Area residents, GW students protest Saudis

Leaders and members of the Jewish community converged at the Saudi Arabian Embassy Wednesday to protest that country’s alleged financial support of terrorists.

About 75 people, including several GW students, called on the U.S. to abandon its close relationship with Saudi Arabia. The event was coordinated by the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington.

“We speak for all those who love freedom, for those who love the United States of America and all that it stands for, and those who want the Saudis to know that the game is up,” said Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt of Potomac, Md.

Reports in major newspapers have indicated that Saudi government-sponsored charities have helped fund terrorist groups such as Hamas, which has declared a holy war against Israel. Also, a recently released congressional report about the September 11 terrorist attacks included roughly 23 pages of classified material that allegedly details a link between Saudi money and two of the hijackers.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who was one of the guest speakers at the event, demanded that Saudi Arabia give up its support of Hamas. Speaking through a megaphone, Nadler chastised the Saudi government for what he called an inhumane track record that is evidence of the Saudis’ hate-filled agenda.

“Let me be clear about Saudi Arabia,” Nadler said. “It is the native land of Osama bin Laden, as well as of 15 of the 19 September 11 hijackers. It is a nation whose state-sponsored religion is Wahhabism, a militant form of Islam that emphasizes the hatred of Jews.”

Several protesters held signs that read: “Stand Against Hate” and “Hate Kills.” One of the older men in the crowd, who shook his fist at the embassy, verbally quarreled with an Al-Jazeera cameraman over what he said was the news channel’s support of Hamas.

“It’s not simply the oil money,” District resident Veda Charrow said.

“Saudi Arabia publishes textbooks for the Muslim world that are filled with anti-Semitism, are anti-Israeli and express pure hatred against the United States,” Charrow added.

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