Review: I Shall Not Hate

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I shall not Hate, Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish, Corn Exchange, Brighton Festival, May 28.

IT IS not every day that you listen to a man who has witnessed three of his daughters and a niece blown to bits by a rocket.

But Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish, known as the ‘Gaza doctor’ for his medical work in both Palestine and Israel, has known suffering and horror most parents could barely imagine.

The muslim doctor lost his daughters from shellfire in the conflict on January 16 2009. His reaction to the tragedy was broadcast live on Israeli TV, drawing admiration after he called for peace.

Broadcaster Simon Fanshawe interviewed this intriguing man, who now lives in Canada, as part of Brighton Festival. Dr Abuelaish showed no qualms in expressing his grief – made worse by the death of his wife from leukaemia just months before the rocket hit. His message to the soldiers who killed his children was, ‘How can they face their own children?’

But he called for ‘bridges not walls’ to be built in the Israeli/Palestine conflict, saying finding value in your fellow man is what mattered.

“You can be a victim of tragedy but don’t be a victim of hate”, he said.

The Gaza doctor has been given several accolades for his peace and reconciliation work including a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. He has just published an autobiography called, ‘I shall not Hate: A Gaza doctor’s journey on the road to peace and dignity’.

By Chris Eyte