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Aug-01-2011 05:18printcommentsVideo

Israel's Latest Battle Against Ken O'Keefe

One of the human race's leading activists addresses baseless allegations that thwarted an Overland Convoy to Gaza.

Ken O'Keefe in Gaza
Ken O'Keefe in Gaza

(SALEM, Ore.) - Nobody ever said approaching life honestly or fairly would result in an easy game, and our writer Ken O'Keefe, one of the the world's most well known activists for Gaza, is constantly fighting snakes. Regardless, 'undeterred' still addresses this champion for human beings who fights the most crucial battles against the very worst odds.

Ken speaking at KSU

Ken has been taken advantage of by people who obviously always planned to subvert his latest overland convoy for Gaza. (Convoy of trucks loaded with food and supplies for the people of Gaza- to be driven all the way from London). He has a small number of enemies who turned on him in the most devastating way, and their actions can be compared to the Six Day War itself; they struck when nobody was looking or expecting it, and like that conflict, they scored a decisive victory for Israel's apartheid government.

Their actions thwart and seek to destroy the movement to see Palestine liberated, and they work for Israel. The two primary characters in this story are Catherine Myles, hired as Ken's assistant, and Saeb Shaath is the second person. Shaath didn't even show his face as Ken explains below, until after the hostile takeover of his humanitarian project to aid Gaza.

Background on Gaza

Gaza is a small pocket of land surrounded on three sides by Israel, and flanked by the Mediterranean Sea on its western side. It is part of Palestine, the historical land under British control at the time that Israel claimed its statehood in 1948.

Control has moved around over the years; today the elected government in Gaza is Hamas, though the other remaining parts of Palestine; West Bank and the Golan Heights, are under the control of the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Hamas has fought a battle against Israel off and on, though Israel has vastly superior military capability and weaponry, to the point that there is no competition at all.

Hamas at one time was behind suicide bombs, but they officially ended the practice. The other thing they are noted for frequently is the firing of unguided rockets into Israel. These have killed 28 Israeli citizens over the years. Israel by comparison, targets and attacks Gaza every single day. In 'Operation Cast Lead' that took place over the winter of 2008 and 2009, they killed more than 1400 people, mostly civilians with over 400 children among them, and left thousands upon thousands permanently wounded physically and psychologically.

Ken O'Keefe in picture and sound

You can see Ken's full report here: Ken O'Keefe - On Being a World Citizen

You can see Ken's full report here: Time to add Palestine to the 'No-Fly Zone'

The Ugly Details of Israel's Gaza Siege & Attack Against the Mavi Marmara

See the full report: RTV Interviews Ken O'Keefe About Gaza Flotilla Report

Israel uses jet fighters and drones to drop bombs right on family homes, on medical facilities, and on the tunnels that are Gaza's only alternate connection to Egypt. Civilian targets are almost the only results seen, and as Ken demonstrated through our reports in Gaza, what Israel does, and what is says it does, are almost always dramatically different.

Shaath is apparently associated with Middle east online, that carries plenty of news about Israel and the rest of the region. In an interview I just watched on YouTube, he talks casually about how he "went to Gaza two weeks ago" and I have to wonder how a Palestinian who speaks out against Israel on TV, can just go to the closed area of Gaza any time he wants to.

The BBC's Jane Corbin has the same unique ability to go to Gaza when she wants to.

Corbin's husband works for Israel and is a staunch ally, and her bias toward Israel stands out like a sore thumb in her reporting, so we reason that must by why she can enter Gaza at will, while other people, Gaza residents and activists; Ken O'Keefe included, sometimes have a very difficult of a time getting in or out. It is interesting that Mr. Shaath apparently can also cross the border at will like Ms. Corbin.

Shaath has also appeared on Press TV and presents himself as a strong advocate for Palestine. How and why he became involved in an attack on Ken is not known, since he wasn't in the picture until the takeover was underway. When you listen to Shaath talk, he can't say 'American' - he can only say 'American Imperialists' and while that is fine; I can hear Ken saying the same words... it occurs to me that he could be against Ken because of the simple fact that he is American by birth.

Ken is actually a citizen of Ireland today and Palestine, where he was issued a Palestinian passport after being part of the first Freedom Flotilla to reach Gaza in over 40 years, in 2008. Ken has been there every step of the way in regard to the current effort to free Gaza.

Another steadfast person in the movement to free Palestine in Ireland, Anna O'Leary, like myself and so many others, is puzzled by the actions of Shaath.

She wrote:

"Saeb, why if you are a good human being did you not start a convoy....you and Catherine Myles could have organised a convoy............you are both capable operators. You could have done what others did and joined the Flotilla. Oh My God man you have done such harm to Palestine...and you a Palestinian. You have wounded Palestine as surely as if you were an Israeli IDF soldier. You make me cry for the fact that you stopped a much needed aid convoy. We all know how they desperately need our convoy.

"YOU, a Palestinian, have STOPPED THE CONVOY".

