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.