Letters to the Editor: How does dredging up the Deir Yassin massacre serve peace?

Palestinian relatives of residents of the Arab village of Deir Yassin stand over plaques listing names
Palestinian relatives of residents of the Arab village of Deir Yassin stand over plaques listing the names of more than 100 people killed in 1948.
(Ed Ou / Associated Press)

To the editor: Nicholas Goldberg states in his column about Israel’s secrecy on the 1948 Deir Yassin massacre that he has been a longtime supporter of the two-state solution and that he acknowledges that both sides are guilty of unacceptable violence.

Unfortunately, Goldberg seems to prefer writing only about the sins of Israel.

I wonder how bolstering the two-state solution is advanced by dredging up the horrible Deir Yassin massacre. It is now more than 70 years after its occurrence. Goldberg implies that the government of Israel deserves blame, but it did not exist at the time nor did any responsible authority sanction the attack by rogue paramilitary fighters.


All governments keep secrets. Is our government possibly withholding information and keeping secrets? Apparently Israel is expected to conform to our highest moral standards but fails because it keeps secrets.

Goldberg should broaden his focus on the Middle East by writing about the Palestinian Authority’s failure to do anything positive for its constituents in promoting a two-state solution. That also qualifies as “unpleasant history” by a government.

Lawrence Leifer, Newport Beach


To the editor: In reporting on atrocities at Deir Yassin in 1948, Goldberg clearly delineates the first step to peace and the possibility of a two-state solution. He suggests that both Israel and Palestine do what he’d do: Acknowledge that “both sides in the conflict are guilty of unacceptable violence against innocents.”

When the My Lai massacre came to light, the public’s perspective on the Vietnam War became clearer. Thus we were able to move on, though slowly.

I believe such would be the case if Israel owned up to its “unacceptable violence” by releasing its sequestered Deir Yassin files. It might even draw a quid pro quo from the Palestinians.


Admit, reveal, apologize and move on. That’s good advice for leaders too, not just the countries they lead.

Saul Isler, Los Angeles