As for the woman Cathy Myles... she is the one who came to Ken in good faith and professed to be a dedicated and faithful person working to help him reach his goals. She carefully planned a takeover and smear campaign to take place simultaneously. It is the second smear campaign against Ken in the last year. People have tried desperately to bring him down by criticizing his resistance of Israeli soldiers on the Mavi Marmara and making statements that are untrue.

Ken is a diehard activist who has committed his life to Palestine. It is no secret. He has risked his life time and again and our viewers have seen Ken standing in Gaza among thousands, as bullets fly by and Ken doesn't duck. We have in fact published video at least twice where the viewer sees Ken and people from Gaza and other activists directly fired at by Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).

He's a tough as nails ex-Marine but he loves people with so much intensity that you feel it in your gut when he talks about what he has seen in his life fighting corruption and crimes against humanity, particularly for the people of Gaza. Here is the thing though; people like Ken are trusting, that is their nature. It carries a devastating potential but the opposite is becoming jaded and cynical, which does no one any good. Ken is a human but he is also a Timex among men and the most devastating scoundrels in the world aren't going to stop him, and I am among those here to lay it out and set the record straight on his behalf. I sincerely hope that collectively, we never forget what the real motives of Myles and Shaath have to be, because they hurt the people of Gaza more than anyone.

More Background on Ken O'Keefe

Long before Ken was working for the people of Gaza, this former U.S. Marine who fought in the first Gulf War before becoming an activist for peace, helped the people of Iraq with his human shield operation that saw many sites in Iraq escape US bombs in the early part of the war, in 2003.

Vital aspects of Iraq's infrastructure were spared the hail of bombs because Ken and other American and European people were standing in front of power facilities and they made their presence known. The US and UK didn't want Caucasian blood flowing through the alleys as that would be hard to explain. This dynamic, where white people can get press attention from groups like The BBC, when Middle eastern people would not, has been a big part of what makes Ken so effective. If there were a lot more people with his level of understanding and application, his uniqueness would not exist, but it does.

In truth his personality and drive are so effective that he becomes a threat to people who also claim to care about Palestinians and their associated Human Rights, yet give not a hundredth of what Ken has already given. The perceived threat is never against the individuals in a real way, it is against their egos. A natural leader like Ken easily clashes with others who are not leaders but do seek to be controllers. Ken O'Keefe is proven, tried and tested, so they can all give this little effort up. In fact they've cried wolf one time too many.

From the Mavi Marmara incident, where Ken and other unarmed activists were attacked by the IDF aboard their Turkish ship in international waters with 9 killed and scores injured, to the debacle in Greece that saw a ship's captain thwart a mission to Gaza by ripping away from a dock without having the ropes untied (major damage), that ultimately, inadvertently allowed Ken to reach Gaza, where he stayed for 6 months, to this current convoy that has been literally seized and stolen by Myles and Shaath, Ken is non-stop for Gaza with no exceptions.

While there he revealed and exposed damage from Israeli attacks with video that we were able to compare to IDF press releases, underscoring the absurdity of Israel's lies in the political arena. He restored faith to the Samouni family which is one of Gaza's hardest hit, showing in detail the pain they have experienced strictly as a result of Israel's war crimes.

While people try to bring Ken O'Keefe down by casting horrible lies about his character about, it is most important to note how Myles and her partner in crime, (literally) Saeb Shaath, placed human lives in danger in Gaza in order to damage Ken's character and ambitions.

They did this intentionally, they did it to hurt Ken in ways that go beyond their silly easily disproved assault on his character. The only benefactor is Israel, this can not be said enough times, and it is a simple logical conclusion with no other possible answers.

Regardless of who they claim to be, or who they once may have been, they are most clearly the deceptive face of the enemy and when I say that, I mean it in the broader sense, because humanity's cause is a single minded one.

Ken is a world citizen, it is unfortunate that people on this planet have such terrible motives and character that they would undermine his genuine efforts to aid the helpless. The video from Press TV on the left, is an extensive interview with Ken O'Keefe recorded just one day ago in London.

Introduced and always regarded by this respected news agency as a sincere activist for Palestine, the program proves that while in monetary terms the Myles/Shaath escapade is damaging, in to Ken's credibility, his years and years of steadfast devotion to humanity stand like the Rick of Gibraltar.

All the while as Ken worked in Gaza, Hamas watched and monitored what he did, and never interfered with his activism that benefited their own families and loved ones. Hamas well knows who Ken is and what he does and where he went and who he saw.

There are no questions from anyone in Gaza, all of the problems Ken is dealing with are coming directly from Israel via Myles and Shaath and their network, and while they won't admit it, it is still the case.

Israel has deep pockets, endless resources and the willingness to kill or hurt anyone they believe they need to, on whatever nation's soil they choose. Ken's status as a celebrity makes their thoughts on terminating him become very bad ideas, and that is why these people working to subvert Ken are trying to take him out with slander and libelous claims, and we are here to put a stop to it and we can back it all up.

