To Fight ISIS, Break with Saudi Arabia

November 16, 2015

Contact: Stanley Heller, 203-934-2761

Medea Benjamin, 415-235-6517,

The Coalition to End the U.S.-Saudi Alliance made this statement in response to the horrific massacre in Paris:

We stand in horror at the fates of the victims in Paris at the hand of ISIS, as we do to the 800 innocent people gunned down and burned alive in one single day at Rabaa and Nadha in Egypt, for the over 700 members of the Al-Shuaytat tribe who ISIS murdered over three days by beheading in 2014 in Syria, and those dead from shooting and crucifying in Deir ez-Zor, Syria this year. We are disgusted by the murder of over 40 people by ISIS in Beirut just two days before the Paris bombing, as we are with the those killed by the Israeli government and others who massacre by means of jets, drones and helicopters.

Hours after the horrific Paris massacres, someone or some group has burned down a camp of refugees in Calais, France. We denounce any attack on refugees, many of whom themselves are fleeing ISIS killers. We urge that justified anger be redirected toward the actual parties directly and indirectly responsible for the terrible attacks.   

What must be said is that ISIS’ vile ideas are a direct growth of the Wahhabist religious sect fostered by the Saudi family on the country they rule and name after themselves. This family has been enabled by the United States government, which considers it an ally. It sells the Saudis weapons and shields the monarchy from sanction and punishment.

ISIS hatred of Jews, Christians and other interpretations of Islam is similar to what is taught and preached in Saudi Arabia and in Saudi-financed schools all over the world. ISIS women-hating practices and ISIS bloodthirsty punishments are similar to what goes on in Saudi Arabia.

Stanley Heller of the Middle East Crisis Committee said, "A major step the U.S. government could take to stop ISIS terrorism would be to cancel all weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, and to demand that the people running that country harshly punish any of their citizens or residents who finance al-Qaeda or ISIS or join their ranks."

He continued, "As citizens we call on all groups to take direct actions, to refuse to take Saudi government money and to speak out against outrages like the Saudi aggression against Yemen, the 1,000 lash sentence against Raif Badawi and the execution and crucifixion sentence against Al Mohammad al-Nimr."

Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK said, "It is important to condemn the specific terrorist murders in France, but that is not enough. The U.S. government must break with the intolerant and murderous monarchy out of which al-Qaeda and ISIS have spawned. And we call on all groups that take Saudi money—from think tanks to universities to NGOs to PR firms—to stop accepting Saudi funds. Breaking with the Saudi regime is one concrete, non-violent act we can take to stop the spread of extremism and make the world a safer place."

Paul Shannon on the Cambridge, MA staff of the American Friends Service Committee said, "We hope that the western response to this criminal act will not be more bombing of wedding parties and hospitals throughout Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. An effective first initiative to address this crime would be for the U.S., France and the west to cut off its support and vast weapons supplies to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies whose royal families have been responsible for the spread of the jihadist extremist ideology throughout the region."

The Coalition to End the U.S.-Saudi Alliance was founded in the summer of 2015. Its website is  It is made up of the Institute for Gulf Affairs, the Middle East Crisis Committee, CODE PINK, Massachusetts Peace Action and the United National Anti-War Coalition.


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