Members“I will not hate you!”

Izzeldin Abuelaish has started a new project called “Daughters of Life.” The foundation supports the education of girls and women in the Middle East. For him, women are the deciding factor in changing civil society for the better.

By Aviel Schneider |

Palestinians like Izzeldin Abuelaish (62) are creating hope. “Hatred is a commodity that evil people on this earth are spreading around. I will not hate,” this Palestinian doctor told me during a nighttime phone call from Toronto. “Hatred is like a chronic illness. Hatred is destructive. Just as smoking is not healthy for our bodies, so too hatred is unhealthy for all human beings.” In January 2009, his house in the Gaza Strip was mistakenly targeted by two Israeli tank shells, killing his daughters Bessan (21), Mayar (15) and Aya (14), as well as his niece, Noor. As a nation, we Israelis still remember the painful phone call from Dr. Abuelaish to his Israeli friend, TV journalist Shlomi Eldar. He was begging for help. The cries of despair were broadcast live as Israeli television covered the Gaza war. When I told my son about my conversation with Abuelaish, he said it still pained him to remember what happened. But rather than fall victim to hate, as so many would, Abuelaish spreads love and hope, even toward his enemies.

Izzeldin Abuelaish was...

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