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Will Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau finally keep his word?

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These days, Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish feels like a forgotten man.

From his Toronto home, he has watched with an exhausting mixture of frustration, grief and anger as Israel’s incessant persecution of Palestinians in occupied Palestine briefly pierced, once again, the complacent consciousness of Western political and media elites only after an eruption of violence.

And he has waited for those same complacent Western political and media elites – who once fêted the Palestinian-Canadian physician, teacher, humanitarian and, perhaps most importantly, father with flattery, awards and honours – to heed his pleas to stop Israel’s sinister designs and heal Palestine’s grievous wounds.

But few are returning his calls.

The TV hosts and newspaper writers who once told poignant stories about how Dr Abuelaish somehow transformed the Israeli army’s killing of three of his daughters and a niece during the 2009 invasion of Gaza into a life-affirming message of hope and reconciliation, have mostly abandoned him.

The politicians in Canada and abroad who once dubbed him the “Martin Luther King of the Middle East” and pinned baubles on Dr Abuelaish’s lapel in recognition of his work to vanquish hate by erecting bridges built on understanding and amity have abandoned him too.

Still, he has tried, largely in vain, to be heard amid the cacophonous terror and familiar horrors exacted on occupied Palestine by Israel over 11 unrelenting days.

On May 11, Dr Abuelaish issued a press release addressed to “government leaders and people around the world” which read, in part: “We can no longer accept silence in the face of atrocities against unarmed civilians…It is time to end the bloodshed; it is time to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine.”

No one replied.

Earlier, Dr Abuelaish had approached the opinion page editors at The Globe and Mail and The Guardian newspapers, hoping they would publish his admonition that the world must longer remain “deaf and mute” to the historic injustices visited upon imprisoned........

© Al Jazeera

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