UC Observer logo
UCObserver on SoundCloud UCObserver on YouTube UCObserver on Facebook UCObserver on Twitter UCObserver's RSS Feeds

I Shall Not Hate

The need for understanding between Palestinians and Israelis is stressed in a new memoir

By Miriam Spies


I Shall Not Hate
By Izzeldin Abuelaish
(Random House) $32



On Jan. 16, 2009, Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian doctor living in the Gaza Strip, decided to move his family and start a new life in Toronto. That same day, Israeli shells hit his home, killing three of his daughters,  as well as a niece. With violence and tragedy all around — the 2009 invasion killed about 1,300 Palestinians — he responded with uncommon forebearance, pledging, “I shall not hate.”

In this powerful memoir, Abuelaish stresses the need for understanding between Palestinians and Israelis.

Abuelaish grew up in the Jabalia refugee camp, where he dreamed of becoming a doctor. He left to study abroad, then returned to his homeland, where he was called “The Gaza Doctor,” becoming a well-known gynecologist and obstetrician who worked in Israel and the West Bank.

Though Abuelaish’s world is foreign to most readers, he vividly describes the pain and struggle of daily life in the  Gaza Strip, where 1.5 million people are crammed into 360 square kilometres, surrounded by security walls and  checkpoints.

Personal stories relating to this well-known conflict are not often heard in news coverage. In one section, Abuelaish shares the positive impact of an Israeli family who employed him in his teenage years and treated him like a son. Recounting interactions with his Israeli patients, he calls for greater communication and trust between people in the divided region.  

Abuelaish’s hope for the future is unshakeable and inspiring. Simply talk to each other is his plea. He leaves the reader with a deep hope that the deaths of his daughters and niece will be the last sacrifice in the journey to peace.

Miriam Spies is a journalism student at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Author's photo
Miriam Spies will be blogging daily about Rendez-vous 2011 from now until Aug. 15.
Readers’ advisory: The discussion below is moderated by The UC Observer and facilitated by Intense Debate (ID), an online commentary system. The Observer reserves the right to edit or reject any comment it deems to be inappropriate. Approved comments may be further edited for length, clarity and accuracy, and published in the print edition of the magazine. Please note: readers do not need to sign up with ID to post their comments on ucobserver.org. We require only your user name and e-mail address. Your comments will be posted from Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Join the discussion today!
Promotional Image

Editorials

David Wilson%

Observations

by David Wilson

A perfect send-off

Promotional Image

Video

ObserverDocs: My Year of Living Spiritually

by Observer Staff

Anne Bokma left the Dutch Reformed Church as a young adult and eventually became a member of the United Church and then the Unitarian Universalists. Having long explored the "spiritual but not religious" demographic as a writer, she decided to immerse herself in practices — like hiring a soul coach, secular choir-singing and forest bathing — for 12 months to find both enlightenment and entertainment.

Promotional Image

Society

November 2017

Trump country

by David Macfarlane

A northern Alabama county voted almost unanimously for Donald Trump in 2016. One year later, the writer, together with photographer Nigel Dickson, travels there to try to understand why.

Faith

November 2017

Involuntary pilgrim

by David Giuliano

The return of a tumour sets David Giuliano on a path he calls his ‘Camino de Cancer’

Faith

October 2017

A tale of two cancers

by Catherine Gordon

One year after the writer discovered she had breast cancer, her sister in California received the same diagnosis. They both recovered, but their experiences were worlds apart.

Society

November 2017

Trump country

by David Macfarlane

A northern Alabama county voted almost unanimously for Donald Trump in 2016. One year later, the writer, together with photographer Nigel Dickson, travels there to try to understand why.

Faith

November 2017

Involuntary pilgrim

by David Giuliano

The return of a tumour sets David Giuliano on a path he calls his ‘Camino de Cancer’

Faith

November 2017

Grey matter

by Trisha Elliott

Is consciousness just a function of the brain — or something more?

Promotional Image