By Umar al-Ghubari
English version: Charles Kamen
On Tuesday, 9.4.2013, forty people participated in Zochrot’s ceremony commemorating the Dayr Yassin massacre. This annual event included a tour of the village site, on which the Jerusalem neighborhoods of HarNof and Giv’atSha’ul were later built, as well an account of the village’s history, the massacre, the expulsion of the inhabitants, demolition of most of the buildings and what became of some of the others.
Yusuf As’ad Radwan (Abu Khaled) , a refugee in ‘Amman- Jordan, who was born in Dayr Yassin in 1938, participated in the tour, described his childhood and stopped emotionally next to his former home and the school he attended. His house, with an Arabic inscription on the lintel, still stands on Kanfei Nesharim street, opposite his school which today houses a branch of the Jewish Chabad movement.
Ayelet Ophir, the daughter of Yehoshua Ophir, an Etzel fighter, also participated in the ceremony. She spoke about the part that the story of Dayr Yassin played while she was growing up and the dilemmas it raised. Her father’s role in the attack had been logistical; he wrote a novel describing difficult incidents that he knew had occurred during and after the assault. Ayelet read aloud selections from her father’s book.
Itamar Shapira also spoke. He had been a guide at Yad Vashem but was fired after groups had complained that he referred to Dayr Yassinat the end of the YadVashem tour. Itamar described how he’d been taught during the course of his schooling and army service in Israel to deny the Nakba, and about his growing awareness of the injustices committed in the county by Zionists.
A number of Israeli right-wing activists followed the very moving tour, accompanying the emotional accounts presented by the speakers with curses, shrieking chilling racist slogans, saying they hoped we’d die, that there would be another Nakba, and yelled “damn them” after each name ofa victim of the massacre as it was read out.
Police escorting the tour kept the right-wingers away from Zochrot’s group but did nothing to prevent their yelling at participants, their death threats and calls for a second Nakba.
A report on Channel 7’s web site. (Hebrew)