A Saudi-Led Coalition Has Killed Thousands of Civilians in Yemen. Where’s the Outrage?

An Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia is conducting a military campaign in Yemen that shows few signs of coming to an end soon. Aaron David Miller compares international reactions to this war with those to last year’s war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza:

The Saudi-led coalition conducted airstrikes this weekend against Houthi rebel-controlled government buildings and residential neighborhoods in Yemen’s capital that killed dozens. But in contrast to reactions to Israeli actions in Gaza, the international community—including the U.S.—has largely ignored civilian casualties in the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen, including when it involves bombing urban areas. . . .

During the Hamas-Israel conflict in Gaza last summer, Israel killed an estimated 2,100 Palestinians. The Israeli government says that 750 to 1,000 of those were Hamas fighters. Since March of this year, the United Nations estimates that the Saudi-led airstrikes and artillery strikes in Yemen have killed more than 2,000 civilians and wounded 4,000 others. . . . The Saudi campaign has [also] created a humanitarian crisis in the region’s poorest Arab state: an estimated 21 million people (roughly 80 percent of Yemen’s population) need assistance. . . .

The Saudis confront in Yemen the same challenge Israel has faced in Gaza: how to deal with combatants who fire from urban areas using civilians for cover. But Riyadh seems to have less regard for civilian casualties and hasn’t been held accountable the way Israel is for such injuries and death. . . . [T]his puts the Obama administration in an untenable position. Yes, Washington is Israel’s key supporter and has defended Israel at the United Nations over Gaza. But when it comes to Yemen, the U.S. is supporting the Saudi coalition airstrikes with targeting information, logistics, and other intelligence. Washington has advised the Saudis to set limits on their targets, and U.S. officials expressed concerns as early as April about the campaign’s open-ended nature. Still, the Obama administration has avoided public criticism.

Read more at Wall Street Journal

More about: IDF, Laws of war, Politics & Current Affairs, Protective Edge, Saudi Arabia, Yemen

Only Hamas’s Defeat Can Pave the Path to Peace

Opponents of the IDF’s campaign in Gaza often appeal to two related arguments: that Hamas is rooted in a set of ideas and thus cannot be defeated militarily, and that the destruction in Gaza only further radicalizes Palestinians, thus increasing the threat to Israel. Rejecting both lines of thinking, Ghaith al-Omar writes:

What makes Hamas and similar militant organizations effective is not their ideologies but their ability to act on them. For Hamas, the sustained capacity to use violence was key to helping it build political power. Back in the 1990s, Hamas’s popularity was at its lowest point, as most Palestinians believed that liberation could be achieved by peaceful and diplomatic means. Its use of violence derailed that concept, but it established Hamas as a political alternative.

Ever since, the use of force and violence has been an integral part of Hamas’s strategy. . . . Indeed, one lesson from October 7 is that while Hamas maintains its military and violent capabilities, it will remain capable of shaping the political reality. To be defeated, Hamas must be denied that. This can only be done through the use of force.

Any illusions that Palestinian and Israeli societies can now trust one another or even develop a level of coexistence anytime soon should be laid to rest. If it can ever be reached, such an outcome is at best a generational endeavor. . . . Hamas triggered war and still insists that it would do it all again given the chance, so it will be hard-pressed to garner a following from Palestinians in Gaza who suffered so horribly for its decision.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict