Michael Riordon

the view from where I live

Ghosts of Deir Yassin

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At the deep core of the struggle for justice in Palestine is an abiding refusal of a people to be wiped off the map, and written out of history.

Ghosts of Deir Yassin, a new music video by Firas Taybeh, features singer-songwriter Phil Monsour, poet Rafeef Ziadah, and generations of displaced Palestinians.

Deir Yassin has come to symbolize the ongoing pattern of ethnic cleansing on which Israel is built.  On April 9, 1948, some 120 Jewish fighters from two Zionist paramilitary groups (both designated ‘terrorist’ by the British colonial regime) attacked Deir Yassin, a Palestinian village of about 600 people near Jerusalem.  Some 107 villagers were killed, including women and children. Many were shot, others killed by hand grenades thrown into their homes.

News of the killings sparked terror among Palestinians, and a mass exodus from surrounding towns and villages as Jewish troops advanced.   Some historians, including Israelis, argue convincingly that this was the intended strategic goal of the Deir Yassin massacre.

From Ghosts of Deir Yassin:

…They change the names on the signs
But it’s in our hearts these words are written
Of the children who don’t know their homes
They will walk the streets from which they are forbidden.

You see that we are rising, our day is surely coming
No longer in the shadows
Of the ghosts of Deir Yassin.

Author: Michael Riordon

Canadian writer and documentary-maker Michael Riordon writes/ directs/produces books and articles, audio, video and film documentaries, plays for radio and stage. A primary goal of his work is to recover voices and stories of people who have been silenced or marginalized, written out of the official version: First Nations (aboriginal) youth, Mozambican farmers, inmates in Canadian prisons, traditional healers in Fiji, queer folk across Canada, Guatemalan labour activists. Michael also leads courses, workshops and seminars for community organizations, trade unions, schools, colleges and universities.

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