Saudi Arabia

Issue Details


BREAKING: Senators Al Franken, Chris Lee, Chris Murphy and Rand Paul have just introduced a joint resolution calling on Congress to block the Obama administration’s recently announced sale of $1.15 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia. This is terrific news! But to have any chance of passage, we need all hands on deck!

Please contact your Senators and ask them to support the Murphy-Paul Senate Joint Resolution 39 to block weapon sales to Saudi Arabia!

Please take a minute to call your Senator’s office too! You can use this toll-free number to reach the Capitol switchboard and be transferred to your Senator’s office! 
Dial 1-855-68 NO WAR/1-855-686-6927.

The U.S. has spent over $8 trillion on military forces in the Persian Gulf in the last four decades, supposedly protecting the Gulf from the then-Soviet Union and Iran. The effect has been to give backing to an absolute monarchy that opposes religious freedom, female equality and humane treatment of migrant workers–– the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The hereditary despots of Saudi Arabia are infamous for beheading and/or and floggings political dissidents. In January 2016 alone, the Saudi government beheaded 47 people, some of whom were guilty of such “crimes” as political activism. Between March 2015-2016, Saudi Arabia massacred over 6,000 people in a war of aggression against Yemen, and at least half of them were civilians. It’s time for the US to reevaluate the toxic relationship with Saudi Arabia!

Educate yourself and your community! Order CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin’s latest book, Kingdom of the Unjust, Behind the US-Saudi Connection, and invite her to your community to talk about this important issue! Email to book her now.

Here are more resources and ways you can get involved.... Email if you have questions, comments, or ideas!


In March 2015, Saudi Arabia led an international coalition (backed by the United States) to launch air strikes against the Houthi rebel group in Yemen, sparking a full-blown armed conflict.

The increase in violence exacerbated the existing issues that have plighted Yemen for years: poor governance, lack of rule of law, widespread poverty, and insufficient access to basic healthcare and water, among others.

Four out of five Yemenis today rely on humanitarian assistance for their survival. There is no access to essential services such as clean water and electricity, and food prices have soared creating a desperate situation for millions. Yet Saudi Arabia continues its brutal campaign against the poorest country in the Middle East.

CODEPINK calls for an end to the Saudi-led airstrike against Yemen!

  1. Sign the petition: Stop the violence in Yemen
  2. Watch & share videos from Yemen! CODEPINK has launched a series of videos called Voices from Yemen. Share our videos on your Facebook page to help lift up the voices of Yemenis!

  3. #RememberYemen! Download this sign that says #RememberYemen in English and Arabic, take a photo or video of yourself with it, and post it on your social media accounts and tag CODEPINK! 

  4. Watch Video: Medea Benjamin crashes the US-Saudi investment forum

2016 Summit on Saudi Arabia: Understanding the Kingdom and its Global Role:

More Actions!

More Info

Proliferation of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia


More than $21 billion in defense sales to Saudi Arabia include battleships, Blackhawk helicopters, machine guns and more than 1 million rounds of advanced ammunition.

2016 Summit on Saudi Arabia


Dates: March 5- 6, 2016
Location: The UDC David A. Clarke School of Law (4340 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008)
CODEPINK, along with The Nation Magazine, Institute for Policy Studies, Peace Action, and many other organizations (see below), hosted a two-day summit examining the policies and practices of Saudi Arabia and U.S.-Saudi ties. This Summit addressed issues such as human rights; Saudi internal and foreign policy; and the prospects for change inside the kingdom and in U.S.-Saudi relations. Human rights advocates, diplomats, scholars, authors, and grassroots activists will come together in this first-of-its-kind international summit examining the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Summit was attended by people who:
  • Would like to learn about the roots and spread of Islamic extremism.
  • Seek solutions to violence in the Middle East.
  • Support a US foreign policy that is based on respect for human rights.
  • Advocate against global weapons proliferation.


  • Jamal Abdi, Policy Director of National Iranian American Council
  • Ali Al-Ahmed, The Gulf Institute
  • Abdulaziz Al-Hussan, Saudi human rights lawyer
  • Mohammed Al-Nimr, son of Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr
  • Mohammed Al-Shami, Yemeni activist and freelance consultant
  • Daniel Arshack, attorney for imprisoned Saudi lawyer
  • Kristine Beckerle, Human Rights Watch
  • Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK
  • Phyllis Bennis, author, Institute for Policy Studies
  • Sunjeev Bery, Amnesty International
  • William Hartung, weapons expert, Center for International Policy
  • Chris Hedges, author
  • Julianne Hill, legal fellow for Reprieve UK
  • Raed Jarrar, American Friends Service Committee
  • Sharat G. Lin, scholar on Middle Eastern migrant labor
  • Matar Ebrahim Matar, Bahraini politician and activist
  • Ebtihal Mubarak, Saudi journalist
  • Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, Executive Director, International Civil Society Network (ICAN)  
  • Vijay Prashad, author and professor, Trinity College
  • Robert Vitalis, author and professor, the University of Pennsylvania 

And more! Find their bios here.