Ken O'Keefe in picture and sound

See Ken's full report: Samouni Family Olive Tree Orchard in Gaza

New Song 'History' by Agron Belica Dedicated to Gaza Activist Ken O'Keefe

Ken in Gaza: Israel Bombs Gaza's 3rd Largest Medical Storage Supply Building

Ken reports from Gaza: A Mother's Loss - Operation Cast Lead Mass-Murder

Ken in Gaza: Israel Fires on Unarmed Demonstrators in Gaza- Third Intifada

Ken in Gaza: Report from Gaza: Two Years After Operation Cast Lead

Again, anyone so sincere and so complete in dedication to humanity, is naturally the enemy of others. Israel has apartheid laws and they created a Palestinian Diaspora that has ruined the lives of millions for more than six decades now. In Gaza alone there are more than 800,000 children being forced by Israel to live in the worst of conditions.

Ken has dedicated his life trying to help them, and his former assistant Cathy Myles and her cohort Saeb Shaath are here to hurt the children of Gaza and their tools are treachery and deceit and their master is Israel. Anyone familiar with Salem-News.com knows that we are the only American news agency that carries unfiltered stories from Palestine, period. We have carried thousands of stories relating to Middle east news, much of it delivered from our own teams on the ground.

There are many blogs and there are specialized news sites that cater to Veterans, Middle eastern people, Muslim people, etc., that carry these stories... but we are the news that many people know and count on every day for an endless variety of subjects and we work tirelessly to deliver the truth.

There is no shortage of advocacy for Ken. One of the people who recently came on the scene and began hurling baseless insults toward Ken is named Jo Ann Westcott. It isn't even clear if this is a real person, or a person using the name to slander Ken, but that is the result. Facebook does not help very much in my book, it is a breeding ground for contemptuous, anonymous character slayers and they don't have to answer for crimes they commit with a proxy IP and a fake name.

So many people are supportive of Ken, they could not be counted, though the people against him, at least the primary ones, can be counted with one hand.

Huriya Farwa:

"WOW I've been looking through Jo Anns facebook and all her accusations are baseless to even me who has no clue what the rift is about! They sound like Zionists trying to muscle in, will get people to report her profile so online bashing can stop from her InshAllah..."

Akashma Web Blogs:

"Ken brother, I'm with you. i m really sorry that all this is happening. Is any way that you make another trust team in UK, so the Sammouni project keep moving, and let them (Cathy and ??)for now, take those truck to Gaza. If they do not take them in due time then we start a legal campaign to recoup all the money?"

And lest we forget that Ken was very close to the late activist Vittorio 'Vik' Arrigoni who was tragically killed in Gaza and it was Ken who identified his body. These rats in London destroying Ken are disgusting, they disrespect not just Ken, but Vik and Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall, all activists killed while working as activists in Gaza, trying to protect the people from Israel's deadly bullets and bulldozers.

Ken is of their spirit, these people trying to hurt him are reduced scale human beings. They should be fined and jailed for their insubordinate actions and false sincerity used to steal equipment and destroy the mission to Gaza.

It is inconceivable that an activist with Ken O'Keefe's background and motivations and love for the beleaguered Palestinian people would do anything that was not for them.

Therefore every single word that ever comes out of the mouth of Myles of Shaath negative toward Ken's character, are fully untrue. They have been reached, they are working for Israel either directly or indirectly, though I can't imagine the latter scenario being the case; they are not working for humanity, they are not honest human beings by their own admission, and they are outed. There is no room in the operation for people of this ilk.

This is from Ken, it is his response to the terrible slanderous remarks issued by Catherine Myles. I will not publish her remarks, nor will I publish reconstituted versions of them in our comment section.

From Ken O'Keefe:

There are many accusations in here, let me address them sequentially. 1) There is a reference to the visas, this is about our visa application to bring out four Samouni family members out to Europe and to lead the mission to Gaza, along with myself (this was always part of the plan). Catherine says effectively that I have lied to the Samouni’s and told them that we have the visas; this is the first lie. We have been told by the EU reps that the application will be rejected because it is “to political”. Those working on the application in Gaza thought I would say enough to this then, instead I had given direction to send the application which makes clear that the application is made so the Samouni family can tell their story to the European audience directly. I have every intention of doing this, if necessary I want to force the EU to reject the Samouni family’s right to share their story. After all, this is what the EU does, sleep with and stroke Israel on every level. But you never know, if pressure came to bear we might well have the Samouni’s with us as planned. Among the Samouni’s coming would be a truck driver and the head of the family (Mukhtar).

