By Sayed Hasan
While Saudi Arabia is trying its best to supplant Israel in terms of crime, terror and barbarism, pushing a whole country to the edge of the abyss to general indifference, the poorest of the Arab countries gives the world a lesson in courage, dignity and lucidity, following the example of the Palestinian people.
See also: War without mercy in Yemen
The Saudi-American war against Yemen has now lasted for more than four months. It has caused more than 4,000 deaths, including 3,000 directly caused by the terrorist bombings of the Arab coalition against Yemen, with 20,000 injured and nearly 1.3 million displaced. 6.5 million people are immediately threatened by famine, while 13 million – half the population – lack access to the most basic means of subsistence and are reduced to a permanent struggle to gather their daily bread. According to a recent report by Oxfam entitled Yemen: Struggling to Break the Fast ,
Yemen is a pressure cooker that is reaching its critical point. Attacked from the air, from the ground and cut-off by land, sea and air – Yemenis are in desperate need and have nowhere to go. […] Thousands more face death and impairment due to the secondary effects of this conflict – not least of which is hunger, malnutrition and disease. To prevent Yemen from reaching a tipping-point, the international community need to urgently lift restrictions on imports and implement a permanent ceasefire which facilitates safe movement of goods across the country. […]
Even for Yemen, a country with chronic food insecurity, this is the highest ever recorded number of people living in hunger in Yemen. Four months of intense airstrikes, shelling and ground fighting and restrictions on imports imposed by the Saudi-led coalition have left the country in tatters. A lack of food is leaving people hungry and causing an increase in malnutrition levels, particularly among women and children, and is putting hundreds of thousands of lives at risk. […]
Nuha Al Saeedi, Oxfam Deputy Programme Manager and a resident of the capital Sanaa said: “Even if we survive the bombs we are running out of food”. The violence, the restrictions on imports and the cost of fuel means that what limited supplies exist, are only sporadically available, and at hugely inflated prices. Price hikes have pushed vital food, fuel and medical supplies out of the reach of cash-strapped families, most of whom have not had regular income for several months. A lack of food in the market, high prices, difficult access to markets, and a lack of income, have all contributed to a rapid increase in the number of Yemeni’s going hungry. […]
Families fleeing violence are placing additional strain on the communities that now host them, as they arrive empty-handed and communities share what little they have. […]
UNICEF has announced that the child malnutrition rate has passed the critical stage. Drinking water is sorely lacking, and curable infectious diseases spread and cause hundreds of deaths due to lack of medicine. The lack of fuel, gas and electricity alone can trigger yet another disaster. Must we wait until we really start talking about genocide ? The plight of the Yemeni people is beyond anything words and statistics can express, and even the most heartbreaking of pictures can only imperfectly help to represent the horror.
The Oxfam report was relayed by the UK and US press, and these images are so unbearable that despite the Western media blackout, they made their way to the Daily Mail , a sensationalist and voyeuristic British newspaper. But the French public was spared of such a spectacle, the report having had no echo in their media that keeps a discreet silence on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. It is true that the Saudi aggression enjoys the full support of the United States and Great Britain , and it is carried out with French weapons in particular, which currently play a major role in Aden – the very ones which, as the Mistral saga was supposed to show, would never be delivered to belligerent parties.
While many Middle Eastern countries have for years been torn by bloody and unprecedented conflicts, which continue to make the news headlines, Yemen already stands out because of the vulnerability of its society, which was one the poorest in the world and depended almost entirely on outside importations. Also, its location puts it at the mercy of the ruthless naval blockade imposed on it, and prevents the population from joining the millions of refugees who fled the devastation of their country by hordes of bloodthirsty terrorists supported covertly by the very countries who, in their rage and spite , now openly unleash their colossal resources to destroy the weakest of the Arab countries, with no red line. Even truces are systematically violated by new airstrikes right from their implementation. The Saudi-American coalition also assists Daech and al-Qaeda in Yemen, working closely with them. Yet despite this extreme disparity between forces, Yemen heroically resists and promises to be a new Leningrad to the Saudi aggressor.
Since the beginning of the war, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, head of the Yemeni Resistance, has condemned with the utmost vehemence the “Trinity of Evil”, composed of the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia, the “horn of Satan” which is entirely subject to their interests. He describes it as their armed wing in the region, in whose service it brought forth the Daesh/ISIS monster, and emphasizes the atrocious crimes it perpetrates against the Yemeni people. But what is most notable in his last speech is the recurrent mention he made of Palestine, the suffering of the Palestinian people and the struggle against Israel, which he said remains the central cause of the Yemeni people despite the dramatic and unprecedented situation in which it is found.
