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Leading Palestinian Doctor and Peace Activist Gives Interview to Schiller Institute: ‘I Shall Not Hate’

COPENHAGEN, March 19, 2024 (EIRNS)—Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, the Gaza Palestinian author of the book I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey, who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize five times, granted the Schiller Institute an hour-long interview yesterday. Dr. Abuelaish gave a very moving video interview to Vice President of the Schiller Institute in Denmark Michelle Rasmussen.

The book, from 2010, tells the story of Dr. Abuelaish’s life and mission. Despite being born in the Jabalia, Gaza refugee camp, he became a physician of obstetrics/gynecology specializing in infertility, because he wanted to bring life into the world. He became the first Palestinian doctor on staff at an Israeli hospital. Although he and his family were long-term advocates of peace and dialogue with the Israelis, three of his daughters and a niece were killed in an Israeli artillery attack on their home in northern Gaza in 2009 during a previous Hamas-Israel war. His anguished cries for help, made to an Israeli TV newscaster friend, were sent live on Israeli TV. They led directly to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert calling a unilateral ceasefire two days later.

Afterwards, he refused to submit to the poison of hate and the darkness of despair, but chose the light, and chose hope. He was determined that his daughters would not be “numbers,” but that the world would know their faces and dreams, and hoped that they would be the last ones to die. He redoubled his efforts to achieve freedom and equality for the Palestinians and a future in which Israelis and Palestinians can live peacefully, side by side.

Dr. Abuelaish continued his efforts after moving to Canada, where he is a professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health of the University of Toronto.

He was in Copenhagen because a documentary film with the same title as his book premiered at the Copenhagen film festival CPH:Dox. In both the documentary film and our interview, Dr. Abuelaish emotionally appeals to world political leaders to intervene to stop the ongoing killing in Gaza and help build a bridge to peace. LaRouche´s Oasis Plan Solution for Southwest Asia is discussed in the interview as an important element of the peace process.

Here is an excerpt from his book:

“I want this book to inspire people who have lost sight of hope to take positive action to regain that hope and to have the courage to endure that sometimes long and painful journey to peace and a peaceful life. I learned from the Quran that the whole world is one human family. We were created from a man and woman and made into nations and tribes so that we may know one another and appreciate the diversity that enriches our lives. This world must embrace much more justice and honesty in order to make this a better place for all people. I hope my story will help open your mind, your heart, and your eyes to the human condition in Gaza and help you avoid making sweeping generalizations and false judgments. I hope to inspire people in this world, afflicted with violence, to work hard at saving human lives from destructive hostilities. It’s time for politicians to take positive actions to build, not destroy. Leaders cannot be leaders if they are not risk takers; the risk they must take is not sending in the soldiers, but finding the moral courage to do the right thing to improve the world’s human face in spite of criticism from the haters.

“We must work diligently on this journey to peace. Hatred and darkness can only be driven out with love and light. Let us build a new generation, one that believes that advancing human civilization is a shared project among all peoples and that the holiest things in the universe are freedom and justice. If we want to spread peace throughout this planet, we should start in the holy lands of Palestine and Israel. Instead of building walls, let us build bridges of peace. I believe that the disease affecting our relationships—our enemy—is ignorance of one another. Judging others without knowing anything about them is what causes tension, apprehension, distrust, and prejudice. This is a big mistake.”

More about Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, in his biography at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto; and about his Daughters of Life Foundation—Empowering girls and young women through education