by Ramzy Baroud
Global Research, July 21, 2008
".....Recent findings in my own personal history have been interesting indeed. The present task of tracing my family roots was inspired by a book project with Pluto Press, narrating the story of my father, as once a fighter from Gaza who died recently under tragic circumstances in the same refugee camp to which he was expelled, along with his family sixty years ago.
Just weeks into my research, I found myself stumbling into the details of a massacre, one that is conveniently overshadowed by the dust of the battle, the rigidity of academic research and the lack of media access of those who have survived.
And now, what started as a mere phase of my father's torn childhood in Palestine has morphed into being the core of my book's narrative.
My family came from the village of Beit Daras, one of the hundreds of villages destroyed by Zionist Jewish militias prior to the establishment of the state of Israel. Growing up in a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, decades after the destruction of Beit Daras, I heard many stories of our village that now only exist in memory. The objective behind the story was hardly a calculated intent to ensure that we don't forget what has befallen us. It was a daily narrative that simply defined our internal relationship as a community......
One can only hope that the memory of the village survives without having to wait the authentication of an Israeli historian, which may or may not ever arrive. I know that I will do my part to make that happen. After all, I owe Beit Daras my (relatively) large head, and the tenacious spirit of my children, who carry the names of those who lived in Beit Daras, and died there."