Deir Yassin – the big lie that caused untold misery

By Maurice Ostroff

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it”. (Joseph Goebbels) The false story of a massacre at Deir Yassin in 1948 is a typical example of a BIG LIE demonizing Israel based on fabricated evidence. Startling indisputable evidence came to light in 1998 revealing that the story of a massacre and rapes at Deir Yassin was a complete fabrication.

The evidence of fabrication is indisputable because it originates from none other than the person who prepared the original story, Hazem Nusseibeh, who was an editor of the Palestine Broadcasting Service in 1948.1998. While explaining the flight of Arabs and their failure in the 1948 war during a 1998 interview with the BBC, Nusseibeh indiscreetly admitted that on the direct instructions of Hussein Khalidi, he had fabricated the allegations of a massacre and rapes. He told that Khalidi said to him: “We must make the most of this” and that they therefore embroidered the press release with fictional allegations that the children of Deir Yassin were murdered and pregnant women were raped, though neither ever happened.

Their intention was to encourage the Arab countries to join in the battles soon to begin. He added that these atrocity stories were “our biggest mistake,” because Palestinians fled in terror and left the country in huge numbers after hearing them. This statement adds a new facet to research about the reasons so many Arabs fled in 1948. According to Nusseibeh, Khalidi said to him: “We must make the most of this” and the story was created in collusion with survivors of Deir Yassin and Khalidi. The press release stated that the children of Deir Yassin were murdered and pregnant women were raped, though neither ever happened. In the same TV program, a former resident of Deir Yassin confirmed there were no rapes but that Khalidi convinced them they had to say there were. “We said, there was no rape.” But Khalidi said, “We have to say this, so the Arab armies will come to liberate Palestine from the Jews”.

Unlike the immediate spread of the accusation, this refutation was and remains completely ignored, pointing to the dangerous penchant, even among some respectable mainstream media, academics and influential politicians, to ignore readily available, credible evidence that conflicts with their biased preconceived opinions. Although this evidence has been available in publicly available archives since 1998, it has been almost universally ignored. For example on November 28, 2001 in an article “The Sharon files” The Guardian, repeated the fabrication in referring to “the Palestinian village where 254 villagers were massacred in April 1948, in the most spectacular single attack in the conquest of Palestine”.

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Maurice Ostroff is a South African fought for Israel in 1948 and stayed to become a citizen. He is an op-ed writer well known for his critical analysis.

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