Deir Yassin Remembered

Palestine Catastrophe

Gather ye 'round
this cold night,
sit here by
our fires light.

The evening stars
will not pale,
take your rest
and hear our tale.

Of our struggle,
our lost land,
our city grand.

Our desperate days,
our unheard plea;
our Palestine


Our people here
five hundred score,
in sand and stone
this land adore.

In ancient age,
with no home,
a nomad's life
condemned to roam.

Then we found
by trading fair
with camel trains
were riches there.

We built homes,
village and town,
were merchants then
and settled down.

Gambling, whoredom
and much worse,
sinful drinking
was our curse.

Great God above
saw our pain,
sent us one
His love explained.

In century six
our Prophet came
to lead us out
of sin and shame.

Of justice, mercy,
gift and love,
great words he spoke
from God above.

The crescent moon
our holy sign,
the Prophets voice
from God's design.

He told us live
a simple way,
with goat and lamb
God's law obey.

He said I've come
for Arab sons,
others come
for other ones.

Live here in
this desert land,
love your God
stay close at hand.

The Middle Ages
came to bear
with kissing ring
and Papal Chair.

In Europe's glens,
pristine and fine,
are landless sons
with too much time.

"Look down there."
The nobles say.
"Our holy land
is in decay."

"The Eastern Pope
asks for cash
to fight the
heathen Arab rash."

"Knight and soldier,
strong and bold,
we'll send these
instead of gold."

"With our 'Crusade'
right and grand,
we shall have this Arab land."

Ten ninety-nine
they breached the wall,
into Jerusalem
they did crawl.

Two hundred years
they sat inside.
Two hundred years
did we bide.

Time and numbers
was our fate
to turn them out
back through the gate.

Two hundred years
was not enough
to keep us out
we are too tough.


For centuries long
our land enslaved
by Turkish kings
with sharpened blade.

We prayed to end
the Sultan's curse,
the British came
and spoke a verse.

"It's World War One,
if you agree
to fight with us
we'll set you free."

The war we fought
at Britain's side,
our blood was shed
for Arab pride.

At wars end
Turks were smitten,
our only gain,
the lies of Britain.

"You are not fit
to rule your own,
we must stay on
and watch your home."

"You'll never guess
what we've found
a precious oil
flows from your ground."

"The League of Nations
bids us wait,
and hold you down
with our Mandate."

"So you don't
feel all alone
our puppet kings
will warm your throne."

"Our Lord Balfour
is quite a man,
an English 'gent'
who has a plan."

"He has made
it his priority
to help out Europe's
old minority."

"Not in England
sure to say,
but somewhere else
that's far away."

"The British Empire
has much land,
the sons of Zion
can have our sand."

"There's nothing here
quite anyway,
just you Arabs
who have no say."

Lord Balfour signed
his declaration,
the Zionists came
with a celebration

Bag in hand,
a dirty lot,
looked like beggars
the world forgot.

As the British
held the door,
in they came
more by more.

So the English,
snakes they are,
forced on us
the Zion star.

Now with all
this Europe's rubble,
not too long
was brewing trouble.

It was clear
from the start
they would live
from us apart.

They who had
been so despised
looked on us
not otherwise.

Like moving into
a new house,
they found pests,
the Arab mouse.

They so wanted
their own autonomy
to keep us out
of their economy.

None would shop
at Arab stalls,
or hire us
at union halls.

In thirty-five
came the spike,
we went out
on General Strike.

In thirty-six
rebellion started,
to the hills
our men departed.

Five thousand Arabs
armed with guns,
a holy army
of homeland sons.

A terrorist war
the British fought,
with modern guns
their horror wrought

Much easier then
to fight men stout,
on village folk
they took it out.

They leveled homes
our livestock seize.
They shot civilians
with English ease.

Then from London,
with a vision,
came prancing in
the "Peel Commission".

"Here we are
from the Crown
to see about
this hallowed ground."

"With Arab here
and Zionist there,
just one land
they must share."

"And no love
not a flicker,
all they do
is fight and bicker."

"We'll move Arabs
off their land,
leave the Zionist
where they stand."

"It won't be
a true contrition,
it's more like
A big partition."

Back at Whitehall
they did "smirk".
"This partition will
will never work."

"Perhaps Lord Balfour
was quite wrong,
his vision flawed
now all along."

"They can't live
side by side,
they will fight
'till all have died."

"Now we'll stop
the Zionist flood
before the place
is deep in blood."

"We will reverse
our old directions,
the Arabs now
shall have elections."

"Write it down
too be safer.
We will issue
our White Paper."


Back in Europe
things were grim,
war was over
and money slim.

The Germans lost
the Great World War,
so many dead
they must pay more.