Saturday, March 5

8:00am-9:00am Registration

9:00am-9:30am Opening Session

  • Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK

9:30am-10:15am Session I: Saudi Politics and Overview

  • Ali Al-Ahmed, The Gulf Institute
  • Abdulaziz Al-Hussan, Saudi lawyer and human rights defender
  • Moderator: Medea Benjamin

10:20am-11:00pm Session II: Women in Saudi Arabia

  • Ebtihal Mubarak, Saudi journalist
  • Kristine Beckerle, Human Rights Watch
  • Moderator: Jodie Evans

11:00am-11:50am Session III: Human Rights

  • Sunjeev Bery, Amnesty International
  • Dr. Sharat G. Lin, scholar on Middle Eastern migrant labor
  • Julianne Hill, Reprieve U.S. Legal Fellow
  • Moderator: Andrea Miller

12-1pm Lunch Break & Keynote

  • Vijay Prashad, author and professor at Trinity College

1:15pm-2:15pm Session IV: Saudi Foreign Policy

  • Mohammed Al-Shami, Yemeni-American activist
  • Jamal Abdi, National Iranian American Council
  • Matar Matar, Bahraini politician and activist
  • Moderator: Joanne Landy

2:30pm-3:45pm Session V: Oil, weapons sales, and U.S.-Saudi ties

  • William Hartung, Center for International Policy
  • Raed Jarrar, American Friends Service Committee
  • Robert Vitalis, author and professor at University of Pennsylvania
  • Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies

3:50pm-4:50pm Session VI: Supporting Change in Saudi Arabia

  • Mohammed Al-Nimr, son of executed Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr
  • Daniel Arshack, lawyer for imprisoned attorney Waleed Abu al-Khair
  • Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, Executive Director, International Civil Society Network (ICAN)
  • Moderator: Nada Khader

5pm-5:30pm Wrap Up

Food and conversation available at Italian Pizza Kitchen 4483 Connecticut Ave., NW Washington, DC 20008

7:00pm-9:00pm Wadjda film screening

Sunday, March 6

9:30am Check in

10:00am-11am Outlining and brainstorming campaigns (with open mic)

11am-12noon Breakout sessions, including:

  • supporting political prisoners
  • stopping weapons sales
  • getting 28 pages released
  • creating an international coalition
  • tracking/countering the Saudi lobby

12:00pm-12:30pm Report backs

12:30pm-1:30pm Lunch Break/Interest Groups

1:30pm-2:30pm Chris Hedges keynote

2:30pm-3:00pm Wrap-up



  • Campaign for Peace and Democracy
  • Center for Inquiry
  • Coalition to End the U.S.-Saudi Alliance
  • Fellowship of Reconciliation
  • Food Not Bombs
  • Friends Committee on National Legislation
  • Historians Against the War
  • Institute for Policy Studies
  • Just Foreign Policy
  • Middle East Crisis Committee
  • Peace Action
  • People Demanding Action
  • Popular Resistance
  • RootsAction
  • The Gulf Institute
  • The Markaz
  • The Nation Magazine
  • U.S. Labor Against the War
  • United For Peace and Justice
  • United Methodist General Board of Church and Society
  • United National Anti-War Coalition
  • Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars
  • Veterans For Peace
  • Voices for Creative Nonviolence
  • WESPAC Foundation
  • WNY Peace Center
  • World Beyond War
  • WILPF DC Branch

More Info:

Press release can be found here.

To understand more about why CODEPINK stands against the Saudi regime, listen to CODEPINK co-founder, Medea Benjamin speak with United for Peace & Justice here.

Tell Congress to Pass the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act

The 9/11 families have asked Congress to pass the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), a bill that would prevent accused foreign sponsors of terrorism from invoking sovereign immunity in cases involving terrorist acts occurring in the United States.

The Senate just passed JASTA by unanimous consent, a great sign that victory is within reach! Help get justice for the families of 9/11 victims by urging your House member to support JASTA today!

Please take action using the form below. If you are unable to view it, click here.

Tell Senator Reed to Stop Justifying Cluster Bomb Sales to Saudi Arabia!

Last week, the House of Representatives failed to pass an amendment that would have halted the sale of U.S. made cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, which has used the munitions as part of their devastating military campaign against Yemen. Now as our hopes turn to the Senate, we’ve discovered it’s Rhode Island Democratic Senator Jack Reed who is leading the charge to keep the flow of weapons going – weapons manufactured in his own state by a company that donates to his political campaigns!

Tell Senator Reed to stop putting the interests of war profiteers over human rights, and end cluster bomb sales to Saudi Arabia! (if the action form doesn't appear below, click here)

Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.–Saudi Connection


Buy the Book  |  Book Tour Schedule

The co-founder of CODEPINK has become famous for fearlessly tackling head-on subjects most of us studiously avoid. Sometimes, she does so in person—as during President Obama’s speech at the National Defense University, or during a reception for drone manufacturers and members of Congress, or in Cairo, where she was assaulted by police. Here, she’s researching the sinister nature of the relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. In seven succinct chapters followed by a meditation on prospects for change, Benjamin—cited by the L.A. Times as “one of the high-profile members of the peace movement”—shines a light on one of the most perplexing elements of American foreign policy. What is the origin of this strange alliance between two countries that seemingly have very little in common? Why does it persist, and what are its consequences? Why, over a period of decades and across various presidential administrations, has the United States consistently supported a regime shown time and again to be one of the most powerful forces working against American interests? Saudi Arabia is perhaps the single most important source of funds for terrorists worldwide, promoting an extreme interpretation of Islam along with anti-Western sentiment, while brutally repressing non-violent dissidents at home.

