Tuesday, May 17, 2011

From Gaza To Haters of Ken O’Keefe

By: Jehan Alfarra

I have been intending to write something to the haters of Ken O’Keefe
for a while now but haven’t got the time and chance. My fury and rage today, however, are forcing me to get on with it! Let me first point out that my respect for Ken O’Keefe and everything that he has been doing throughout his life stems for my absolute respect for justice and all those who dedicate their lives, time, and efforts to just causes; those who seek truth, justice, and peace.

Before I get on with my post and why I decided to write it, I just want to leave a quick reply to USA Green Hours’ who commented on my page: Aid? Why Not Trade? (where you can see my interview with Ken about the necessity of trade and about ‘Aloha Palestine’) Saying:The Gazans don’t need anybody to teach them how to trade. They have been doing it for thousands of years just in case you didn’t know.’

Well… First off, who said anyone was trying to teach Gazans how to trade? I hope that next time when someone wants to say something, they’d actually know what it is and how to phrase it correctly. Ken NEVER once said or even implied or intended that he wants to teach anyone how to trade! And I challenge anyone to bring me evidence- one video would be cool- in which he makes such a point. Ken emphasizes and repeats time and again that he is but a facilitator, just like any other activist! The siege imposed on Gaza hindered, and blocked even, trade. Internationals and activists usually focus on bringing aid to the population of Gaza, which does not really solve anything! It’s a temporal solution, which we all appreciate and full-well recognize the massive efforts undergone to execute it (note that Ken was involved in that as well). However, bringing aid is like giving someone a fish rather than a fishing rod! Not that they will teach you how to fish, but when you are under siege and unable to provide those fishing rods, it is nice to see activists bringing the rods rather than the fish. And this is precisely what Ken has realized and has been working shoulder to shoulder with Palestinians, including samouni family members which I’ll be talking about later in my post; to actually facilitate trade and break the siege in this one form at least. One this note, you can check the Samouni projectthe beehives project, and exportation. Ken will only be bringing the beehives with the convoy, not bringing honey OR teaching Gazans how to use beehives and make a living out of it, because they’ve always done so but were prevented from doing so due to Israeli terrorism :)  including

This ‘USA Green Hours’ continues: ‘Regarding this statement “We need to establish trade; once we establish trade, we can get raw materials in, the factories can be rebuilt, people can go back to work, the economy can be developed, Palestinians will have no need for aid! None.” I didn’t realize that the Gazans’ inability to trade was their main problem? Do you remember the occupation and the apartheid state that constantly bombs them? So, you bring raw material in and you build and the zionists come and bomb it, and what’s next? Bring more raw material and rebuild again and again and watch everything get bombed over and over again? Please tell Mr. O’Keefe that his battle is in the US against the zionists who control the US government, fund and blindly support those who occupy Palestine and constantly bomb Gaza. Oops! I forgot, there will be no money making in that.’

If you think Gazans’ inability to trade due to the siege isn’t their main problem, then am assuming going to the buffer zones in peaceful protests with ISM activists isn’t either! And I am assuming that going deep into the sea to help fishermen as Vik did isn’t the main problem either! Let’s just stop doing that because it isn’t our main problem. Well GUESS WHAT? I am Gazan, and I’ve been studying the effects of the siege and hindrance of trade on the Gazan economy and TRADE is actually MORE vital that what I mentioned above :) notice how Ken said ‘the factories can be Rebuilt’ not built, so if you are saying he is teaching Gazans anything, you can shut the hell up.
And no his battle isn’t just in the US against Zionists controlling the government. I know there are many GREAT people who are doing all this in the United States, but it is equally important to have activists in Gaza as well working on things :) 

‘Wake up and stop supporting this con artist who exploits the blood of your people.’

Oh am wide awake, pal ^_^ the ones exploiting the blood of my people are the Zionists and the corrupt leaders that we have.

Now let me get on with my real motive to write this. It will be mainly a response to some of the accusations posted here by Maha Abu-Zaineh, Mary Rizzo, and Nihaya Qawasmi  http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=218896581471574&id=210627018237&ref=notif&notif_t=share_comment

The first thing I want to draw everyone’s attention to how their arguments CONTRADICT RADICALLY! One minute making him out to be a money seeker and a self-centered wannabe seeking fame and wealth, and the other minute making him out to be a Zionist implant!! Make up your minds, people! Let’s see:

‘Sorry, but we don’t need more than one Lawrence of Arabia in Gaza! We can fight for our homeland, rebuild her and protect her without such wannabes. We have agency, you know! And we don’t ask anyone to pay us to do that for Palestine like Lawrence does!’

