Deir Yassin to Egypt


Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh – TRANSCEND Media Service

9 Apr 2017 – Today is the anniversary of the massacre at Deir Yassin (also the Norwegian day of trauma: German 1940 invasion).

On 9 April 1948, my mother’s friend in school (both studying to be teachers, school in Jerusalem) chose to go back to her village of Deir Yassin. That was the last time my mother saw her young friend Hayah Balbisi and this victim of Zionism remains etched in memory of my 84 year old mother. Deir Yassin was not the first, last, or the largest massacre committed by Zionist forces during that era of ethnic cleansing. But it was prophetic and emblematic for us because its deliberate effect was magnified to scare the villagers (even some survivors were paraded in the streets of Jerusalem and loudspeakers told of more impending massacres).

Dar Al-Tifl Al Arabi orphanage was created to house the surviving orphaned children. Dozens of massacres were committed just in the six weeks leading up to Israel’s creation and dozens after. Over 500 villages and towns were depopulated in the bizarre 20th century attempt to transform a multi-cultural/multi-religious Palestine to become the “Jewish state of Israel”. And the price tag is still being paid in areas like Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and Egypt.

Today also saw terrorists bombing Christian Churches on Palm Sunday; over 120 were killed or severely injured. Our condolences to the victims and our thoughts and prayers with the injured. I look back at seven years ago on a Palm Sunday when we breached the wall of apartheid (at least for a short while before we got arrested).

Please see this video:


Jesus rode a humble donkey into Jerusalem then. Our donkey and mule (and accompanying humans) were all arrested on that Palm Sunday 9 April 2010.

What would Jesus do in our troubled world today? Alas, so many lies flood our airways, so much misinformation, so many deluded people (some Palestinians even supported the US bombings in Syria and Yemen). I will end with a poem I wrote in 2011 when we commemorated Deir Yassin as Israel bombed Gaza killing so many civilians. Then I need to go back for the long nights as we prepare to open our museum and botanical garden (


Deir Yassin to Gaza
by Mazin Qumsiyeh, written on the way back home, dedicated to Juliano(*)

My kind old mother laments
Decades of memory that transcends
Fake Gods and fake peace offers
who bless nichsayon(**) and slaughter
our eyes fail to see or just lament
blood of a child licked off a pavement
By stray thirsty cats
with more morals than army brats
Our ears fail to hear
voice of Dr. Izzeldinne echoes
“I shall not hate” anguished cries
After three beautiful daughters
With a tank shell and a niece in slaughters
Our noses fail to smell
The whiff of death mixed with gun powder
Or the vomit of our tortured
Our hearts fail to feel
the punctured womb by the old home
the severed girl’s head by the mosque dome
Our fingers fail to touch
an anguished young mother
Looking for a child
Jews, Christian, Muslims wail
The lost humanity to no avail
the generals must have their joy
to test their newest toy
in Gaza white phosphorous back in use yesterday
impunity from war crimes thanks to the US of A
billionaires must make more dollars
zealots must sacrifice children at altars
Gabriel can stay a knife but not drones
And hate can murder a thousand Julianos
While the apathetic multitude watch TV
Obliviously focused on their shopping spree
Bypassing love and responsibility
Chasing gadgets, hate, and vanity
Next news bulletin… get the experience
Next anniversary… awaken the conscience??


(*) The Jenin Freedom Theater and Juliano in his own words (excellent video by
Jen Marlowe):


(**) Nichsayon: Hebrew for (ethnic) cleansing.


Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment, author of Sharing the Land of Canaan and Popular Resistance in Palestine. He is a professor at Bethlehem University and director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History in Bethlehem.


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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 10 Apr 2017.

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