2) Next Catherine says I am banned in Gaza and Egypt, and that I knew this. Now I have called my contacts in Gaza, which includes Dr. Ghazi Hamad, Chairman of the Border Crossings Authority in the Gaza Strip, this is man the runs Rafah Crossing. I also called the former Deputy Foreign Minister and a couple of other well connected people, needless to say these comments by Catherine are lies as well. I am welcome in Gaza and although I was indeed blocked from leaving Gaza by Egypt, when I finally left they never told me I was banned, to the contrary I was allowed to stay in Cairo after leaving Gaza. When I did, nothing at all was said to me about being banned.

3) Lie number three is built on lie number two, that I was banned and unwelcome. Catherine goes further here to say that Hamas were protecting the reputation of herself, Cormac and Saeb by not revealing this. Saeb consequently was never officially a part of this convoy until shortly before he showed up as part of the hijack crew.

4) The next lie is hideous and dangerous, “KOK (Ken O’Keefe) was almost jailed twice in Gaza for trying to make young women go to his flat with him…” As a result of this lie Noor, the Director of the Samouni Project in Gaza, has quit her position. Yesterday she was crying and in fear for her life. She is in serious danger and I repeat, Saeb Shaath is also responsible for any harm that comes to her for this lie, a lie that is purely intended to discredit me and protect the hijacking agenda and its instigators. Noor is nothing but a pawn to be used, Saeb Shaath (by his silence and complicity) and Catherine Myles are simply ruthless for doing this, never mind the nastiness of trying to destroy my name with such a lie, but to risk the life of Noor while you are at it is beyond disgusting.

5) She says as well that I “committed other insane offences whilst he was there”, but she gives no details, leaving one who believes the first lies wondering just what other craziness I have been up to. This is slander/liable at its best.

6) She says I bullied and intimidated women. Of course this is supported by no facts, but she felt like throwing in a bit of female abuse while we are at it.

7) Next she says the “security forces hate KOK and have had him followed constantly.” Well I know for sure that I am not hated, to the contrary I have made real connections with many brothers on the ground in Gaza… although I did not train any commando units for Hamas (as Israel has said). As for them watching me all over Gaza, indeed they did, and that is why I am most welcome and respected, they know all that I have done there… and all I did was work very hard for the Palestinian cause and the mission that Ms. Myles and Saeb Shaath have hijacked.

8) Ms. Myles says anyone who wants to check these facts then please do call ministers in Hamas. Well I too encourage people to do this, but imagine very few of you actually have contact numbers, which is surely why she suggests you people call.

9) Next quote, keeping in mind everything she has said to this point is complete bullshit; “There is much we knew that we could not reveal at all. We were set tasks by the Mid East and we have done them. We have exposed this man and we will bring him down.” Right, so apparently the Ms. Myles acting as my PA thing was merely cover for the big job of exposing me. In other words she has been lying to me in every way for months. And so it goes, the real enemy of Palestine and the people of Gaza is none other than me, Ken O’Keefe. I have been the problem and the mission I founded, that was merely a ploy for my dastardly plans to subdue and abuse young woman. But thankfully the real heroes of Palestine have come, enter Saeb Shaath and his sidekick Ms. Catherine Myles. Gaza fret no more, all will be well, the new and improved Trade Not Aid Mission is coming! Co-leaders of the hijacked Trade Not Aid Mission, I sincerely hope that everyone who is learning the facts about this horrendous display of deception, fraud and theft is as repulsed as they should be. I encourage you to share this post and the facts surrounding it to such a degree that this hostile takeover becomes the signature of Saeb Shaath and Catherine Myles. If a pro bono attorney is found, liable charges will be filed. Just today in Bradford I had a fundraiser set up for Trade Not Aid, they cancelled due to this circus. Who loses? We all know the answer to that and the only way I know to right this awful mistake of mine is to expose and retain control so the mission can move forward in the way it was always intended to do. If enough of the people reading this get outraged then justice will be served and this mission will succeed.

If anyone wonders, all of us who work with Ken are 100%+ behind him and we expect this type of thing to happen, though we obviously hope this is the last one of this type or magnitude. I will leave this article with several more related quotes, they are coming from Facebook pages where a lot of energy is burned by people talking about crazy things like this.

Lisa Atwill:

"I want the money I donated returning a.s.a.p. I would never ever have donated anything to a cause Catherine Myles was associated with. Catherine Myles has blocked me and will not communicate with me on this matter".

Ken O'Keefe:

"Ultimately I will have to eat humble pie and apologise to you and everyone else over having trusted Catherine to not only be my "PA", but to do the accounting. In my defence I was in Gaza when she took this role and really needed support in the UK to make things happen, but my decision to bring her in was horrible. I am sorry Lisa".

Lisa Atwill:

"It is not your fault you are not the thief Ken, you have no need to apologise to me. Cate will not acknowledge any communication or discuss this matter. I think that the minutes she has posted today are disgraceful and a clear indication as to the extent of how devious these criminals are".

Majd F. El-Wahaidi:

"What The Hell . Unbelievable . I'll share the 'Truth' Ken & I'll delete those bastards from my friends list. Shame On Them. Stay Strong".

