Do not attribute to us something that never happened, otherwise this is infamy that our village and its people do not deserve...