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Sep-24-2010 02:47printcomments

Ken O'Keefe's Northwest Speaking Tour Meets Positive Reaction

Ken speaks in Newport Friday at 6:00 p.m.

Ken O'Keefe speaking at Tsunami Books in Eugene, Oregon.
Ken O'Keefe speaking at Tsunami Books in Eugene, Oregon. Salem-News.com photo by Bonnie King

(SALEM, Ore.) - Ken O'Keefe's speaking tour of the NW is off to a great start, so far Ken has appeared twice in Eugene, Oregon, once in Corvallis, and the next date is Newport, Oregon, that happens tonight at 6:00 p.m. The details are listed below.

The tour has been boosted by the vibrant presence of Eileen Fleming, another Salem-News.com writer, also a strong activist and investigator in recent years, who has traveled to Israel and Palestine seven times. Her interviews with Israeli Whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, and her upcoming book, are riveting subjects that she has been sharing with those attending the tour locations. Eileen's Website is WeAreWideAwake.org.

A clip from Ken's talk at Tsunami Books is included with this brief update. It features Ken talking about his night aboard the Mavi Marmara, 29 May 2010, when Israeli commandos attacked the unarmed passenger ship with deadly accuracy by helicopter and boat.

Ken specified during this talk that contrary to media reports, the Israeli soldiers did not rappel onto the deck of the Mavi Marmara, they used a 'fast rope' method which is quicker and does not involved a harness mechanism.

O'Keefe and other members of the crew have been criticized by Israel for attempting to defend their ship without any guns while their Captain navigated in international waters.

Their weapons aboard the Mavi Marmara were limited to slingshots, sections of hand rail and deck chairs.

Still, O'Keefe, a former U.S. Marine and Desert Storm Veteran, disarmed two Israeli commandos and took their weapons. A third Israeli Defense Force soldier was also captured and disarmed.

No Israeli soldiers were shot.

They were given medical treatment aboard the Mavi Marmara after they were taken below deck.

Later they were released, after the order was issued to stop resisting the attack on the vessel.

Nine people aboard the Mavi Marmara were killed that night, many more were injured.

One died recently from injuries sustained during the Israeli attack, bringing the total number of people killed to ten.

Some of the events of that night are described in this clip.

Ken's NW tour comes at a historic time, as the United Nations released its fact finding report on the Gaza Flotilla attack Wednesday.

This is the most serious governmental reaction so far to the deadly attack. The Freedom Flotilla's Intent was simple; to break the blockade of Gaza which Israel and Egypt have forced for years.

As in the case of the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara, the blockade is illegal according to International and Maritime law.

This is an excerpt from a report published Thursday:

In a 56-page report, the fact-finding mission, which is separate from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s four-member panel of inquiry into the same incident, found that the action of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in intercepting one of the ships, the Mavi Marmara, on the high sea was “clearly unlawful.”

Nine civilians lost their lives and several more were seriously injured in the incident against the flotilla that departed from Turkey and was trying to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza, which has been the subject of an Israeli blockade since 2007.

“The conduct of the Israeli military and other personnel towards the flotilla passengers was not only disproportionate to the occasion but demonstrated levels of totally unnecessary and incredible violence,” the report states.

“It betrayed an unacceptable level of brutality. Such conduct cannot be justified or condoned on security or any other grounds. It constituted grave violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law.”


The report, which was made public yesterday, presents a factual description of the events leading up to the interception of each of the six ships in the flotilla as well as a seventh ship intercepted on 6 June, the deaths of nine passengers and wounding of many others, and the detention of passengers in Israel and their deportation[1].

While this is a subject of major current interest and huge importance, Ken also takes time to discuss other developments, history and hopes that he sees for the future.

Ken's scheduled appearances include:

FRI. Sept. 24 @ 6PM 777 NW Beach Dr., 2nd Floor, Nye Beach/NEWPORT, OR.

SAT. Oct. 2 @ 7:15 AM KCXF 90.3 FM SEATTLE, WA.

SAT. Oct. 2 @ time TBA VFP 92 SEATTLE, WA.

If you have questions or want to have Ken speak to your group about his background, goals and aspirations, please send an email to: newsroom@salem-news.com

[1] Sep-23-2010: Israeli Action Against Gaza Flotilla 'Unlawful' -UN Human Rights Council Panel - Salem-News.com

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 numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the 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. 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 65 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 send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com




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