Maryam Zahraa Hussain:

"Ken. You are Gaza. Anyone who says other wise is just weird. I'm still kind of confused, is she saying Hamas is protecting her and their trying to get you banned from Palestine? I wish I could help. I burst out into tears as I read this. Is Noor alright? I pray you are well. Inshallah, the truth shall be revealed to the world. Stay safe my brother". ♥

Bonnie King:

"Infuriating! We are ALL insulted on behalf of our brother, Ken. We stand together- absolutely. She/they clearly do not know you. These ridiculous, baseless lies are beyond belief. How bizarre, and embarrassing for her gang of thieves. This will not end well for them, especially in the public eye. TJP"

David Evans:

"Shared, my Brother. As you know all too well, our enemies wear many masks. Those of us who know you will stay the course with you. I am sorry that with every waking minute you spend on this cause, you now need to contend with this evil. You've done SO much already for the good people in Gaza! And you will continue to so so much more for Gaza. We all know this".

Final thoughts:

Again, what Ken O'Keefe needs is a real legal team to prosecute all of the slanderers. Catherine Myles is in the UK so this will be much, much easier, Ken believes, adding, "What is written here is not just slander for me, but reckless endangerment for some in Gaza. The Samouni family are also being hit directly with these lies, if this campaign succeeds, then the trust will be gone and I will step away. But this is out of my hands, what I need is legal help, real legal help and if a free lawyer cannot be found then I need a legal fund".

Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 82 Salem-News.com writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can write to Tim at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

Anna August 22, 2011 6:14 am (Pacific time)

"Gaza is a small pocket of land surrounded on three sides by Israel, and flanked by the Mediterranean Sea on its western side"
so many inacuracies in one article, so many lies!
you even got the map wrong!
Gaza in not surrounded by Israel, it has a bourder with Egypt.
Hamas did not "stop" their terorist activities.

Editor: Oh fine, Egypt unfairly guard a small swath of land at Gaza's southern end, but they have been Israel's little buddy nation for far too long and Egypt has functioned as an enforcer of Israel's interests.  Go to Wikipedia and read about Hamas.  They are far more civil than even the moderates in Israel. Hey Anna, Murder and Genocide are wrong, sorry nobody ever told you that.  Religions oppression, illegal occupation, stealing land... all wrong.  

Scott August 20, 2011 2:41 pm (Pacific time)

Editor:"First of all, you are another person against Ken and that means you are for Israel, so don't think your words are going to have an impact." ...how does being against Ken mean you are for Israel? Why are people getting so distracted and confused and worshipping a man? Ken is not Gaza, or the oppressed people of Palestine. I read more about this confusion and incredible and unjust inflammatory remarks with no justification than what's going on in Palestine...it seems a very convenient distraction while Israel once again is attacking and moving forward with their slow methodical and cloaked genocide.

Tim King: Anyone who would hurt efforts to aid Gaza works for Israel, Ken is the strongest and most legitimate proponent for those imprisoned in that nightmare in terms of hands on activism.  You guys eventually won't have your comments show up here, this isn't Facebook.  Ken is a trusted brother for the Palestinian cause, others are jealous, you're connected either to that or the other side completely, meaning Israel.  Or, you and your cohorts are so incredibly unaware of what is going on that you actually believe yourselves.  Believe me, Ken has it under control as always regardless of the upset and will be triumphant again.  If you support the liberation of Palestine then you have to appreciate his years of yard work that is all there for the world to see, learn about, etc.

Anthony Lawson August 5, 2011 6:48 pm (Pacific time)

When I first contacted Ken O'Keefe, about my video "BBC Bias: The Gaza Freedom Flotilla", I was impressed with his ability to speak so knowledgably and caringly about the Palestinian people and their struggle; a struggle which he has made his own. But a problem soon developed about whose way my video was going to be made: mine or his. Ken had so many ideas about what he wanted me to include and the words I should use, but didn't understand the way that I worked, or the overall perspective I felt that it was important to bring to the video. We are both pretty straight talkers, and we soon realised that a direct collaboration on the actual script was not going to work, but Ken still agreed to answer my questions and supply me with contacts and any other information I needed. I could sense that he was a bit put out, because he'd actually been there and faced the IDF, but once we'd established the boundaries, he was still as enthusiastic about the project as I was.

What came out of this was a degree of mutual respect and trust that is rare between two people who are egotistical enough to think that they can make a difference, but whose chosen methods are so different. But I can tell you this: Ken O'Keefe is one of the most admirable people I have been fortunate to come in contact with. I don't know the full ins-and-outs of what happened with the Overland Convoy to Gaza, probably no one knows the whole story, but I am certain that Ken was stitched up, in some way, by people whose agenda is diametrically opposed to his. Did he make any mistakes? I don't know, but has the man who has never made a mistake ever done anything useful?

If I were going on a journey into the unknown, there are very few people that I would trust to watch my back, but Ken O'Keefe is certainly one of them.

Tim King: Anthony, thank you so much.

