Following the horrific The French President is personally visiting Lebanon—a former French colony that remains staunchly Francophilic—as his country prepares to send aid. Russia has reportedly already dispatched humanitarian flights, while the U.S. vows to do the same. Smaller nations from Norway to Hungary are sending help to Lebanon.
Israel—which is technically in a state of war with Lebanon—has taken the unusual step of offering assistance through the UN. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Qatar, and Turkey—all with varying degrees of animosity with one another—are united in sending material and financial support. Even the beleaguered people of Gaza are lining up to donate blood.
I have no delusions that at least some of this aid is motivated by self interest: countries, like individuals, care about their image, reputation, and connections. Lebanon is an especially fractious place where lots of foreign interests, big and small, regularly intervene or back particular factions.
But given the amount of suffering on the ground and the immediate need for assistance, I consider this a win. It was not the long ago that most of us would never even have heard of something happening in a neighboring country, much less halfway around the world, and let alone caring enough to help.