Today is the 65th anniversary of Palestine's infamous Deir Yassin massacre.
The following diary entries - April 10 & 14 1948 - by American Quaker Christina Jones, a teacher at the Friends' Boys' School in Ramallah at the time, provide a near real-time, albeit second hand, account of the massacre and its aftermath. Particularly prophetic is Jones' reference in the second entry to "an apartheid Jewish State":
[10 April] "The most tragic and dastardly act of the Stern and Irgun occurred at Deir Yasin yesterday afternoon. These terrorists went into the village and massacred 250* old men, women and children and threw their bodies into the village well. Young men of the village were at work in Jerusalem and in their fields. The survivors are being cared for at Beit Safafa. It does not seem possible that it can be true, but the story is confirmed by the International Red Cross delegates and representatives of some of the consulates who have gone to the village. We wonder what the effect will be when the news reaches Lake Success. The fact that it has happened while the Mandate Government is still here indicates the attitude of the Zionists towards it and Great Britain, and sadly underlies their confidence in the support of the USA. To say that this has created panic in surrounding villages puts the situation mildly...
[14 April] "We hear that the terrorists are driving through Jerusalem streets using loud-speakers to warn the people to leave or Deir Yasin will be their fate also. More news of the horrible incident comes to us. The Arabs are surprised that Deir Yasin should be the village attacked, for the people there were thought to be too friendly to the Jews in the past. The village so near to Jerusalem is strategically located for Jewish development, but I am inclined to think it is just part of the campaign to rid the country of Arabs in order to make more room for immigrants so that an apartheid** Jewish State may be set up. I hope I am wrong. It is almost more than one can bear to be so near such a great human tragedy and such sheer brutality." (The Untempered Wind: Forty Years in Palestine, 1975, pp 88-89)
Jones elaborates on her 1948 diary entries thus:
"Statements made by Zionist leaders following the Deir Yasin massacre give chilling reasons for it. In his book, The Revolt, [Menachem] Begin, who commanded the Irgun Zvai Leumi, writes that the terror inspired by this massacre resulted in the 'maddened uncontrolled stampede of 635,000 Arabs... the political and economic significance of this development can hardly be over-estimated.' Ben Gurion, on his part, said: 'Without Deir Yasin, there would be no Israel.' And later Dr Weizmann, first president of Israel, referred to the Arab flight as 'a miraculous simplification of Israel's tasks'... As we watched events during those days, it seemed obvious that the Zionists, fearing a reversal of the United Nations policy, were determined to get all the territory allotted to them in the partition scheme before the end of the Mandate Government and face the world with a fait accompli. The first step was to dispossess the Arabs. Before the British left Palestine, there were already more than 200,000 refugees, and they did not flee from their homes with the thought that it would be for ever." (p 89-90)
[*The accepted figure today is just over 100;** The Reunited National Party of Daniel F. Malan won power in South Africa on an apartheid platform on 26 May 1948. According to Israeli scholar Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, "An official South African source is not alone in claiming that Daniel F. Malan visited Israel in May of 1948, but there seems to be no evidence for that claim... Malan actually visited Israel in September of 1953; he was the first foreign prime minister ever to do so." (The Israeli Connection: Whom Israel Arms & Why, 1987, p 110)]