News Release

U.S.-Saudi-Israel: Normalizing Atrocities


KATHY KELLY, @voiceinwild
Kelly is board president of World BEYOND War and a co-coordinator of the Merchants of Death War Crimes Tribunal.

She just wrote the piece “Prioritizing Human Rights in Relations With Saudi Arabia” for The Progressive.

She writes of just-resumed negotiations between the U.S. State Department and Saudi Arabia: “A recent report suggests that the meetings will discuss a NATO-like agreement between Saudi Arabia and the United States, a measure which might then move Saudi Arabia closer toward normalizing relations with Israel. What does Riyadh want in return? ‘Riyadh has been seeking a NATO-like mutual security treaty that would obligate the U.S. to come to Saudi Arabia’s defense if the latter is attacked,’ according to The Times of Israel. The Saudis also seek to strengthen the U.S.-backed civilian nuclear program in Saudi Arabia, and they want assurance about acquiring more advanced weaponry from U.S. military contractors. …

“There’s a refugee trail from the Sahel drought region in Africa, into war-ravaged Yemen, and up through Saudi Arabia towards Iraq and Turkey. It’s known as ‘the Eastern route,’ or sometimes ‘the Yemeni route.’ The Saudi monarchy, already leading an eight-year starvation and bombardment campaign against Iran-aligned, rebel-governed Yemen, has been massacring Ethiopian (and other African) refugees, allegedly in the thousands, to send a message that drought-stricken Africans should choose to die at home and not risk their lives to die in Yemen. It’s a chilling, cruel message. …

“Since 2015, Saudi Arabia has bombed, starved, blockaded and tortured Yemeni civilians. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continues to persecute and execute its own citizens for speaking out about cruel wrongdoings.

“Human Rights Watch, in their seventy-three-page report, “‘They Fired on Us Like Rain’: Saudi Arabian Mass Killings of Ethiopian Migrants at the Yemen-Saudi Border,” alleges that Saudi Arabian border guards have fired machine guns and launched mortars at Ethiopians trying to cross into the kingdom from Yemen, likely killing hundreds of the unarmed migrants in recent years.”