Any variation of the words "Palestine" and "massacre" are sure to yield millions of results on major search engines on the World Wide Web. These results are largely in reference to hundreds of different dates and events in which numerous Palestinians were killed by the Israeli army or settlers. But references to massacres of similar nature precede the state of Israel itself, whose establishment was secured through the ever-expanding agenda of ethnically cleansing Palestinians.
Though the dust has settled in Gaza, the rubble from the untold number of demolished buildings, homes and mosques is far from being cleared away. Graves continue to receive victims, young and old alike, from Israel's most recent offensive. And in the midst of this, with the hopes of some respite and recovery on the horizon, rumors of a third Intifada swell among politicians, scholars and everyday people alike.
I still vividly remember my father's face - wrinkled, apprehensive, warm - as he last wished me farewell fourteen years ago. He stood outside the rusty door of my family's home in a Gaza refugee camp wearing old yellow pyjamas and a seemingly ancient robe. As I hauled my one small suitcase into a taxi that would take me to an Israeli airport an hour away, my father stood still. I wished he would go back inside; it was cold and the soldiers could pop up at any moment.
It's all too convenient for the BBC website to describe the ongoing bloodshed between Hamas and Fatah supporters in the Gaza Strip as "inter-factional rivalry", and it's equally fitting for the Washington Post to narrate the same unfortunate events - which have left many Palestinians dead and wounded - as if they are entirely detached from their adjoining regional and international milieus.
Palestinian groups have recently suggested a ceasefire, in exchange for a cessation of Israeli violence. Ehud Olmert responded with a conciliatory speech, cleverly timed with President Bush's arrival to Jordan on November 29 for a two-day conference with top Iraqi officials.