During these times, Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish felt like a forgotten man.
From his residence in Toronto, he watched with a weary mixture of frustration, sadness and anger at Israel’s relentless persecution of Palestinians in occupied Palestine that was quickly pierced, once again. , the complacent consciousness of Western politicians and media elites after the eruption of violence.
And he is waiting for the same complacent politicians and media elites in the West-who once targeted the Palestinian-Canadian doctor, teacher, humanitarian and, perhaps more importantly, father with flattery, honors. and honor – to listen to his pleas to stop Israel’s evil plans to heal the severe wounds of Palestine.
But few returned his calls.
TV reporters and newspaper writers have previously suggested stories about how Dr Abuelaish reversed the Israeli army’s killing of three of his daughters and a niece in the invasion. in 2009 in Gaza to a confirming message of hope and reconciliation, many abandoned him. .
Politicians in Canada and abroad once called him “Martin Luther King of the Middle East” and placed baubles on Dr Abuelaish’s lap in recognition of his work to stamp out hatred by erecting bridge built with understanding and amity also left him.
Still, he tried, mostly in vain, to be heard amid the shocking horror and familiar horrors inflicted on Israel’s Palestinian occupation for 11 non -stop days.
On May 11, Dr Abuelaish released a press release aimed at “government leaders and people around the world” that read, in part: “We can no longer accept silence in the face of atrocities against the unarmed. civilians “It’s time to end the bloodshed; it’s time to end Israel’s occupation of Palestine.”
No one answered.
Earlier, Dr Abuelaish approached the editors of the opinion pages of the newspapers The Globe and Mail and The Guardian, who hoped to publish his warning that the world must remain “deaf and dumb” to historical injustices. visited by imprisoned Palestinians in Israel.
Again, no one responded.
“They don’t want me to get involved in telling the truth,” Dr Abuelaish told me in an interview. “It is sad and painful because silence in times of injustice is an injustice. But I will never stop. ”
Faithful to his tireless nature and enduring sense of dignity and personality, Dr. continues. Abuelaish.
Born in the Jabalia refugee camp at the northern end of the excavated devastation of Gaza, Dr Abuelaish is more aware than most of the bitter, often deadly, costs that must be endured for generations of Palestinians – the aftermath of Israeli apartheid.
Dr Abuelaish also knows, of course, better than most, that children occupied in Palestine are paying the deepest, most invincible price for Israel’s long, brutal and systematic detention.
So after Israel’s vicious invasion of Gaza in 2014 claimed the lives of 551 Palestinian children and injured another 3,436 innocents – most of them permanent – Dr Abuelaish was determined to do something about of it to pay homage to the memory of his deceased, broken daughters, Bessan, Mayar, Aya, and niece Noor.
Working alone, Dr Abuelaish sought the cooperation of Canadian unions, nurses, doctors, hospitals and politicians, including Ontario’s prime minister and health minister, to organize Heal100Kids, a humanitarian initiative to get 100 injured and traumatized Gazan children in Canada for special medical assistance. and treatment.
A number of Canadians, motivated by Dr Abuelaish’s apparent sincerity to rely on mistrust, hopelessness, belief in resignation, love of hatred, and peace of war, volunteered to opening their homes and wallets to ensure that injured Palestinian children are happily welcomed in Canada.
Among those who apparently impressed and moved Canadians was Liberal Party Opposition leader Justin Trudeau, who publicly expressed his heartfelt support for Dr Abuelaish’s plan on his official Twitter account.
In a tweet on August 3, 2014, Trudeau encouraged Canadians to join him in winning the Heal100Kids. “Please add your name in support of bringing Palestinian children to receive treatment in Canada”, Trudeau WROTE of his legion of followers.
Two days later, Trudeau also wrote another tweet, this time “applauding” Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins and the provincial Liberal government for their commitment to support the # Heal100Kids. ”
At the time, Trudeau’s strong approval of Heal100Kids, no doubt, was calculated to establish his foster credentials as opposed to Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s embarrassing refusal to meet with Dr Abuelaish and denying visas to broken Palestinian children and their families to go to Canada.
The former drama teacher is adept at playing the part of a kind, caring leader and father.
Trudeau’s endorsement of Heal100Kids turned out to be as much in vain.
In an opinion piece published on May 22, 2018, Dr Abuelaish today challenged Prime Minister Trudeau to keep his word and mobilize the resources and power of his office to reach out to Canada’s hand in solidarity with children who Palestinians in great need.
“It is time to say yes, Prime Minister Trudeau. It is time to help the pain and suffering of only 100 Palestinian children. It is time for you, if possible, to walk the talk and true to the words you have. written a few more years ago.It’s time to reject politics and talk.It’s time to do something now and be touched.It’s time for a necessary measure of kindness and decency, amidst all the guilt human disease. It’s time, “wrote Dr Abuelaish.
Trudeau’s response: three years of silence and no movement.
Like most Palestinians, Dr Abuelaish was a patient man. His patience had dried up. Now, he knows the prime minister’s support for Heal100Kids is appearing as ephemeral as a thick smoke.
“Those are just words. It’s a big lie,” Dr Abuelaish told me.
Actually, it is.
To find out the reason behind the prime minister’s cruel face, I contacted Trudeau press secretary Alex Wellstead, earlier this week requesting an interview to discuss Dr Abuelaish and Heal100Kids.
This is Wellstead’s poor, meaningful response: “I’m not familiar with this step. Can you share more information and where it links to the federal government… ”
Simply put: Wellstead, and, in addition, the prime minister, have forgotten all about Dr Abuelaish and Heal100Kids.
Later, Trudeau’s press secretary declined to be interviewed. “Have a nice day,” he wrote in an email.
I can’t think of a more graphic accusation of this fact the prime minister and his government than all their predictable amnesia about a third Nobel Peace Prize nominee’s efforts to help Palestinian children to recover – in mind, body and spirit – from the trauma of war.
Trudeau and company may want to forget, but the numbers are frightening.
More than 60 Palestinian infants and children killed and hundreds were seriously injured and orphaned before a ceasefire was declared the previous day. On Thursday, Secretary-General of the State António Guterres described the killing as follows: “If there is hell on earth, it is the lives of the children of Gaza.”
Despite the growing grief, Dr Abuelaish insisted that the international community must force Israel to end its illegal and debilitating occupation of Palestine-in the end.
Prime Minister Trudeau should also, he says, agree to revive the Heal100Kids initiative as a clear sign of Canada’s goodwill towards and to the general public with troubled Palestinians.
“Mr. Trudeau can, finally, translate his words into action and say: We are ready to revive this initiative and heal the children who need to be healed,” Dr Abuelaish said. “It’s his moral responsibility.”
The question remains: Will Justin Trudeau remember to act this time?
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial position.