The main 2002 commemoration took place at the St John’s Wood Church, a great friend of Deir Yassin Remembered that would, in the future, go on to host many commemorations. The church lies midway between the Liberal Jewish Synagogue and the Central London Mosque, the significance of which was not lost on us.
The importance of the occasion was also enhanced that year by the coincidence of Deir Yassin Day – April 9th – falling on the same day as Yom Ha’shoah – Jewish Holocaust Day in the Jewish calendar date of 27th Nissan.
But for us, the main feature was that, along with the actors and poets, this
commemoration, under the direction of Steve Tyrell and Razanne Carmey, was
largely staged and performed by young Palestinians. The climax was the "Recitation of the names" where members of the Palestinian community names every know victim of the massacre. You can hear this here.
This year, for the first time, the commemoration was followed by a reception –
a practice we repeated in all future events. Also for the first time, in addition
to London, Deir Yassin was remembered in 21 locations around the world. See the
full list of locations here.
You can read and download the full text of Deir Yassin Day 2002 here.
Peace activist Tirza Waisel wrote a compelling piece after attending the
commemoration. Read her submission below:
Open in Word format here.
Open in PDF format here.