Views & Reviews Review of the Week

A cure for the disease of hate

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 14 September 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5715
  1. Iain McClure, consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh
  1. imcclure{at}

A Gazan doctor working in Israel describes his life and extraordinary tragedy, with a determination that good must come from bad. Iain McClure recommends his book to all doctors

On 16 January 2009 three Palestinian sisters were killed when an Israeli tank fired two shells into their bedroom. They were the daughters of Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian gynaecologist, who, uniquely for a Gazan doctor, held a consultant post in an Israeli hospital. Abuelaish’s book, I Shall Not Hate, is an account of his life up to this momentous event and movingly explains his remarkable reaction. In essence, Abuelaish, who likens hate to disease and communication to cure, has drawn on his medical experience to seek a new approach to the resolution of apparently insoluble conflict.

For the three weeks prior to January 2009 the Israeli Defense Forces had been pursuing an incursion into the Gaza Strip to eradicate Quassam rocket attacks into Israel. The Israeli government had prevented Israeli or foreign journalists broadcasting from within Gaza during the operation. However, Abuelaish, a well known public figure in Gaza, had …

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