At old Versailles
a treaty signed,
who should pay
was well defined.

The Brits and France
took such a slice,
they had to fight
the same war twice.

This time around
an extra cost,
it all came down
in a Holocausts.

In Europe's Sky
the peace dove flew,
one hundred thousand
no home knew.

"Displaced Persons"
was the label,
none were welcome
at Europe's table.

"Divide them up."
Said General Glub.
"All take some
to the Allied hub."

The American staff
in a high falsetto.
"We want no trash
from the Warsaw Ghetto."

"This Europe land
came at a cost
of Christian blood,
none must be lost."

"Much too expensive."
They all agreed,
for such as them
we have no need."

"Send them down
to Palestine,
change the name,
it will all be fine."

Those that Europe
did not need
kept flooding in
despite our heed.

After the war
the Zionists said.
"We must look
at what's ahead"

"This White Paper
the British tout
gives the Arabs
too much clout."

"Stops our migration,
would this plan.
Stops us buying
more Arab land."

"And to calm
these Arab fears,
their independence
within ten years."

"The numbers show
our true relation
is thirty percent
of the population."

"To keep on
with our direction
we can't stand
a fair election."

Worst of dogs
with teeth white
will not on
their masters bite.

But the Zionists
did just that,
turned on Britain
in nothing flat.

Acts of terror
with wild boasts,
shed the blood
of their hosts.

And Mister Begin,
so they tell,
he blew up
King Dave's Hotel.

Said the British.
"There's no hope,
with this place
we can't cope."

"This last bit
of Empire land
to the U.N.
we will hand."

Seems the British
weren't so tough,
turned and fled
when things got rough.


If Harry Truman
had been stronger,
not so weak,
with more honor.

He would not trade,
for New York votes,
our precious land
and cut our throats.

In forty-seven,
it was November,
we were betrayed,
we still remember.

The U.N. members,
their arms twisted
with U.S. strength,
the "Yanks" insisted.

"We have the power,
we are the one,
to say that this
shall be done."

"We do demand
you give away
this holy land
to whom we say."

"Now these Arabs
must all submit
to U.N. wishes
without a fit."

"Any who say
'it's not right'
shall be denounced

"You will vote
a new land,
from the old
two will stand."

"One with treasures
of all sorts,
groves of oranges,
coast and ports."

"The other bare,
with thermal heat
where squalid towns
live in defeat."

"It shall be
so very fashionable
that Jerusalem
be international."

So the west,
with stick in hand,
drew a line
through our land.

"For our crimes."
They all did say.
"With Arab land
we shall pay."

Though no one said
in public quotes.
"Our Mr. Truman
needs those votes."


The Zionist had
a secret plan.
It would involve
lots more land.

More than they
said they need,
more than even
the west believed.

"We will need."
They all foresaw.
"A secret army;
the Haganah."

Smugglers brought in
there new guns
from Europe's plants
with New York funds.

On that dark
November day
the United Nations
had its say.

When we heard
what they'd done
we took up arms,
sword and gun.

"Take our land
that we adore!"
The flames arose
of civil war.

All the while
the British "Gawked"
drinking gin and
watched the clock

"Soon we'll be
on our way,
May fifteenth is
our last day."

The civil war
was burning hot,
the Zionist leaders
had a thought.

"What a stroke
of good luck,
with this partition
we're not stuck."

"Since the Arabs
start the war
the U.N. deal
is 'out the door'."

"We're not obliged
by any plan
except our own
for more land."

"Our ancient scrolls
when unrolled
say Jerusalem is
ours to hold."

"Our Haganah
cannot wait
to crash through
that ancient gate."

"Grab it back
in short time,
save it from
the Arab grime."

"So very long
two thousand years,
all that time
lived with fears."

Poland, Russia,
Spain and Greece,
always turmoil
and never peace."

"Never did we
have our nation,
forced to live
in humiliation."

"This last decade
was the worst,
six million gone
in one burst."

"Ten million prayers
on every night,
for Jerusalem our
home by right."

"Now it's come
by God's hand,
our peoples home,
the promised land!"

"All we've suffered,
tears and pain,
two thousand years,
we're back again!"

"All we need
God has supplied,
whatever we do
is justified."

"Some dirty Arabs
in our way,
push them out,
it is 'our' day!"


Our fire now
is growing low,
the flames subside
the embers glow.

Our story is
not yet complete,
stay on awhile,
keep your seat.

Some more sticks
of burning wood
we'll throw on
our fire good.

Now I'll describe
our terrible fate.
It was nineteen
and forty-eight.

You will hear
of terror nights,
of Barrel Bombs,
and bitter flight.

Of peaceful folk
made to flee;
our Palestine


Dave Ben-Gurion,
their great ruler,
was the junior

Their secret plan
for our removal
was all begun
with his approval.

