'Massacre' Denial UnfoundedPublished in The Jewish Chronicle, London, UK, on 2 March 2001
For Colin Leci to deny there was a massacre of Palestinian men, women, and children at Deir Yassin on April 9th, 1948 places him, and those he represents, alongside those historical revisionists who continue to deny the Holocaust. To deny the Deir Yassin massacre is to discredit eyewitness testimony by Arabs and Jews alike. It is to say that Martin Buber, Albert Einstein, Moshe Menuhin and even David Ben Gurion were all misinformed or liars.
Dr. Leci claims the massacre was not premeditated. Possibly not, but nor was it a simple battle. Incensed by their own ineptitude, these "soldiers," who were far more adept at throwing bombs into Arab marketplaces and hanging British soldiers than at any kind of open combat, did intentionally massacre the villagers.
Deir Yassin was never a heavily armed military post but an ordinary Arab village armed with old Turkish rifles and two machine guns. Nor was there any escape corridor on the west. The western exit to the village is down the side of a mountain. There was indeed a loudspeaker on a small truck, but the evidence is that it got stuck in a ditch and most probably was never used. And anyway, since when did giving people 15 minutes warning at 5 AM ever justify massacring them if they chose to ignore the warning?
The truth is that a massacre was committed at Deir Yassin by members of the Irgun and Stern Gang. Over one hundred Arabs were killed, most after they had surrendered. Their bodies were piled up and burned in a quarry, which along with the village of Deir Yassin stands in clear view of the Holocaust memorial at Yad Vashem.
Daniel A. McGowan
Deir Yassin Remembered
Geneva, New York