Like my fellow bloggers here at Kishkushim, I'm increasingly demoralized and worried by the toll the Israeli air strikes are taking on the lives of innocent Lebanese. Is this the inevitable cost of asymmetrical warfare? Is this what needs to be done in order to deter future attacks on Israel? Is the IDF really exercising maximum caution in choosing its targets? Tough questions. I want Israel to emerge victorious and more secure from this round of fighting, but I also want the killing of innocent civilians to end. I'm aware of how banal these sentiments sound, but I feel we owe it to ourselves to show compassion for those Lebanese caught in a war that was not of their own making. Today, I heard from two Lebanese acquaintances that I know from my days as an undergraduate at McGill University (1999-2003) in Montreal, Canada. One of these contacted me directly through this blog and told me about her parents having to flee the fighting back to their permanent home in the United Arab Emirates, through Syria. They had come to Beirut just as fighting broke out, because my acquaintance's grandfather had passed away (due to natural causes). As I was reading another Lebanese website and BBC news, I also came across a familiar name and face from my McGill Days. We first met 1999 on a party boat in the LaChine Canal near Montreal, during one of those silly events that the Student Society organizes for freshmen during "Frosh Week". That must have been my second day in Montreal. Here's what Nathalie Malhame had to say on the BBC News website:
If you can read these lines, Nathalie, I wish you and your family and all other innocent Lebanese all the best!