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Hamas's Principled Stance On The Yemen Crisis

04 April 2015

By Khalid Amayreh

The principled stance by Hamas on the ongoing Yemeni crisis is politically sound and morally correct. It may raise some eyebrows and draw criticism in some quarters.

However, a contextual examination of Hamas's position in this regard should vindicate the Palestinian Islamic liberation movement of any wrongdoing or charges of ingratitude towards Iran, as some Shiite circles might argue.

In the final analysis, Hamas cannot sell its principles for money from any quarters, Arab or non-Arab alike.

To begin with, no one in his right mind should expect Hamas, a Sunni Arab entity, to fly away from its natural flock. And its flock is the Arab world. Indeed, it would be a suicidal act, par excellence, for Hamas as well as the Palestinian cause should the Islamic resistance group decide to fly in the face of the Arab world and brazenly defy the bulk of Arab public opinion.

This particular point is further bolstered in light of the fact that the Houthis are widely perceived to be the true villain in the Yemeni crisis.

The Houthis are Zaydi Muslims-turned-Shia Ithna Ashari (Twelvers) who use legitimate political and socio-economic grievances as a deceptive rubric to control Yemen and turn the Arab country into a satellite state revolving in the Iranian orbit.

But to be sure, the religious affiliation of the Houthis is not the real problem. The real problem is the Houthis' total subservience to Iran and their brazen and strident threats to invade Makkah and Madina.

This is a peril that no Sunni Muslim under the sun can tolerate. That is why, it must be nipped while in the bud.

The Houthis' provocations have exceeded the verbal sphere. They have been indulging in acts of murder, vandalism and home demolition. And their rapid expansion throughout Yemen raised a thousand question marks about their real intentions.

First, they took over Sanaa, the country's capital. They ransacked and destroyed the headquarters of their political opponents and then began beating and then shooting peaceful demonstrators.

Then they humiliated the legitimate leaders of Yemen who were to flee to Aden in the south. Eventually, they tried to capture and perhaps murder President Hadi, a man who, unlike their ally, former dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh, carries no innocent blood on his hand.

This was done while the Houthis consistently and stubbornly shut their ears to every voice of reason and call for negotiating a peaceful solution to the crisis.

This insolence, coupled with euphoric statements from Tehran celebrating Iranian control over the fourth Arab capital (after Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut), left no room for understanding the Houthis or identifying with their cause if indeed they had a cause.

Hamas is not against Iran or the Shiites

Hamas can't be accused of being anti-Iranian or anti-Shiites. On numerous occasions, Hamas and other Palestinians stood up in solidarity with Iran and with the pro-Iranian Lebanese militia, Hizbullah. And, to be fair, the Iranians also extended material and financial aid to Hamas and especially to the Islamic Jihad organization.

But Hamas is in no one's pocket. Hamas has proven this fact repeatedly, not the least when it severed ties with the Hitler of Syria, the murderous ruler of Damascus who has murdered a quarter of a million of his own people, destroyed a million homes, and forced 13 million Syrians to leave their homes, all in order to extend the life span of his sectarian rule by a few more years.

Hamas did the right thing. After all, backing a murderous tyrant is the ultimate antithesis of every principle and every moral value Hamas stood and continues to stand for. In a nutshell, Hamas would have committed an act of moral adultery had it chosen to side with Assad and his nefarious regime. Hamas preferred moral correctness over immediate political expediency, a stance that commands respect and admiration.

Likewise, Hamas's stance on the Yemeni crisis is logical, moral and above all courageous.

I salute Hamas for its moral honesty and I am sure the vast majority of Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims feel the same.

Khalid Amayreh is a political analyst and commentator living in occupied Jerusalem



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