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Roads in Lebanon

Letter to the Editor | Tuesday, September 5, 2006

In your Sept. 3 issue, the student Naseem al-Helo states that in the recent war Israel bombed all roads on which Lebanese civilians could have left the area to safer ground (“Misconceptions inhibit progress”). This is a factual error. Israel bombed only roads leading east and northeast from Lebanon in the direction of Syria. Roads leading North and Northwest were left open during the entire duration of the war. Anyone who doubts this may refer to CNN footage of Lebanese civilians returning in great numbers to the South after the war, with vehicles, on intact roads. Escape routes were not closed off.

Indeed, Israel’s policy was to drop leaflets warning civilians of impending bombings. Whereas criticism of Israel can no doubt be made on some matters, it should be made on factual grounds and on solid evidence of policies, not on factual errors. On the other hand, there were reports of Hizzbulah not allowing Lebanese civilians to evacuate their homes. I do not know if these reports are true. They are worth investigating further in order to determine the extent of Hizzbulah responsibility for civilian deaths in Lebanon.

Jerome Gellman

professor of philosophy

Sept. 4