By Mohammad Mazhari

99% of Yemenis support Palestine cause: political analyst

May 9, 2022 - 9:28
“Apartheid was practiced in South Africa and the whole world fought against it. Why is it tolerated in Palestine?” 

TEHRAN – A Yemeni political analyst and activist says that a vast majority of Yemeni people support the Palestinian cause and their rights to liberate their lands.

“I can assure you 99% of Yemenis support Palestinian rights, including their right to bear and use arms to liberate themselves,” Munir A. Saeed tells the Tehran Times.

Said believes that the main reason for the recent uprising in Palestine is the Zionist regime’s occupation of Palestinian lands and denial of the rights of Christian and Muslim Palestinians to get the same rights as Jewish Palestinians.
Following is the text of the interview: 

Q: What is the position of Yemen's Ansarallah in supporting the Palestinian cause and confronting Israel?

A: I can’t speak for Ansarallah. But I can assure you that 99% of Yemenis support Palestinian rights, including their right to bear and use arms to liberate themselves. Ansarallah as Yemenis has declared support for the Palestinians as I know. 

Q: To what extent did normalization of ties with Israel contribute to the new round of Palestinian uprising?  

A: The most serious triggers for the uprising are the Zionist regime’s occupation of Palestinian lands and denial of the rights of Christian and Muslim Palestinians to get the same rights as Jewish Palestinians. As to normalization, which in my opinion is itself an abnormality, since it intends to normalize an abnormality, meaning normalizing occupation and apartheid against a majority native population; it weakens our fight for Palestinian rights. 

“Zionism endangering the rights of Jews to live peacefully with us in this region.” Q: You mention Jewish Palestinians. Can you elaborate, please?                    

A: Well, anyone who claims to belong to land must identify with that land as a precondition. I cannot claim to be Yemeni but then give myself a different ethnicity. Jews of Palestine are Palestinians. Jews of France are French, German Jews are Germans, and Jews of America are Americans. Their religious identity is Jew, that is Judaism, but national identity is where they belong, the lands they are from. You cannot suddenly bring all of them and turn them into natives of Palestine while denying native Palestinians from Christian and Muslim communities. That’s what’s happening there. One Palestinian group belonging to one religious community, Jews, is being singled out and given rights over other Palestinian groups, Christian and Muslim. Essentially the focus is to try to create a state that is religiously exclusive to one religious community to the exclusion of all other religious communities. That’s not a recipe for peaceful coexistence. That’s apartheid. It was tried in South Africa and the whole world fought against it. Why is it tolerated in Palestine? 

Q: So how does your definition comply with “two-state solution”?  

A:    The so-called two-state solution is a bogus attempt to fool everyone in Palestine. No one seems to ask are the two states proposed going to have equal sovereign rights? The answer is no. One, namely the Jewish state led by the Zionist regime will be a full state while the “other” will be a kind of Bantustan deprived of all real sovereign rights. The Jewish state will be on more than 80% of Palestine while all others will live on the remaining. 

Q: So what is your opinion of the real solution?                                                      

A: One state for all Palestinians regardless of their religious beliefs. If anyone denies they are Palestinian and identify themselves differently, that’s a choice they make. The Zionist regime must be dismantled and undone to be replaced by a state that represents all Palestinians. The effort they are making is to gain recognition of Zionism in our midst by forcing the region to recognize a Zionist state. See, they are not demanding recognition of Jews because Jews' existence is not in question nor do Jews need anyone’s recognition of their existence. They lived and will continue to live among us. But Zionism, like its predecessor, Nazism, must be removed because it is built on an ideology of apartheid that has caused wars in our region. Unless it is uprooted it will continue to destabilize and bring wars to the region. The effort of removing Zionism is obligatory to everyone in the region, including Jews in whose name Zionism exists while in fact endangering the rights of Jews to live peacefully with us in this region. 

“If Yemen is broken up, it won’t result in two Yemen's, but more than two.”Q: Moving to Yemen. How do you see the current changes in Yemen?

A: I am waiting for the new leaders to prove themselves. I will give them the benefit of the doubt for a while. But not for long.  

Q: How do you find the constitutionality of the changes?                                     

A: Nothing in Yemen since 2011 has been constitutional except the people’s power revolution. Thereafter we entered a deep ocean of unconstitutionality starting with the GCC Initiative which I consider to be the foundation of all the troubles that followed the 2011 revolution, including the military intervention. So those talking about the constitutionality of the recent changes are being a bit foolish. Today we seek a return to peace, however it comes, that’s primary. Thereafter, we can talk about constitution, law, and order and we can ask ourselves the most important questions (such as) how did we get here and how can we prevent a recurrence?

Q: In your opinion, the GCC laid the foundation for such a situation that followed the 2011 revolution. Can you explain?                                                                                       

A: The Yemeni people wanted Ali Abdullah Saleh out 100% and eliminate his regime. The GCC Initiative gave him 50% control of the government and the political process itself, knowing that he will undermine that political process. I, in fact, challenged one of the EU ambassadors on this point in Sana’a in 2012 and he agreed that it was a serious fault line. How could anyone expect Saleh cooperate with a political process that aims to remove him and his entire regime? In which fantasy world does that happen? Thereafter, the engineers of the GCC Initiative arranged a UN Security Council resolution that forbade Saleh from leaving the country despite the fact that Yemenis wanted him out of Yemen at least for a while so that their political process has a better opportunity to succeed. Putting him in Yemen gave Saleh more opportunity to be close and able to manipulate the political process and destabilize the country. But that’s all in the past. Hopefully, those who played that part and even those who went into this reckless military intervention have learned bitter lessons and we can all work towards putting this terrible part of our lives behind, except for learning lessons. 

Q: What do you think about the recent Riyadh conference and the increased talk of secession?

A: I don’t think about the Riyadh conference. It’s not worth thinking about. As to the secession, if it happens, it won’t result in two Yemen's, but more than two. I said this before and I am saying it again. Those demanding sessions of the south must also listen carefully to the demands of others in the southeastern regions. And those who are today supporting or dreaming of the secession will dream of returning to the union that they hate so much now. Decisions of this magnitude should not be made emotionally under the stress of war and deprivation. Unfortunately, many people have short memories of the past and the youth have not lived in the past. They are fooled into thinking we lived in heaven before 1990. We didn’t. There is a reason many emigrated and grew up elsewhere. So those who blame the union for all ills must go back and read a bit of our post-colonial history to refresh their minds with some inconvenient truths about our post-independence life. And sadly, most of those who caused that difficult period are trying to recreate it today instead of giving up and leaving young fresh energetic minds to take over. I honestly think we in Yemen should pass a law that forbids anyone above 60 to hold any decision-making political office. We have messed it up enough. Let’s do some gardening instead. 


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