Indeed, on the 10th of July 2015, on the occasion of the International Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day, commemorated every last Friday of Ramadan in solidarity with the Palestinian people, tens or even hundreds of thousands of Yemeni people took part in the demonstrations to express their unwavering commitment to the Palestinian cause. And this despite the fact that the humanitarian truce, proclaimed by the United Nations for the last ten days of the holy month of Ramadan, after more than 100 days of a ruthless and unprecedented attack against Yemen, was violated daily by Saudi Arabia.
On the occasion of his speech commemorating the Quds day, Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary General of Hezbollah, spoke of the millions of people filling streets around the world to show their support for the Palestinian cause (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia itself, Tunisia, Mauritania, Sudan, Palestine, Turkey, Pakistan, and more modestly in other western and European cities, until the Place du Trocadero in Paris, seat of the most pro-Zionist government in the world), but he made a special tribute to the Yemeni people in these words:
“Let me pause especially on two events, two anniversaries: the first in Yemen, where these dear and noble (brothers) took to the streets of Sanaa, protesting for Palestine and Al-Quds, and despite the continued Saudi-American aggression against their country, their towns and villages, and absolutely everything they possess of living beings and (inanimate) stones. Despite the ongoing strikes reaching even Sanaa, against the interior of Sanaa and the suburbs of Sanaa, tens of thousands – If not hundreds of thousands – came out and demonstrated for Al-Quds, for Palestine, for Gaza and for the Palestinian people.
Of course, psychologically, we understand that. The Yemeni people have the feeling that the world has abandoned them, for the Arab world and the Islamic world have abandoned them. The world has not divided between supporters and opponents of the war, but between support for the aggression against Yemen and those who are silent about it. And those who oppose this war are few.
Nevertheless, despite this painful, shocking and shameful reality, the Yemeni people were not brought to declare that they had nothing to do with Palestine, Al-Quds, Gaza or the Palestinian people. That deserves respect and honour, and indeed – I cannot find words strong enough – glorification and exaltation, admiration and veneration faced with the will of the Yemeni people, their awakening and resistance, as well as the sincerity of this people who today confirmed its commitment in principle, politically, in combat and morally for the cause of Palestine.
And the second point I want to discuss is Bahrain. For what unites Bahrain and Yemen, is abandonment. Abandonment by the Arab and Islamic world, and the rest of the world.
For other countries of the world where there are oppositions, armed groups, popular revolutions – call them what you will – we find many powerful countries supporting them financially, with weapons, media, they organise international conferences, sessions in the Security Council, and considerable regional and international movements. But for Bahrain and Yemen, it is quite different. Both countries are victims of a special injustice and oppression, and that is why I have distinguished them in particular.”
This tribute to Yemen by the Lebanese Hezbollah, who, in 1982-2000 and again in summer 2006, found himself in a similar situation of devastation and abandonment – recall that in 1982, the invasion of Lebanon by Israel had been overshadowed in the Arab world by the Soccer World Cup, which Hassan Nasrallah has already repeatedly denounced –, and is the forefront of the struggle against Israel, underlines the exceptional nature of the commitment of the Yemeni people for the Palestinian cause, and their great clear-sightedness in reading the events that occur in the region. Hassan Nasrallah had already stressed that in 2011-2012, Yemen had massive protests in solidarity with Syria to denounce the international terrorist war that was being carried out, while the Arab world was plunged into blindness and torpor. And according to Abdel-Malik al-Houthi, the US-Israeli-Saudi obstinacy is indeed due to this remarkable awakening of the Yemeni people, and their desire for independence and realignment of the cause of the Arab peoples, like Iran and in flagrant opposition to the Saudi project of allegiance and collaborationism:
“To pretend (the reality of the Iranian influence) is an attempt at delusion: the Saudi regime is trying to deceive the peoples of the region. He who manifests hostility to Israel, they describe him by saying that he is a (hostile) Iranian; one that provides full support for the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance in their struggle against Israel, they say he is Iranian. They thus try to deceive and silence everyone, and create a new balance in strategic causes in the region so that the normalisation of relations with Israel and cooperation with Israel becomes the heart of the Arab identity, so that it becomes a defence of the Arab national security. They want that the struggle against Israel and against Israeli rule, and that solidarity with the Palestinian people, the sense of responsibility towards the Al-Aqsa Mosque (in Jerusalem) and holy places in Palestine should become an Iranian cause, and they believe that whoever builds his policy in this direction must be targeted and accused by all as having wandered away from Arabism. Does Arabism mean collaborationism, humiliation, degeneration, surrender, submission to Israel? The assimilation to the regimes that collaborate with Israel? This distortion shall profit you nothing, absolutely nothing, for your cooperation with Israel is revealed for all to see. You have clearly become (Israeli) you the Saudi regime and takfiri instruments (Daech and Al Qaeda), your identity has emerged as Zionist and your allegiance is clearly to Israel. […]
