By DAN IZENBERG
Are the events that took place in Deir Yassin so sensitive that 62 years later, the state still refuses to release all of the documents and photos stored in the IDF archive to the public?
That is the question facing Supreme Court Deputy President Eliezer Rivlin and Justices Edna Arbel and Neal Hendel in the wake of a petition heard earlier this week.
The petition was filed by Haaretz, its reporter Gidi Weitz, and Neta Shoshani, a student at the Bezalel Art School in Jerusalem.
The battle of Deir Yassin, a village on the western outskirts of Jerusalem, was one of the most controversial of the War of Independence. It took place in April 1948, one month before the State of Israel was declared. There have been charges that units of the Etzel (Irgun) and Lehi (Stern Group) undergrounds massacred dozens of Palestinian civilians in the village and forced the survivors to flee. …
… The state told the court that publication of these documents could harm Israel’s foreign relations…Attorney Paz Mozer, representing the petitioners, argued that not only had the state extended the ban only after Shoshani had asked to see the documents, the public had a right to obtain more information about the battle, whose details have been in dispute all these years.
I can say firmly that the details of the Deir Yassin massacre have never been in dispute to those who lived through it and survived. Now, even after 62 years, the people I interviewed on this topic remember everything in crystal clear detail, as if it happened yesterday. You will be able to read their testimonies next week when the second edition of the booklet, “The Nakba: Preserving our Narrative” is published.
~ Kristin Szremski, 5/5/2010