Shah August 5, 2011 6:35 pm (Pacific time)

While time will tell definitively who is right and who is not, I would like to draw your attention to something that provides a clue to people like Shaath. Just go to youtube and search for his name. You will see a person who has posted around 20 videos. Almost all, if not all, features the good old doctor. Self-love and promotion is not new to the guy.

jovanda August 5, 2011 1:43 pm (Pacific time)

I would like to hear from each one "closest to him on the convoy". I suspect this entire debacle was ignited by a leadership crisis between "controlling" personalities, their mistaken perceptions and miscommunication, which is tragically counterproductive. We must learn to co-develop and NURTURE trustworthy "leadership teams" to prevent egotistical power trips. As Ken has said, to be a constructive activist for TJP, one must be able to "check your ego at the door". Rumi said: "...mature yourself and prevent a change for the worse....

Ben August 5, 2011 1:04 pm (Pacific time)

Good afternoon. When reading the counter-comments, I noticed one that suggested you see Press TV as an upstanding media outlet, one that you are actually pleased to be associated with, since it was cited as one of the main sources where your material is appearing. My question is: Are you being sincere here about Press TV?

Editor:: We are friends with Press TV, we share material and they frequently interview our writers, myself included, in context with different Middle east reports.  I know what some think about this, but so what?  Do people actually believe that because a source is tied to a country that western powers screwed for generations that they are not credible?  They make mistakes, we make mistakes, and so does everyone else.  They aren't tied to western interests, and that opens many doors.  Not perfect, neither are we, but this is an agency doing the job that U.S. news is supposed to do.  

kelli August 5, 2011 10:58 am (Pacific time)

Ken is the bridge over troubled Gazan water. You zionist trolls aren't fit to lick his boots!

Rubiconski August 5, 2011 12:25 am (Pacific time)

Troubling indeed. Inside jobs always are. It's heartbreaking because Ken's project was magnificent and held so much promise for Palestinians to trade and generate their own economy. But this can all be built again. These double agents can never hijack the spirit of the movement. Remember your friend Vik and know things could always be worse. Shun these troublemakers immediately! You must not give them anymore of your precious energy! Phase these gossipers OUT! Gaza NEEDS you 100%! Rebuild! We believe in you Ken :)

Lucille Moor August 4, 2011 5:00 pm (Pacific time)

It is not even words that ring true, it is the actions and the sight of Ken's soul reflected in his eyes, lighting up with joy when a fearful child smiles. We all have to trust someone, and I would trust Ken with my life. We all make bad judgments of others however, and we must realize that the best of us will be set up to fall if we stand in the way of the slaughter and humanizing Palestinians. It is such an Israeli set up and frankly after listening to Ken and having been set up myself by israeli lawyers and their network reaching all the way to tow truck drivers, I feared the trap would be set. Who else has championed the cause of humanity as Ken has, he already carries the burden of such devastation, it is as though Israel wants to break him as Israel wants to break the Palestinians. Much strength and Love to you Ken and supporters, and Palestinians.

Tim King: That was beautiful, there are thousands who feel this way and four or five problematic idiots who keep beating their drum and it is way off tune.... Shukaran!

equalizer August 4, 2011 1:20 pm (Pacific time)

was unaware all this trouble was brewing...keep the faith Ken, you have more friends than you can image.

Jane August 1, 2011 9:20 pm (Pacific time)

You say that you have seen Ken O Keefe's Irish passport--- and we are supposed to believe you blindly.

 Editor: Jane, let's be serious, you know and I know that Ken has an Irish passport, case closed.  

Also, I have seen an authentic photo of his US passport dated 2004; and how could he 'renew' his US passport if he had given up US citizenship??

 Editor: Each time Ken has to come to the U.S. they make him get a U.S. passport.  This is about the children of Gaza anyway, so the fact that you are centering around such unimportant details shows that you are only here to assault Ken, not to help the kids.  

Why should Saeb Shaath discuss anything with you, he and Catherine Myles have released an official statement and there are legal issues pending as you know.

 Editor: Interesting, why on earth not?  I always make an attempt to reach people who are the subject of the story I am writing, are you really asking this?  Beyond that, it is just important that people know I tried, I would not likely believe a single word they said anyway, but I might have published their side.  Now they have foregone that opportunity. 

You can interview the numerous other convoy members some of whom were strong O Keefe admirers and right-hand men, but now want nothing to do with him.

 Editor: Great point, and one thing I have moving forward is a new video about the Mavi Marmara that has interviews with two people who were aboard the first Flotilla and they love Ken to no end, and they don't back a word of the nonsense against Ken, they were there from the beginning.  In the end, there are only one or two people really behind this movement against Ken, and they have swayed a few here and there with their extraordinary lines of bullshit.  Again, Ken has dedicated his life to this effort, and anyone who would undermine his progress is not someone who cares about Palestine, or they are stupid, or such egomaniacs that they don't like Ken because they know he is a natural leader and they 'clash'.  Whatever, I have talked to numerous people aboard the first Freedom Flotilla and only one has bad things to say about Ken, and that individual is someone I know and communicate with, in fact I think she is really the first to initiate this effort against him.   

