Medea Benjamin gave a fascinating talk on Wednesday night at First Parish UU in Framingham. Those who attended were fortunate to hear her insights into the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and current U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen. We have been selling weapons to the Saudis for years, but recently the Saudi-led coalition bombed many civilians in Yemen and it has become an embarrassment to the US.
Many people think we ought to stop selling them weapons until they can guarantee they will not be used on civilians in hospitals, schools and funerals. When asked why we maintain such an unlikely relationship with this autocratic government, Medea said that besides the oil, she thinks protecting Israel is a large part of our motivation. She suggested three actions we can take: thank Warren and Markey for voting to block sales, pressure our Congressmen and women to vote in favor of blocking sales to Saudi Arabia and advocate for the U.S. to help rebuild the infrastructure of Yemen.
I highly recommend Medea’s new book, KINGDOM OF THE UNJUST: BEHIND THE U.S.- SAUDI CONNECTION if, like me, you are not familiar with the history of Saudi Arabia or the background of the civil war in Yemen.
Due to the international outcry on the civilian deaths and the UN’s accusations that these bombings were war crimes, it is possible that with some public pressure we could convince our government to stay out of this war and help to rebuild Yemen, one of the poorest nations in the world.
If you missed her, Medea will be speaking tonight (Friday) at 7:00 in Cambridge at First Church Congregational and Saturday 6:30 Boston at Community Church of Boston.
In the photo: Rev.Helpler, Janet Jakubowski, Susan Massad, Caraline Levy, Martha Guevara and Medea Benjamin.