Yemenis must choose between supporting the Gazans or the Houthis

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The Yemenis must be at-one in supporting the Palestinians and seeking to alleviate their plight. This article by Abdel Ahmed in Egypt explains what is at stake.

The Yemeni people are known for their strong commitment to the Palestinian cause. So, although they back the Houthi "Ansar Allah" group this should not be held against them. Indeed, the justifications and goals of the group's internal actions and practices with Yemeni citizens in the areas it controls, its insistence on the correctness of its intellectual, political and social approach, and its firm commitment to betraying its opponents, are strong reasons to oppose it.

The group could have mobilised more popular support if it had begun to abolish the restrictions it imposes on people's freedoms and rights, releasing detainees from prisons, opening roads between cities, and responding to calls for national reconciliation. If the group had done so unconditionally, its opponents would have been convinced of the sincerity of its calls to support the Palestinians.

There are some Yemenis who support the military actions carried out by the Houthis in the Red Sea, supposedly in support of the Palestinians, even though hijacking ships is a threat to international navigation. However, according to the group's supporters, the group has failed to take into account the harsh Western reactions that have resulted from their actions. Moreover, their actions have escalated strikes and threats on Yemen from the US and its allies. In recent days, a ship registered in Britain carrying commercial quantities of ammonia was targeted, causing this dangerous substance to leak into the sea, posing a serious threat to the environment and the movement of ships. Such action will not benefit the Palestinian cause, but will inevitably increase escalation in the region.

How Yemen is wounded by Houthi actions

The Houthi "Ansar Allah" group has shown solidarity with the Palestinians. It has delivered this message to the international community and has gained a reputation among the Arab countries for this, despite the huge cost its stance has entailed. But it is not wise to continue this policy, because its repercussions are dire, and its effects are costly on Yemeni lives.

Although the Houthis pledge solidarity to the Palestinians, what seems to be forgotten is that the largest share of responsibility for the bloodshed and destruction in Palestine, falls on the Houthis. They refuse to accept this, and they feel there is no need for dialogue with those who differ in their orientations and practices.

The war in Gaza and the conflict in the Red Sea have meant that the Houthis' responsibility to provide the basic needs of citizens, as well as the absence of a comprehensive national vision and its insensitivity towards the suffering of those living in areas under its control, will soon turn into more grudges and hatred by those opposed to them.

Gaza is important to every Yemeni, and everyone is voluntarily willing to pay a price in exchange for stopping the war of annihilation that Israel is waging. However, the continuation of the confrontation must go hand in hand with a more conciliatory stance from the Houthis.

The Houthis are counting on the fact that they have won against the West, whether by stopping the war on Gaza or by not retreating before the Western powers they face. They believe their group can become a regional power that finds a place among the major regional powers.

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Friday, 19 April 2024