The Zionists wanted
the Holy Jewel,
Jerusalem, for
them to rule.

For this conquest
to achieve
they need a road
from Tel-Aviv.

Many a village
and Arab town
lay in between
and all around.

On April ninth
all seemed well,
on quiet streets,
a starlit spell.

A clean-up crew
came sneaking in
the Arab town
of Deir Yassin.

Doors broken down,
men dragged outside,
shot in the street.
Small children cried

Crisis and terror,
screaming for breath,
whole families fell
machine gunned to death

Young girls raped,
mutilated with knives,
horribly came the
end of their lives.

With cutlass swords
others were hacked
in little pieces,
body parts stacked.

Women and children
gruesomely died,
hand grenades blasted
old folks beside.

Rivers of souls
to heaven ascend,
laying in death
one hundred-ten.

The Jerusalem gate
sight was within,
just a short way
from Deir Yassin.

From every voice
to every ear,
the story spread
for all to hear.

Whispers in corners,
emotions of dread,
none dared believe
all that was said.

Children were frightened,
hardly one slept,
into their dreams
the horror crept.

Huddled in groups,
fear from within.
"Will our fate be
as Deir Yassin?"

From early April
until middle May,
only six weeks,
almost to the day.

The Haganah started
their evil plan,
empty the towns
down to the man.

"It must be done
all quite before
the 'Stupid Brits'
fall out the door."

"Inside our scrolls,
our written deed,
this promised land
God us decreed."

"Surely our God
would never feel
these Arabs were
part of the deal."

"It's God's will,
and truly right,
to get these Arabs
out of our sight."

"Our Haganah,
God's righteous hand,
to push these Arabs
off our land."<


Picture a barrel
with tires around,
on it's side
rolled on the ground.

Inside the drum
is gasoline,
bomb and a fuse
all quite unseen.

Rolled down streets,
alley or path,
their "Barrel Bomb"
the Zionist wrath.

Into each village
the Haganah came,
with one idea
always the same.

Barrel bombs blasting,
loudspeakers blare,
villagers forced too
flee then and there.

Mothers with babies
clutching them tight
running in terror,
fleeing in fright.

From the trucks
loudspeaker sounds
of wailing women
and panic abound.

Over the speakers
a frightened man
shouting in Arabic.
"Run if you can!"

"The Zionists come
with poison gas,
nuclear weapons,
ready to pass!"

"In God's name,
hurry you fast,
grab the children
before the blast!"

To every home
the Haganah came.
"Get out now!"
The troopers exclaim.

Some wouldn't leave,
preferring to stay,
they wouldn't move
out of their way.

At rifles point
they were evicted,
removed by force
by pain inflicted.

Everyone feared
from deep within.
"Will our fate be
as Deir Yassin?"

Families with children,
old people too,
left with nothing
to see them through.

Still the Haganah
"Storm Troopers" came
breaking down doors
acting with shame.

From early April
until middle May
the Haganah kept
evicting this way.

Western Palestine,
all Arab towns,
robbed of their homes,
buildings and grounds.

"Leave behind everything!"
Townsfolk were told.
"All your money
treasure and gold."

"Take no water
or bread at all,
nothing to eat
walk 'till you fall."

Families were moved
in buses at night,
abandon in wilderness
nothing in sight.

Others just walked
to the next town,
women with babies
and children around.

Telling the folks
what had befell,
begging for food
and water as well.

In a short time
the Haganah came
evicting them all,
sick and the lame.

In three directions
the refugees roam,
masses of people
without a home.

Some to Gaza
thronged for relief,
racked with despair
huddled in grief.

Up to Lebanon
others took flight,
held in disdain,
regarded as blight.

The worst trip,
for swollen feet,
the walk to Jordan
in hellish heat.

From early April
until middle May
thousands evicted
on every day.

Back in the towns
the Zionists plundered,
filling their bags,
looking, they wondered.

"Money and gems
some furniture too,
we'll have it all
before we're through."

"Mighty fine land
these Arabs "left",
our homeland now
truly is cleft."

"They didn't deserve
such excellent soil,
now it'll bloom
with work and toil."

From early April
until middle May,
it went on.
What's that you say?

Where were the British
all this time?
Didn't they stop
this inhumane crime?

Those who swore
by their King's crown,
promised us freedom
protection on down.

The noble British,
who's governing skill
assured us order
by strength of will.

"We are concerned
for civilian lives
if we intervene
and anyone dies."

"Besides, Mr. Truman,
pervader of right,
secretly has a
dog in this fight."

So it continued,
Ben-Gurion's campaign,
forced eviction like
orphans in rain.

All Arab countries
that circled around,
herd the Exodus
shaking the ground.

