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Armed with love and education

by Steve Payne



Author says, we were greatly moved by the diary of BBC Reporter Jeremy Bowen and inspired to write this optimistic vision of the future.

In 2012, on this day at the Mukataa in Ramallah, and accompanied by his son Abdullah (pictured), Dr Izzeldeen Abuelaish was inaugurated as the first Palestinian deputy President of Israel, pledging to arm the new multi-faith nation with love and education.

A Harvard education enabled Dr Izzeldeen to escape the crushing poverty of the Jabaliya refugee camp Click to watch the documentary, subsequently working in Israel as a gynaecologist from 2001 until 2009. At the weekends, Dr Izzeldeen would return to a sturdy five story high apartment block in Jabaliya where his extended family lived.

Despite this hard-fought freedom, Dr Izzeldeen's fate was trapped in a closed nightmare world where 1.5 million Gazans were prevented from leaving the Strip by the Israeli Defense Force. And at 04:05pm on 16 January 2009, two Israeli tank shells killed three of his daughters and a niece whilst they were engaged in the terrorist activity of completing their school homework (pictured).

Dr Izzeldeen issued a live anguished broadcast in Hebrew Click to watch from the Israeli hospital where he worked, stating Look at what this family was armed with. Love and education. I dedicated my life really for peace, for medicine. This is the path I believe in. And what I raised and education my children to believe.

His demands that the Israeli military explain why his home had been targeted marked the entrance of Dr Izzeldeen as peace advocate into a radically changed political dynamic. Because the military invasion of Gaza was a political and humanitarian disaster of such magnitude that it served as a catalyst for change. In a very real sense, it was the end of a final chapter that had begun with the death of Yasser Arafat.

Other new vectors of peace had entered play with the departure of George W. Bush from the White House. US President Barack Obama actually recognised Palestinians as human beings, seeking both positive engagement with the Muslim world and a peaceful settlement in Palestine Click to watch Al Arabiya interview. Obama sent a heavy-weight peace envoy to the region, former US Senator George Mitchell who was a veteran of the marathon Northern Ireland peace settlement between Protestants and Catholics during the mid-1990s. And fortuitously Mitchell arrived in the region at a critical juncture, shortly before the departure of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert who had ordered the attack.

A breakthrough was achieved with the incoming Israeli administration. The two state solution was scrapped in favour of a multi-faith state with full democratic representation for Palestinians. The final settlement included an amendment to the Israeli constitution to allow for the appointment of a new executive office of deputy President, an idea inspired by F.W. De Klerks role in Nelson Mandela's first Rainbow administration in South Africa.

Critically, this new minister would have full powers of oversight for the welfare of the Palestinian population, based at the Mukataa in Ramallah.

This symbolic location was previously the seat of office for the President of the Palestinian National Authority. Also known as Arafat's Compound, the compound was raided by the Israel Defense Forces and later placed under siege during late 2004 as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict entered its final, tumultuous phase.

Steve Payne

Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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