What the stars said...

Alexei Sayle

"I first became friendly with a
group of Palestinian university
students while I was still a
schoolboy in Liverpool. Through
them I became aware of their
unequal struggle against Israeli
occupation.

“Also, when I moved down to London I shared a flat with one of them, now a resident of Ramalla. He has blackmailed me into supporting the Palestinian cause ever since by threatening to tell my mother what we got up to in those years!”

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Roger Lloyd-Pack

"It has never been acceptable that the price paid for the Jews to have their homeland was the sacrifice of the Palestinians" Read more...

Corin Redgrave

"There should be, as was said of another great project 'no blank spots in history'" Read more...

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Clive Merrison

"Victims of the victims, indeed" Read more...

Nadim Sawalha

"It's essential that we keep the memories of these cruelties alive" Read more...

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Frances de la Tour

"To remember is to walk side by side down the same road towards peace and reconciliation" Read more...

Michael Rosen

"Freedom for one people at the expense of another is not freedom at all" Read more...

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Andy de la Tour and Susan Wooldridge

"There will be no peace in the Middle East until the legitimate aspiration of a national homeland is achieved by the Palestinian people" Read more...

2001 - We will remember...

This was the biggest and probably most influential commemoration we ever mounted. These were the days when the events at Deir Yassin were largely unknown or ignored so, in the preceding November we published an academic prospectus, which got quite a bit of attention.

The commemoration took place at the
Peacock Theatre in London, was
directed by Steve Tyrell and Razanne
Carmey and had an audience of more
than 1,000.

Unfortunately, being a while back, and
because we had not yet developed
enough media savvy, there’s no adequate
photographic record to do it justice.

The event got mass Palestinian attendance
– not so much activists but ordinary,
mainstream Palestinian families. A number
of Arab ambassadors also attended
plus one or two British parliamentarians
plus four rabbis.

We’d be lying if we didn’t say that, to
some degree, the attention we got was
because of the Jewish involvement and
the resulting furious exchanges in the
Jewish press.

You can see transcripts of this coverage in
UK weekly newspaper The Jewish Chronicle here.

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Above: Palestinian musician Reem Kelani,
who gave voice to her people through song

Click on the image of the programme to the left to learn more about the evening and, for a report of the event click the following links:

Open in Word format here.
Open in PDF format here.

A most significant moment was at the end when Rabbi John Rayner, along with Father Michael Prior and Sheikh
Yaki Badawi, led the final moment of commemoration.

Rabbi Rayner’s prayer contained his hopes for reconciliation and an apology for the massacre and the suffering it caused. Read his prayer by following the links below:

Open in Word format here.
Open in PDF format here.

We will remember...

Rabbi John Rayner, Fr Michael Prior and Sheikh Zaki Badawi were from different faiths but had a lot in common. All were religious leaders and all were rebels struggling on the radical/progressive margins of their respective traditions.

But they had something else in common: in April 2001 these three men appeared together on the stage of a London theatre to remember the massacre of Palestinians
at Deir Yassin.

It happened during the closing moments of the largest Deir Yassin Remembered commemoration ever and before a packed audience of more than 1,000 Palestinians, Jews, and others.

Each stood forward in turn and addressed the audience, affirming that “having looked into the tragic past, we wish to look forward to a better future, and resolve to do what we can to bring it about”.

On that night at least, all eyes were on Deir Yassin and the Palestinian people.

Those three men are now gone – Michael in July 2004, John in September 2005 and Zaki in January 2006. But they are not forgotten. We at Deir Yassin Remembered will remember Michael Prior, John Rayner and Zaki Badawi. We will remember that night in April 2001 and the words they spoke, but most of all, we will remember Deir Yassin.

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L to R – Rabbi John Rayner, Sheikh Zaki Badawi and Fr Michael Prior