Was the roar.
"Whatever it takes
even if war!"

Then the British
piped up again,
looking quite stern,
drinking their gin.

"We can't allow
outside interference,
our image demands
we keep up appearance."

"On May fifteenth
our Mandate over,
you can invade
shoulder to shoulder."

"But until then
we must insist
from saving Palestine
you must resist."

From early April
until middle May,
no one would stop
the Zionist fray.


A tattered lace
of broken soles.
A scattered spread
of burned out coals.

As birds sore
through the sky,
they look below
and give a cry.

They see waves
of moving shapes,
in branding heat
that none escapes.

A panoramic
scene so wide,
are people viewed
on every side.

All moving East
like swarms of bees,
a human sea
of refugees.

A terrible race
to Jordan reach,
lest their bones
in sunlight bleach.

Bleeding feet
with every tread,
in powered dust
their journey spread.

Men would lead
their families on,
so many died
their hope all gone.

Children cried
with hunger first,
then they choked
with dieing thirst.

For every day
they traveled on
fewer saw the
next day's dawn.

Old folks fell
like human rain
though never to
get up again.

Tears were shed
of every kind
with trails of bodies
left far behind.

Three quarter million
had to see
our Palestine


To the north
a placid sea,
the quiet lake
of Galilee.

Further south
a deathly sea
with no fish
or shading tree.

Two hundred miles
a languid sliver,
between the two
the Jordan River.

Two more days
still further on
the ancient city
of Amman.

A simple town
of Bedouin folk,
unprepared for
the coming choke.

In the city
tired refugees
walked in starving
with forlorn pleas.

Having reached Jordan
their return forbade,
the U.N. came
with emergency aid.

But only enough
just to survive,
fend off starvation
and stay alive.

Old canvas tents
without any lamps,
rose all around
as refugee camps.

Also in Gaza
tent cities sprung,
perched on cliffs
they narrowly hung.

Up in Lebanon
unwelcome guests,
living on charity
at U.N. behest.

Huddled in camps
with no sanitation,
diseases raged through
without hesitation.

Children that lived
the journey through,
now passed away from
pneumonia and flu.

Old people also
perished this way,
struggle to breath,
dead the next day.

Every morning a
truck came around
picking up bodies
to lay underground.


The day arrived,
a stroke of fate,
fourteenth of May
nineteen forty-eight.

White billowed clouds,
a blue spring sky,
the Herald Angels
sung on high.

Dave Ben-Gurion
took the stand
and he proclaimed
a "just" new land.

A land for those
who've been oppressed,
where evils done
will be redressed.

A land where "all"
who live within
have freedoms breath
to breathe again

The British now
on their way,
our sincere hope,
one day they'll "pay".

An hour later,
to none's surprise
the Yankees said
they'd recognize.

After a toast
for their celebration,
on the next day
came the invasion.

The Arab states
came rushing through
to save the land
the Prophet knew.

Iraq was there
and Syria's crew,
the King of Jordan
and Egypt too.

"None for all!"
their strategy,
each fought alone
with no "esprit".

Without a plan
'twas a route,
they fell to bits
and turned about.

The setting sun
saw shadows fall,
the noble war
was through for all.

The flames of war
soon died away,
our wretched camps
there to stay.

The springtime passed,
then summer too,
as autumn fell
our hatred grew.

November came
and we recall
the U.N. vote
that brought our fall.

President Truman
was re-elected,
just squeaked by,
but still selected.

Won his office
with our blood,
those that lived
now dwell in mud.

The world went on
with none amiss,
our world stopped
in dark abyss.

The years passed by
without decree.
The camps remain
and so do we.


Peace to you
who sit tonight
and hear our tale
by fires light.

The cracking flames
all but gone,
yet coals remain
and heat goes on.

Look you deep
the embers glow,
hear my voice
that you may know.

Let me ask you
question one,
give your answer
when I'm done.

If one steals
your sheep at night,
are they his
at mornings light.

Or can you not
get them back
with armed force
and swift attack.

Long it's been
our warrior's wealth,
with soft steps,
to fight with stealth.

To us our land
shall come again,
our battle cry
"Deir Yassin!"

And when one
among us dies
up to Heaven
shall he rise.

By U.S. strength
does Zion stand,
with only this
they keep our land.

But over time
"Yanks" will fade
like old men
who sit in shade.

Time and numbers
is our fate
our victory sure,
"God is great!"

A hundred years
we'll wage our war,
if need be
a hundred more.

Two hundred years
is not enough
to keep us out
we are too tough.

Thanks to you
who listen well,
hear the story
that I tell.

The terrible crime
that need not be;
our Palestine

Stephen Ostrander

Deir Yassin Remembered

WWW Deir Yassin Remembered