A Lesson from Yemen about the Dangers of a Ceasefire in Gaza https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/israel-zionism/2024/03/a-lesson-from-yemen-about-the-dangers-of-a-ceasefire-in-gaza/

March 29, 2024 | Ari Heistein and Nathaniel Rabkin
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In 2018, a Saudi-led Arab coalition, after three years of fighting against the Houthis in Yemen, was closing in on the strategically crucial port city of Hudaydah. Rather than encouraging the coalition to take the city and come closer to ending the war, the coalition’s Western allies pressured it into accepting an agreement that left the city in Houthi hands while obtaining only symbolic gestures in return. The Biden administration, entertaining a fantasy of “ending the war,” three years later cut off arms sales to the Saudis. As a result, Yemen’s suffering continues unabated, and the Houthis can now fire ballistic missiles at Israel and stifle global commerce.

Ari Heistein and Nathaniel Rabkin fear that the U.S. is going to try to force a similar plan on Israel before it attacks Rafah, with equally catastrophic results:

The parallels with Hamas in Rafah are clear and ominous. . . . Hamas is perfectly willing to create a humanitarian catastrophe as it defends its chokehold on Gaza—but allowing it to keep control means submitting to its forever war against the existence of Israel, and its constant efforts to humiliate the West and moderate Arab states. Any agreement with Hamas to facilitate some kind of compromise over the Rafah crossing is likely to turn out like the Hudaydah agreement, a fig leaf for continued control by militants who prioritize war above all else, and treat humanitarian concerns as an opportunity for profiteering and propaganda.

Hamas and the Houthis . . . are groups that have mortgaged all of their prestige on unwinnable and extremely brutal wars. . . . Before signing on to a ceasefire with groups like these, we need to see a “ceasefire” the way they do—as a temporary pause until they can gather more forces, develop more weapons, devise new tactics, and then break the ceasefire with a surprise attack, to initiate yet another battle in their campaigns of conquest.

Read more on The Cipher Brief: https://www.thecipherbrief.com/column_article/the-sirens-song-of-a-ceasefire