Rep. Khanna Recognized for Leadership to Stop War in Yemen, Announces Letter to Biden Administration
Sunday, February 21, 2021, the grassroots humanitarian advocacy organization Action Corps recognized Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) for his leadership in ending U.S. participation in the Saudi-led coalition in the war in Yemen that has resulted in what the U.N. has called the largest humanitarian crisis.
Rep. Khanna announced that he and Rep. DeFazio are issuing a letter that clarifies President Biden’s statement on ending participation in Saudi offenses in Yemen, “to make sure we clarify that should mean any bombing of Yemen. We have to clarify that language,” he said. Rep. Khanna further stated the U.S. must play “a constructive role to help the reconstruction, because we caused a great suffering. We need to be a part of the solution.”
Isaac Evans-Frantz, Action Corps director, said the organization is calling on representatives to join Mr. Khanna on that letter. Somia Elrowmeim, chair of the board of Action Corps, delivered the statement recognizing Mr. Khanna. She highlighted a U.N. donor summit on March 1, 2021, by which time, she said, the U.S. should commit to restoring and expanding desperately humanitarian assistance to Yemen. This assistance was suspended by Sec. Pompeo, and restoration of assistance would likely set an example for other donor countries.
This month Mr. Khanna has called for ending all arms sales to Riyadh and not "fulfilling any outstanding weapons contracts.” He has called for a “a commitment from Biden to use all of his leverage to end the Saudi-led de factor blockade of Yemen,” and pressed the administration “for additional humanitarian aid in all parts of Yemen.” Under the Trump administration, during the COVID pandemic, humanitarian assistance to Yemen was suspended and has not been restored.
“Action Corps is pleased to recognize Rep. Ro Khanna for his leadership for an end to U.S. backing of the war on Yemen,” Isaac Evans-Frantz, director of Action Corps, said. “For years the Congressman has stood with our U.S. grassroots movement in solidarity the people of Yemen, and he continues to fight for an end to this catastrophe.”
This was evidenced last month, when Mr. Khanna spoke during a global online rally, as part of a day of action called World Says No to War on Yemen, organized by Action Corps, the Bay-Area-based Yemeni Alliance Committee, and others. Action Corps circulated the statement calling for the day of action, which was signed by 385 organizations from 28 countries, making this the largest anti-war coordination since 2003.
“The Yemeni Alliance Committee, based here in Rep. Khanna’s district, is inspired by our Congressman’s continued leadership to hold Biden to his promise to end U.S. participation in the war in Yemen,” Jehan Hakim, the chair of the alliance, said. “Action Corps has been a solid ally in this struggle, and we are proud to sponsor their annual community celebration. We look forward to working together with Rep. Khanna and fellow activists around the country for a complete and permanent end to arms sales and military support for Saudi Arabia while it continues to wage war against our home country.”
Action Corps also recognized Mr. Khanna’s support for legislation to unblock a global stimulus from international financial institutions. Supporters believe this initiative could help save millions of lives in the face of global economic fallout. Mr. Khanna’s staff has said he plans to co-sponsor new legislation for a global stimulus.
“Our work is about saving lives, and ‘no’ is not really an acceptable answer. Our enemies are not one another. Our enemies are the three C’s of Climate change, Conflict, and COVID. Around the world people are starving,” Action Corps director Isaac Evans-Frantz stated.
Action Corps has trained organizers in 10 states that lobby, organize on the ground, and run public education campaigns in support of people affected by humanitarian crises. The organization played a key role in successful advocacy for the historic Yemen War Powers Resolution Mr. Khanna led in the House in past years that was ultimately sent to President Trump’s desk.
“We have nothing to lose but our chance,” Somia Elrowmeim, Yemeni-American and chair of the board of Action Corps, stated. “We are the light and we are the voice for those people who cannot speak.”