Earlier this month, news broke about an encouraging Twitter campaign that was launched by two Hunter College students in the wake of the Gaza conflict. The students wanted to have a hand in changing the tone of the conversation concerning the war, as the comments in both of their Twitter feeds had become increasingly hate filled. The message that the students wanted to promote was that despite disagreements, communication was possible as was mutual respect and understanding.
There are other calls for an end to this violence, as well which call upon the powers of communication. Rabble recently reported that, despite seeing the blown apart bodies of his daughters and niece in 2009, Doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish is staunch in his refusal to hate. “Palestinians and Israelis must work together to build a new generation that believes in humanity and freedom,” he wrote on July 21 for The Guardian.
Abuelaish had written a memoir called I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey after his experience in which he reiterated his refusal to let the seemingly deliberate killing of his family members deter him from his belief that peace and understanding are necessary and possible.
After the killing of my three daughters by an Israeli shell in January 2009, I concluded that if my daughters were the last sacrifice on the road to peace between Palestinians and Israelis, then I accept their loss. I promised that I would continue to fight with the only means available to me: wisdom, courage, strong words and meaningful action.
The war continues and Dr. Abuelaish also persists. Despite having so much that was dear to him violently taken away, the doctor moves forward with deep spiritual faith and determination. He continually travels the world and speaks to others about this non-violent action and why it is more powerful in his view than violence upon violence upon violence.
Holding true to his mission and plea of “build[ing] a new generation that believes in humanity and freedom,” Abuelaish has also founded an organization in memory of his daughters and niece called the Daughters for Life Foundation which carries on his vision and states that “lasting peace in the Middle East depends on empowering girls and young women through education to develop strong voices for the betterment of life throughout the Middle East.” The organization provides scholarships to aspiring young women from Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria, who would not otherwise be able to pursue a college education.