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I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity Hardcover – January 4, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Born in a refugee camp in 1955, Palestinian physician Abuelaish suffers a catastrophic loss when three of his daughters are killed in their home by Israeli fire in 2009. An Israeli television journalist's live broadcast of his call for help captures Israeli public and world press attention. "Most of the world has heard of the Gaza Strip," as Abuelaish says, "ut few know what it's like to live here, blockaded, impoverished, year after year, decade after decade." Abuelaish portrays everyday life in Gaza and tells the remarkable story of how he came to be "the first Palestinian doctor to be on staff at an Israeli hospital." The "tortured politics of Palestine, Israel, and the Middle East" are rendered graphic by his personal accounts of "the humiliation, the fear, the physical difficulty" of border checkpoints and bulldozed homes. Abuelaish tells of the "satisfying, even wonderful" moments, "the good chapter of a bad story," as well; an infertility specialist, he is as "thoroughly smitten" with his research as he is appalled that "Gaza hospitals are rundown and can't be repaired because of an embargo is preposterous." 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 "nger is not the same as hate." (Jan.)
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“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
Top customer reviews
By Izzeldin Abuelaish
This book is at the same time an autobiography that parallels the Bible’s Job and the Quran’s أيّوب Ayyūb. It provides a working and modern day lessons that appears by all events in desperate need to finally be learnt. To me a western reader that collects his information from a western press finds a paradigm shifting dose of reality in this story by Izzeldin Abuelaish. I’ve actually gleaned a subtle shift in other books: Son of Hamas, Birds Without Wings, and the Israel Test come to mind. The paradigm shift in those books was not as profoundly portrayed as in this book. The shift is simple: Co-existence at grass-roots level. Izzeldin’s message is proposed against very staunch realities. The story will climax with the reader having no choice but to face those realities as a citizen of humanity. In reading the book I found myself fact checking on the internet to give a higher sense of the nuance of the cause of the problems in Israeli-Palestinian solution it’s helpful for the reader to have a glimpse of the timeline of events leading up to Izzeldin’s story. I have one word for this Borders.
First was a clumsy affair led by once again the British and the French with Americans once again drawn in to the fray. First is the 1916 Sykes Picot Agreement. From that Agreement between the French and the British drew up the below map that was presented by TE Lawrence to the Eastern Committee of the War Cabinet in November 1918. Notice how much of Palestine territory of that time crosses over in to Syria, Egypt, and Arabia for which a portion evolved to what is now called Jordon. Have you ever wondered why you hear that the Palestinians were abandoned by her neighbors?
Izzeldin moved me in a way that I have not been moved before. His story is tragic. The systematic oppression by Israelis, the violent death of his daughters at the hands of the Israeli army did not impede his ability to love his neighbor. His simple solution....coexist. To read my in depth review that puts his story in a larger context with ample footnote, reference my blog. key word cigarroomofbooks and go to May 2016. There you will find this review and a few pertinent book reviews. Test your objectivity.
With so much mistrust and unrest between the Palestinians and Israelis for years, it was amazing to me to read of one man's ability to come to terms with the suffering that he and his family endured without becoming filled with hate. I really like the line in the book, "Whom shall I hate of the Israelis...the innocent Israeli babies I bring into the world? The associates with whom I have served in hospitals in Israel? I think not."
It certainly gives me reason to look at anyone or any group with whom I might have been tempted to dislike, for no reason other than fear and/or ignorance, with more tolerance and interest in sharing beliefs, interests, and cultures.
Of necessity, it is one-sided from the Palestinian side. This does not in any way negate the truth of his reality and experiences, but also does not show understanding, or real compassion, for the other side--from Israel. While fully supporting the brilliance and achievements of this man, I think the other side--the effect of the intifadas and bombings on Israel--is not as well drawn, nor are the amazing achievements of Israelis in the areas of science and elsewhere while basically living in a continuing war zone.
I salute the writer for his efforts to bring both sides together, and deplore much of what he describes as the living conditions of the Palestinian people, even while I totally support Israel and its right to exist. If the Palestinians would acknowledge Israel's right to exist, perhaps progress could be achieved. Perhaps this is even the one man who can make the real difference. He has done much so far and I wish him further success. I am not confident, but I am hopeful.
Most recent customer reviews
sentimental. A wonderful read!
We want PEACE!