With extremism spreading across the globe, a reduced U.S. need for Saudi oil, and a thawing of U.S. relations with Iran, the time is right for a re-evaluation of our close ties with the Saudi regime. Publication September 2016 • 240 pages

Book Orders

Individuals can purchase the book on the CODEPINK website. Groups/organizations interested in purchasing five copies or more can get a 50% discount—which makes the book only $9! Just email or call (212) 514-6485 and let them know you want the want the “CODEPINK activist” price.

Bring Medea to speak in your area! 

Medea will also be traveling around the country for the next nine months on a book tour and campaign to cut US weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and support Saudi dissidents. If you are interested in bringing Medea to your community, email Martha at!

It’s way past time to call into question the toxic US-Saudi relationship and build a movement that demands an end to US weapons sales to this repressive regime and supports the courageous Saudi dissidents who are trying to transform their nation. With extremism spreading across the globe, a reduced U.S. need for Saudi oil, and a thawing of U.S. relations with Iran, the time is right for such a movement.

Please read the book and help get it out to the public, and invite Medea to speak in your community!

Book Reviews

The U.S. and Saudi Arabia: A Toxic Alliance?, The Leveller, October 10, 2016
Activist and author Medea Benjamin gives readers a vital primer to understand the history, controversies and possible future of the U.S.-Saudi relationship.

It's Time to End the U.S.-Saudi Arabia Special Relationship, Alternate, August 17, 2016
Obama is clearly irritated that foreign-policy orthodoxy compels him to treat Saudi Arabia as an ally.

Book review. Kingdom of the Unjust: the US-Saudi connection by Medea Benjamin, Ian Sinclair, September 2016
Having campaigned against the ‘war on terror’ and penned a book on drone warfare in 2012, American CODEPINK activist Medea Benjamin has turned her attention to the United States’s relationship with Saudi Arabia, one of its closest allies.

Medea Benjamin’s Kingdom of the Unjust, by DAVID SWANSON, August 17, 2016
For years and years, activists demanded that the U.S. government make public 28 (turned out to be 29) pages it had censored from a report, because it was suspected they would show a Saudi Arabian role in funding and facilitating the crimes of September 11, 2001.

In-Depth Interview: Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin Talks About Her New Book on Saudi Arabia, Peter Collins, September 29, 2016

Great Minds P2: Medea Benjamin Compares Saudi Labor System to Slavery, Sep. 1, 2016 

Why Is the US Aligned With Saudi Arabia?
September 4, 2016, Truthout



Tell the Senate: Block Weapon Sales to the Saudis!

The Saudi-led military coalition is continuing its brutal bombing campaign in Yemen, killing 19 people, mostly children, in a residential area and a school in northern Yemen on August 13 and at least 15 more in a strike on a hospital two days later. The months-long bombing of Yemen by Saudi Arabia – using U.S.-made F-15s and munitions – has lead to a humanitarian crisis so bad that the U.N. calls it a “catastrophe.” With these brutal attacks resuming, why on Earth has the Obama administration approved ANOTHER $1.15 billion in weapons sales to the Saudis?

Congress can block the sale of these weapons, but they have only 30 days from the agreement date to do so. Making matters worse, Congress is currently in the middle of a month-long recess, so they’ll have to take up legislation blocking the sale IMMEDIATELY after coming back from recess post-Labor Day weekend. We need to put maximum pressure on every member of Congress NOW if we’re going to succeed.

Contact your Senators NOW and demand that they block the sale of additional weapons to Saudi Arabia using the form below!

Tell Your Senator to BLOCK the Weapons Sale to Saudi Arabia!

A bipartisan group of Senators, led by Chris Murphy and Rand Paul, have introduced S.J. Res 39, a measure that would block the recently approved sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi Arabian government continues its relentless airstrikes against Yemeni civilians, hitting schools, hospitals, markets, neighborhoods and factories. A recent report estimates that as many as 10,000 Yemeni civilians have been killed or injured. The United States cannot continue to support and enable this catastrophic destruction in Yemen.

The introduction of this bipartisan resolution in the Senate means that there is a new mood in Congress. After decades of enormous weapons sales to the Saudis, momentum is now building behind the movement to cut off this flow of arms. In just the last few weeks, major media outlets – such as the New York Times and the Guardian – have condemned the sale and said more weapons would enable further war crimes in Yemen.

Tell your U.S. Senators to co-sponsor S.J. Res 39, using the form below!

Saudi Book Tour Schedule

Medea Benjamin Book Tour Schedule: Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the US-Saudi Connection. If you have questions about any events in particular please contact If you want to bring Medea to your town next year contact!

2017 Events to Be Announced Soon!

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