Here is a breakdown of what happened in Deir Yassin, how complicated it was, and why it's hard to find "the truth" in events that are so tied to the past:
An early attack on Deir Yassin, a Palestinian Arab town near Jerusalem, was made by the Zionist paramilitary groups Irgun and Lehi on April 9, 1948.
Many bystanders were killed, and this is something that can be proven. Estimates often go over 100, and they include women, children, and older people.
Different people have different ideas about what kind of fighting happened and how many bystanders were purposely targeted.
Different stories and why they're important:
Palestinian Narrative: Deir Yassin is seen as an unprovoked killing that shows how violent Zionist forces are and is meant to make people afraid so that they will leave the area. It has become a key sign of the Nakba, which means "catastrophe" in Arabic and refers to the forced displacement of many Palestinians during this time.
The Zionist Story (changing): Some of the first Zionist reports tried to downplay the deaths at Deir Yassin by saying they happened in the middle of a fight. Some people talked about the role of Arab troops. Later, some Israeli writers admitted that people were killed, but most of the time they talk about the fighting in the area as a whole. But the killing should be seen as a bad thing.
Why it's Hard to Tell "The Truth":
Fog of War and Propaganda: Wars make things confusing. It's hard to figure out what exactly happened when things are going crazy. In this fight, both sides twisted the truth about what happened in order to spread their propaganda.
Limited Records: There isn't a fair, complete, and thorough record of what happened.
stress and Memory: Survivors' memories are very important, but they can be changed by stress and time.
Not Everyone Agrees on What Truth Is: People don't always agree on what the facts are, how they are presented, what "responsibility" means, or what the findings are.
Seeking "Truth" in a Responsible Way:
Recognize Different Points of View: Know that how you talk about controversial events depends on your political and social standing.
Watch out for easy answers: Events in history that are very complicated rarely have a single cause or culprit. Look for answers that take a lot of things into account.
Focus on the effects on people: In order to truly understand the pain of victims, it is necessary to find the exact "blame."
Discussion with respect: Deir Yassin is still a very touchy subject. Instead of adding to the current conflict, try to have a conversation that focuses on learning what went wrong in the past and finding a way to make things right.
If you'd like, I can talk more about the general social and political situation in which the Deir Yassin event happened.