Or are they too frightened and disgusted to talk?

 Editor: Oh, that is the 'Ken is scary' aspect, right?  Ken is a straight up person, he is loved by his friends and his heart is in the right place if anyone's ever was.  

How do you know he's not banned from Gaza- have you rang Hamas yourself? Lastly, why do you say that anyone who is against O Keefe is for Israel-- that is a very simplistic statement. It is precisely because people care about Gaza that they are preventing criminals using Palestinian suffering to line their own pockets. There are plenty of ways to donate to Gaza but you are trying to portray O Keefe as the saviour of Palestine. He is quite the opposite.

Editor: He's done more than anyone I know of in his own way, of course Adam and Huwaida are extremely important in this and so are many others, but Ken is on it at all times and he has spent a large amount of time there.  I am friends with ISM volunteers who Ken stayed with, they think he's the best, and Vik loved Ken, or are you here to insult him too?  Do you know about the smear campaigns against that Brother?  That's right Jane, very similar, very reminiscent; lies about sex, lies about character, but Kan and Vic and the tiny number of human beings alive today with their level of integrity are your target.  Wow.

Cleave Sierra August 1, 2011 6:35 pm (Pacific time)

As I've read so many stories dealing with Gaza, the Palestinians, Israeli's, O'Keefe, etc., etc. , just what has been accomplished?

 Editor: Oh here we go, I've been waiting for you guys but you have such a weak non-argument that you are reduced to this, but I like the play by play style... First, since we started covering Israel frequently, our writing team has grown from 20 something to 96 writers.  We've had Ken's articles and videos picked up by many groups including the Seattle Post Intelligencer and other mainstream publications.  We've all appeared on Press TV and al Jazeera and Ken has made The BBC time and time again.  Reaching from 20k to 150k+ people every single day, we are watching the results of our reports take place nearly in real time, because far, far more Americans and Brits and Canadians for that matter, are now on the side of humanity.  All they have to do sometimes is see one of our reports and they change.  Same with the endless stream of stories we carry about the Genocide of Sri Lanka.  As a paid shill for Israel you probably don't even know about that, or the work we constantly do out of Rwanda, and Uganda....  

In fact all your stories on this site which address issues that you desire to impact and change, you have not had any effect whatsoever.

 Editor: You're a real funny man cleave, I suppose if I had to call out one story that we have been on for years, is the contamination of  the now closed El Toro Marine Corps Air Station in Irvine.  Our stories have caused significant grief and we became friends with two Irvine City Councilors in the process who helped us expose the corruption and pollution that is hidden from public view.  On this story we have worked closely with the OC Register, Voice of OC and LA Times.  I can go on and on but you're only worth a little of my time.  Our writer Marianne Skolek is the nation's leading pain in the side for Purdue Pharma, the manufacturers of  Oxycontin, it is a long, long list.

I saw that you claimed breaking a story on Obama/Holder's gunrunning crime, but that has been out there long long before you wrote anything.

 Editor: You quickly get on one's nerves don't you?  We absolutely broke the aspect where "Holder Lied" because someone dug up a press release from 2009 and sent it to me so I could prove Holder knew about the program in April 2009.  Salem-News.com was mentioned on Fox News and the Mike Malloy and many points in between.

 Jul-14-2011: Report on Eric Holder & U.S. Weapons Smuggling Program to Mexico Making Rounds - Tim King Salem-News.com  
     Jul-09-2011: Holder Lied: DOJ News Release Shows Obama Admin Approved ATF Mexico Weapons Smuggling - Tim King Salem-News.com 

Suffice, I'm sure to yourselves you have done groundbreaking stories, but what's changed?

Editor: It is not 'ourselves' that we do these stories for, surely you realize that.  We are here to alert the world as to the continuing injustice taking place and we follow the principle of TJP as Ken has laid it out.  

Also this group that attempts to capitalize on veterans that Duff writes for, what have they accomplished. Seriously, what have you done. In the area of PTSD, something I know quite a bit about and have seen many lives turn around, there has been nothing but stories that MJ will cure you or make life better, bullshit!

 Editor: Bullshit back to you, I have been contacted by literally hundreds of Veterans over the years whose lives were totally saved from PTSD by cannabis use.  We have Dr. Phil Leveque who fought the Nazi's in WWII as our mentor, we have Tom Porpiglia and Sue Hannibal who specialize in EFT therapy (that does not involve cannabis use) what are you anyway, a cop?  Gordon Duff one year had the most viewed story on Salem-News.com, that guy is awesome and his efforts are behind many important groundbreaking stories.

You people on this site just love to see your words in print, but have absolutely nothing to show for those words. Get a real job guys, and leave positive changes to us who know how to do those changes for the good. We gettir done.

