The United States is complicit in the world’s worst humanitarian disaster, unfolding today in Yemen.

For three years, Saudi Arabia has bombed and blockaded Yemen into famine in an unsuccessful attempt to defeat the Houthi rebels who seized the country in 2015. The U.N. estimates that 7 million people are at immediate risk of starvation.

The U.S. sold the Saudis the bombs they are dropping on Yemenis and refuels their fighter jets with no questions asked. President Obama initiated this atrocity and President Trump has doubled down on it, praising Saudi Arabia’s actions.

Earlier this month, the Saudis imposed a full air, land and sea blockade on Yemen, which they have loosened only symbolically under international pressure. They bombed the only airport left in Yemen that could accept humanitarian aid flights.

This is barbarism – famine by design. If the blockade is not lifted hundreds of thousands could die in the coming weeks, and millions in the coming months.

As a Jew, I have often wondered what I would have done if I were in Germany in 1938, on the cusp of that unimaginable horror. I know Mainers of Armenian and Ukrainian descent, who have thought the same about the atrocities committed against their ancestors in the 20th century. Well, here we are. Our government is helping carry out a crime against humanity. What will we do?

At the very least, we must speak out. Call our senators and representatives, demand they introduce legislation ending all military aid to Saudi Arabia and demanding the lifting of the blockade. Tell them that there is no constituency in Maine for starving children to death. Don’t let them evade you. Mainers can also sign this petition to our members of Congress:

Every day counts for the people of Yemen.

Brian Milakovsky

Maine for Yemen


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