Paul Eisen

Paul Eisen

Saturday, 14 July 2012

A Memorial at Deir Yassin

Deir Yassin Remembered has long dreamt of a memorial to Deir Yassin, at the site of the village itself. But it has also long accepted that this is unlikely to be realized in the near or medium future. It would require both huge funding and Israeli permission, neither of which is at present, available.  

Nor might such a memorial be entirely desirable. Amidst the present injustice, a memorial now at Deir Yassin could at best, be a diversion from, and at worst, even a legitimization of the injustice. An Israeli government could well say to us at some time in the future,
“Sure, go build your memorial!” and, when built, they could use it to show visitors, en route to pay homage to Jewish suffering at Yad Vashem.
But a truthful memorial at the village, in clear sight of the Holocaust memorial at Yad Vashem, might be not only a way out of the current horror, but the only way out.   

And why Deir Yassin? Because, apart from being an enduring symbol of Palestinian life, history and survival and of the relationship between the suffering of Jews and Palestinians, Deir Yassin is a symbol of exactly who did, and is doing, what and to whom.

Jewish theologian Marc Ellis has written about a "revolutionary forgiveness" - a forgiveness with truth and justice at its centre, and therefore far removed from the realms of fake piety. This is not Jews and Palestinians holding hands in a peace tent. The road to Deir Yassin is a hard one.

Such a forgiveness lies well with Arab and Islamic reconciliation traditions and indeed our own common sense, that before reconciliation can take place, both perpetrator and victim must acknowledge the truth.
Ellis proposes that this forgiveness take place in what he calls "the broken middle of Jerusalem". Those of us committed to the memory and meaning of Deir Yassin agree, but, rejecting false notions of ‘balance’, we ask that it take place, not quite in the middle, but slightly off-centre at the village of Deir Yassin.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you can't accpet it....... writ, write.... try some better ways to push something you can't accept.
    here read it again......

    Despite all odds, the Palestinian cause is gaining
    by Khalid Amayreh
    By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine
    For many decades, secular and quasi-atheistic regimes in the Arab world used the Palestinian cause to consolidate their tyrannical stranglehold on their countries and people. The net result was a gigantic fiasco for the entire Umma in every conceivable field. The indescribably corrupt regimes tormented and terrorized their own citizens, so much so, that the crème de le crème of their societies were forced to emigrate to the West or other countries, fleeing police state terror and repression.
    A few years ago, a citizen of a key Arab capital in the Mashriq (the Asian part of the Arab world) intimated to this writer that his countrymen would even welcome the Israeli army as liberators in light of the reign of tyranny and terror they were facing at the hands of their regime.
    “The terror, repression and corruption permeating through the country defies linguistic description,” he told me.
    I didn’t publish his remarks then, fearing the Israeli hasbara machine would hasten to exploit the unusual temerity of the remarks for propaganda purposes.
    Well, we can’t conceal the truth forever. In the final analysis, these manifestly criminal regimes have decidedly more harm than Israel. Yes, Israel is a racist and criminal enemy, no doubt about this. However, the ignorant and evil regimes which in the name of Arabism and Palestine were effectively repressing, murdering and humiliating their own people were actually a greater and harsher enemy to the people in comparison to Israel.
    An enemy is an enemy and one knows what to expect from one’s enemy.