I was moved by the vigil organized by Israeli and Jewish students on campus last night to mourn the lives lost to the senseless attacks on Israel last weekend. Like many of our students and colleagues, I struggle to comprehend these acts of unspeakable violence. Having grown up in a country traumatized by terrorism and the anguish it leaves in its wake, I fail to understand how anyone can justify inflicting so much pain onto others on any grounds.
Amid the pain, I don’t lose hope. I found hope last night in the student leaders who brought our community together and the many non-Jewish people who showed up to grieve with their Jewish friends and let them know they are not alone. That spirit of community will be our best tool to support all whose families and friends are directly affected by this terrible conflict.
By now it is clear that more suffering lies ahead as many more innocent lives, both Palestinian and Israeli, will be lost in the ensuing war. That pain will be felt by many in our community and there’s much each of us can do to help: to show kindness to one another, to acknowledge that each of us experiences these events differently, to treat others with respect — especially those we may disagree with — to reach out to friends who may be suffering and lend them a caring ear, and to seek help whenever needed.
I remain hopeful that a more peaceful and just future is possible and that it is leaders coming out of places like Georgia Tech that will build it. That’s what Progress and Service should ultimately be all about.