I Shall Not Hate
is without doubt a book with a powerful message. Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish's thesis is clear and runs through every chapter of the book. Violence is futile
, he writes. It is a waste of time, lives, and resources, and has been proven only to beget more violence. It does not work.
He emphasizes the need for those in conflict to talk to, listen to, and respect each other, and it is to these themes that the author returns again and again. While his arguments are aimed squarely at the Israelis and Palestinians, their underlying truth is universal.
In addition to pleading for peace, I Shall Not Hate
also recounts Abuelaish's remarkable life as a Palestinian refugee. He was born in the Jabalia refugee camp seven years after his father fled his ancestral village in what is now southern Israel in 1947 during what...
Beyond the Book
The Gaza Strip is the smaller of the two Palestinian territories (the West Bank being the larger). It is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea on the east, and by Egypt in the southwest, with Israel surrounding it on all other sides. It is just 25 miles long and 7.5 miles across at its widest (map). This narrow strip of land is home to approximately 1.6 million people who are mostly Sunni Muslim. While the population is highly literate (92% of residents can read), over two-thirds are considered refugees, unemployment is approximately 40% (2010), and about 70% live below the poverty line (2009).