I Shall Not Hate
A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity
By Izzeldin Abuelaish
(Walker & Company, Hardcover, 9780802779175, 237pp.)
Publication Date: January 4, 2011
List Price: $24.00*
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By turns inspiring and heart-breaking, hopeful and horrifying, I Shall Not Hate is Izzeldin Abuelaish's account of an extraordinary life. A Harvard-trained Palestinian doctor who was born and raised in the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip and "who has devoted his life to medicine and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians" (New York Times), Abuelaish has been crossing the lines in the sand that divide Israelis and Palestinians for most of his life - as a physician who treats patients on both sides of the line, as a humanitarian who sees the need for improved health and education for women as the way forward in the Middle East. And, most recently, as the father whose daughters were killed by Israeli soldiers on January 16, 2009, during Israel's incursion into the Gaza Strip. His response to this tragedy made news and won him humanitarian awards around the world. Instead of seeking revenge or sinking into hatred, Abuelaish called for the people in the region to start talking to each other. His deepest hope is that his daughters will be "the last sacrifice on the road to peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
"WHAT is said in this impressive book is less remarkable than who says it…. Anger is fine, he says, but we must all find the inner strength not to hate. He himself has done so quite magnificently."—The Economist "Scrupulously honest… heartfelt, moving and beautifully written in a distinctive voice…. what is most remarkable is that [Abuelaish] is able to convey not only a baseline faith in the human spirit, but hope for the future."—Emily L. Hauser, The Dallas Morning News"Because Abuelaish has this sort of deeply nuanced approach to the ongoing Israel-Palestinian conflict, precisely because he yearns to point out the good in those who are supposed to be his enemy, we cannot ignore or deny his damning portrayal of life under occupation."—Jane Eisner, The Forward "An eye-opening story of a remarkable person."—Alden Mudge, BookPage "Abuelaish knows anger, but in this impassioned, committed attempt to show the reader life on the sliver of land that is Gaza, he demonstrates that ‘[a]nger is not the same as hate.’"—Publishers Weekly (starred review) "This story is a necessary lesson against hatred and revenge."—Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Prize laureate "In this book, Dr. Abuelaish has expressed a remarkable commitment to forgiveness and reconciliation that describes the foundation for a permanent peace in the Holy Land."—President Jimmy Carter "I met Dr. Abuelaish just a few days after the loss of his three daughters. We faced each other as we were about to shake hands. And then, without much thought, we held each other in a warm embrace … It is so rare, I thought, in this debilitating and devastating area we inhabit, to meet a person like him, a man who despite his own losses, continues his belief in humanity and its potential for good, despite all … Through his eyes I could see another way, a way the two nations could treat each other. A way that could extract what is good, special, and humane in both of them. I could see an alternative that could light up the great similarity of both peoples, one that gets denied and put down time and time again. This option, now so scorned and held in such contempt, suddenly sprang to life, embodied in the man I was watching."—David Grossman "A deeply affecting narrative told in a voice of poignant simplicity, punctuated by injunctions to love that are far from corny, tried as they are by the searing experiences of a righteous man striving to act decently in a place of madness."—Kirkus Reviews