Editor: So you're a redneck too?  Look, you are nobody and we are changing the world.  The two people who ripped Ken off, and rizzo and JAWS, they are all damaged goods, just working away for Israel, but then you would understand I suppose.  Anything else?  

Agron Belica August 1, 2011 5:47 pm (Pacific time)

@Truth out: Screw you!!!!!!

Truth out August 1, 2011 4:57 pm (Pacific time)

This story is fallacious!

Saeb Shaath is the ONLY true Gazan involved in the Trade not Aid idea. The split within the group is not as simple as it seems and I think this story is very, very dangerous for ALL those trying to work to do good for Gaza and Palestine.

Ken is ONE MAN among thousands who are working for peace and to ease the suffering of the people of Gaza. Also there are 1.5 million Gazans who are struggling daily to overcome the odds.

This is a disgraceful story to run. Are you owned by Rupert Murdock, or wouldn't even he touch such crass shit spreading arsewipe as this?

Editor: That's pretty funny since you're the one who is full of shit.  Use your name next time or you get flushed.  The Murdoch line is funny, we are dealing with a slander campaign against Ken, you must be from the moon.  Liars will pay for their misdeeds.  I am so sick if this crap.  You fully discount the import of a western person doing this, don't you know the west is full of bigotry and that is the problem, do you have any idea how one in a million Ken is?  There is so much he could be doing with his life, and this is how he chooses to do it, and people like you are there to destroy his progress for Gaza, which was HUGELY significant and as real as it gets.  And believe me little buddy, I have my gloves strapped on, this is not a battle we will lose, good will win the day, honestly is alive.  

August 1, 2011 3:05 pm (Pacific time)

You and Keefe afre combat Marines? Or two guys the Marines were happy to discharge? The latter is correct.

Editor: I was a peacetime Marine, Ken was a Marine during the first Gulf war.  Yes, because we did things like call out our superiors for being abusive assholes, we probably were the ones the Corps was glad to see go.  I am not going to do this nitpick stuff all day FYI.

Agron Belica August 1, 2011 3:06 pm (Pacific time)

@Jane: Screw you! @Dr. Shaath Screw you! @Catherine screw you 2!!! If Hamas banned Ken O'Keefe from entering then screw Hamas 2!!! We are with Ken all the way nobody is falling for that bullshit.

Agron Belica August 1, 2011 8:41 am (Pacific time)

Ken O'Keefe is Palestines #1 activist and my hero! Keep moving brother-don't let those hypocrites stop you from what you do. TJP!!!!!!!

COLLI August 1, 2011 7:26 am (Pacific time)

While Ken may be fighting snakes constantly, Salem-News works hard at being a mongoose. Well done Salem-News. In today's ultra-political world, honesty and fairness find little support. Sometimes being Rikki-Tikki-Tavi must feel like you are spitting into the wind. I applaud your efforts Salem-News. More of the world watches what is going on between Israel and Palestine every day. It becomes more difficult for Israel to execute the apartide policies without criticism and negative notoriety from many corners. Keep up the good work Tim and Bonnie. The children of Palestine are deserving of your efforts.

Jane August 1, 2011 7:20 am (Pacific time)

Ken O Keefe does not have an Irish passport. He still uses his American one- every time he burns it he just replaces it. He admitted himself he used it last year when touring the US. You have slandered Dr Shaath in this article, he is a long time and well known activist for Palestine and much loved. Ken O Keefe is a fraud and this was discovered by those closest to him on the convoy.He has been banned from entering Gaza by Hamas and is seen there as an untrustworthy person, a 'freak'. Strange that the editor of this news site is also an ex-marine--

Editor: First of all, you are another person against Ken and that means you are for Israel, so don't think your words are going to have an impact.  First, I have seen Ken's Irish passport, so there you are, busted on lie #1, Ken got a U.S. passport for our tour last summer, I included the video about the history of this, and it is only because the U.S. forced him to do it, refusing to accept his Irish passport because he was born here.  I was standing with him when he discussed what you are trying to base your false point on, so forget that too, lie #2.  I could care less about what Dr. Shaath thinks, I attempted to contact him and the woman, but we didn't hear anything back.  Ken is anything but a fraud and you are a fool with lie #3.  He has not been banned from entering Gaza, that is not true, and Hamas does not have that opinion, how the hell would you know anyway?  You people trying to hurt Ken and the children of Gaza are wearing and your actions disgust me.  Now, as for Ken and I being ex-Marines, so what?  As young men we served in the most elite arm of the U.S. military service.  Then we became people who rally for peace.  There are 13 other former U.S. Marines who write for Salem-News.com; they are some of the most powerful writers alive because they have witnessed the real side of war and that is why they are here now, to spread peace and assist humanity.  I'd say the 'freaks' are the slanderous morons who stole his fleet of trucks to help the children of Gaza, there is not a single element of your bashing of his character that is true.  

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