One of the main causes of this disastrous role and the targeting of our noble Yemeni people is what is known of this dignified people, namely its values, ethics, principles, and major and active engagement with the Arab peoples towards Palestine and the Palestinian cause, as well as a marked hostility to Israel. When the growing awareness of our Yemeni people became apparent, and when its level of commitment and responsiveness greatly developed in marches and demonstrations of solidarity, to the point that in this first anniversary of the  aggression against Gaza, we can remember demonstrations very large in scale in Yemen throughout the war against Gaza, to a point unmatched by any other Arab country, huge, spectacular demonstrations, with great response from our people, to the point that in truth, hundreds of thousands of Yemeni people desire, hope and aspire to be side by side with the Resistance in Palestine and the resistance in Lebanon to fight the Israeli enemy directly. This is the Yemeni people, about which one can say with certainty that this is the Arab people the most committed to the Palestinian cause, the one that showed the most solidarity and compassion with Palestine, at the human and moral levels, but our people is unfortunately very poor financially because of the policy of impoverishment and targeting he has suffered for decades. Likewise, this Yemeni people have always been subject to war, a war of a very large scope, and we are witnessing intensified violence and aggression targeted against them, to a point that has further increased their awakening and consciousness, and commitment to this important cause.”
Following the events that have shaken the Arab world since its so-called “Springtime of the Peoples” in 2011, the greatest danger that threatens the Palestinian cause is that every government, every people and every Arab country (and up to the international public), taken in their own internal crises and struggles, put aside the question of Israel, Palestine and the US-Israeli domination project in the region, of which Daesh/ISIS is only the latest avatar. Sayed Ali Khamenei and Hassan Nasrallah have constantly recalled this, and Abdel Malik al-Houthi, and with him the Yemeni people in their majority, clearly share their views and commitment, going as far as apologizing to the Palestinian people for not being able to help them, in their extreme destitution and while being submitted to the most vicious aggression! This is very moving and revealing indeed. Moreover, as noted by the head of the Yemeni resistance, the Saudi barbarism eclipses even the Israeli crimes in Gaza, which is the height of infamy and an act of treason perhaps even greater than that of Sadat:
“They [the Saudi regime] have no humanity in them, no honour, no morals, no values. They have no (human) quality. They are monsters in every sense of the word. Who commits such crimes? Targeting markets, crowds of people in the markets in all provinces, here and there, in both the north and the south? Through all these crimes, they reveal their monstrosity: they have no humanity and no values that men respect even during wars. They have no such conception. For them, the one who has money can do whatever he wants, without any limits, and distribute the money here and there, such a sum for the Council of Human Rights, such a sum for the United Nations, for such and such a country, and its aggression will be covered and legitimated, and there will be no problem. […]
The demonic Israeli hold on the Saudi regime has managed to cause this Saudi furious madness in its aggression against Yemen, this terror, this barbarity in the commission of the most atrocious and the most heinous crimes against the dignified, Muslim and Arabic Yemeni people. The demonic Israeli hold on the Saudi regime is reflected in what this regime is perpetrating, horrible and unspeakable crimes which are an affront to humanity itself, crimes that do not have an example in the region. And one can even say that Israel has succeeded in pushing the Saudi regime to do worse than it had done itself so that this regime appears in the global consciousness as the worst of all, the biggest, most heinous and the most atrocious criminal, the more tyrannical in its aggression. Israel has managed to do this, as it managed to push all takfiris in that direction.”
Again, Sayed Ali Khamenei and Hassan Nasrallah also stressed this “achievement” of Saudi Arabia in surpassing the Israeli massacres in Gaza, an exceptional fact given their fundamental and unsurpassable hostility toward Israel, the ultimate enemy . But they predicted a humiliating defeat for the attacker, or even the fall of the Saudi regime . Indeed, on the slogans “”Death to Israel” and “Death to America”, traditional in Yemeni streets, was superimposed “Death to the House of Saud”, an unprecedented development which appears as the indispensable preliminary, the necessary condition for the end of the Usraelian hegemony in the Middle East, which Nasser already called for . And this is actually a horizon that is emerging more and more clearly for all to see.
Since Hezbollah’s direct involvement in Syria alongside the Syrian Arab Army, Hassan Nasrallah has often explained that according to the vision of Hezbollah – a vision supported by all the recent developments – the struggle against Israel and the liberation of Palestine and Al-Quds necessarily goes through Syria, “by the Qalamoun by Zabadani, by Homs, by Aleppo, by Dera’a, by Sweida, by Al-Hasakah. Because if Syria falls, Palestine also falls and Al-Quds will be lost”, as he recalled in his speech on July 10th. But concerning Yemen, he also added:
“The way (of liberation) of Al-Quds also goes through Yemen. It is imperative that the Saudi-American aggression against Yemen ceases, of which we reiterate our condemnation and our vehement denunciation. And in Hezbollah, we move closer to the Most High God at any hour, at any time and on any occasion by declaring openly, loudly and clearly, our condemnation of this barbaric, inconsistent and inhuman aggression against Yemen and the people of Yemen on the part of Saudi Arabia and its supporters. The attack has lasted for 107 days. What is the result? Failure upon failure. I will not be long, I am fasting and you too, but you know the record and we have already spoken in the past: remind to me the objectives of the operation “Decisive Storm”, my dear ones, and show me what you have accomplished. And remind me the objectives of the operation “Renewal of Hope”, my loved ones, and show me what you have achieved. You will not find but failure upon failure. Is it not time for Saudi Arabia – for the Saudi regime – to realize that the war is hopeless? And that it is unable to break the will of the Yemeni people? And that the hope that it founds on its armed groups inside Yemen has no other result than to increase the killings? And that the continuation of air strikes will not break the will of the Yemeni people determined to gain independence, freedom and sovereignty, as well as a noble and dignified life? Just see the demonstrations in Sanaa today, you’ve seen them and you’ve heard the slogans. After 107 days of massacres! 107 days of bombings that have spared absolutely nothing: hospitals, cities – even during the month of Ramadan – markets… They see that it’s a market, it’s not a mistake, it’s not because someone has placed a Katyusha in this market, it’s only a simple market, in the heart of Yemen, from where a rocket cannot possibly be launched on to Saudi territory, they bombard it, and dozens of martyrs fall daily. But this people took to the streets today, and announced its position, they revealed their determination.
It appears, my brothers and sisters, the Saudi war has no more goals. It has no political goals and its only remaining goal is revenge against Yemen and the people of Yemen. What is happening in Yemen today is not a military operation, because where could the Saudi (land) army intervene? It must defend its border posts. I do not remember all their names, but you hear every day that Yemenis took such and such border post, the Saudis have deserted their posts and that the Yemenis have withdrawn because they would need for air defence to keep those positions and that Saudi planes bombard them, and so it’s their air force which must intervene. But either way, any country that has planes can do such a thing, bomb, destroy, perpetrate massacres … What your army must first be able to do is keep its border posts, and then we will see if you are capable or not of entering Yemen territory. It is neither a military operation nor a political operation. We are facing a revenge operation: “You, the Yemeni people, you have ceased to obey the master (because the Saudis consider themselves the masters), you have ceased to be slaves of the Saudi Lord, you want to be the masters of yourselves, but this is not allowed in this region, it is not permissible that the Yemeni people be so, so then, pay the price of your choice.” What is the price? The bombing, destruction, massacres, crushing, etc. There is no other way. This is what is happening.
Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia must stop, and the world must help it to descend from the tree (on which it is perched), to descend from its roost. The assaulted who is defending himself, and who has chosen to defend his dignity, his family, his sovereignty and freedom has no other choice but to continue to defend himself, as long as the war may last. As for the aggressor, it is for him to review his choices. And I think Saudi Arabia has begun to review its choices.”
Day after day, the Yemeni people reveals its determination to defend its independence and its principles, and its rejection of any surrender facing the US-Saudi aggression, whatever the sacrifices. Yemen seems clearly moving into the way of the Lebanese Islamic Resistance, both in terms of its unwavering commitment to the Palestinian cause as by its historic victories – past and future. Similarly, the Arab-Muslim public opinion is awakening more and more to the reality of the takfiri project in the region and to the collusion of the forces of imperialism, and the smoke screen that covered the true identity of Saudi Arabia, adorned with its deceptive title of the cradle of Islam and guarantor of its holy places, is irremediably fading away. The Saudi aura can only diminish in the future, while the Resistance Axis’ cannot but grow.
Yemen today displays an example of courage and lucidity to the world, and its heroic and tragic struggle for independence, despite the shameful abandonment of the entire world – with the exception of Iran and Hezbollah –, honours the Arab world and all humanity by its example, like the struggle of the Palestinian people.
Sayed Hasan is a French / Arabic blogger focusing on the Middle East, Islam and France. He lives in Paris.