Today is Deir Yassin Day. Anyone who seeks understanding about the unending conflict in Palestine/Israel ought to know about this massacre of 254 innocent Palestinians by the Zionist paramilitary forces Irgun (headed by future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin) and the Stern Gang in 1948, a month before the Jewish state declared independence. Deir Yassin was among the worst incidents of the Nakba, the ethnic-cleansing catastrophe that befell the Palestinians in the creation of the state of Israel. Some 750,000 people were driven from their homes (which were then destroyed or expropriated) and were not allowed to return.
The best brief introduction to the Nakba is Jeremy Hammond’s The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination.
In a not unrelated story, Israel has barred from entry Günter Grass, the NobelPrize winning German poet for his poem “What Must Be Said,” which is about the danger to peace from Israel’s nuclear arsenal. As Israel and the United States edge toward war with Iran, which is not thought by them to be building even one nuclear weapon, it is worth recalling that Israel has an arsenal of several hundred warheads, including submarine-based nukes.