Well, in my personal opinion, a man who has renounced his US citizenship which people go to extremes sometimes to get, a man who AT A VERY YOUNG AGE went to Iraq and FOUNDED the human shield act to protect the innocents (any money in that? Haha thought so. Danger and only danger) and did not exert any effort to expose the truth and defend the ill-treated whether it was Palestine or any other place deserves better than this. Ken dedicated his life for the cause of justice and chose a risky path where he is regarded as a terrorist by Israel and can be killed any second now. So, if someone says he’s a liar and thief and doing it for the money, what, did he waste all these years of his youth and age, left HAWAII, and waited till his hair is gray to save up money with this trade project to enjoy maybe when he’s 60 or what? Bring up evidence and am all ears. I have worked with Ken and know how genuine this person is. His dedication to the Palestinian cause is beyond any other.

Let us not ignore the message and shoot the messenger!
As far as am concerned, he was able to influence hundreds and direct their attention to the injustice practiced against Palestinians. One interview with Ken, check this powerful one on Hard Talk where he absolutely rapes that Zionist interviewer, shows who and what this man is. If I could I’d pay him myself because his family deserves from us some of the love and care he has shown for us and his entire human family, though he never asks for it.

Also, I do not see any Arab leaders standing up for Palestinians and trying to facilitate trade; Ken IS. Why don’t we criticize them first? If they do, I am willing to tell Ken to stop and that there is no need for his efforts and his family deserves it more. Oh but we DO need him, and this is coming from a well-fed, socially-sound Gazan. The whole world knew of what happened to the samouni family during Operation Cast Lead; nonetheless, NO ONE took care of them or funded them in means of education, rebuilding their houses, or even providing psychological treatment for the horrible things they have witnessed. Ken is doing that. Check the Samouni Project.

She argues: “I would never pay anyone to do anything that a local Palestinian can do and even excel in. The Gazans don’t need anybody to do anything for them. They have been traders for thousands of years and they don’t need anyone to do that for them. They can fight for our homeland and remember that they were the ones who started the first Intifada. They can also make videos of their lives and show their misery to the world. I know many cameramen in Gaza whom I worked with in the past who can do better without using such videos to make heroes out of themselves like he does. “

I already answered this in my response to “USA Green Hours” :) he knows we can make videos haha, he liked videos I’ve made you know. Again, bring me evidence he ever implied he is the only one who seems to be able to do all of  this, and that he wants to “teach” Gazans trade or anything else!! Your comments make me laugh. Are Vittorio’s videos where he sets up the camera and talks to it about what is going on here or what he is doing also count as being self-centered as well? Or is it only the fact that Ken hold the camera in his hand that bugs you? GET OVER IT haha.

She adds this post: “Asif Khan
Hi Mary. He’s at it again – have you seen this nonsense from Ken? Initially claiming just to be a “supporter” of this ridiculous “March to Gaza”, he’s done his usual trick of taking it over (the website and facebook are all done by him), and in typical Ken style, he says ““If the marchers are blocked, attacked or arrested, we will do …as the people of Egypt have done,” explained March2Gaza spokesperson Ken O’Keefe. “We will create a Tahrir-style camp as close to Rafah Crossing as possible”. He is an insult to those who rose up in Egypt.”

So what is your problem exactly? Why is this bothering you? Jealousy? I mean, how does this in ANYWAY betray bad intentions? Just because you consider it as such does not make it true. At least he is someone who took up for it and did something, and has MANY supporters who took up for it and were willing to do it- it is just. Oh how I WISH to see more initiatives like that from others as well. He never stopped anyone from doing so had they wanted to? Would he prevent you from doing such a thing if any of you took up for it? Would he doubt your commitment? I guess you’re going to have to try for us to find out :) 
They repeat the same retarded argument which I just explained twice “When you support someone who claims to want to teach the Gazans how to trade as if they were born yesterday and don’t know how to take care of themselves is very disrespectful to our people. Perhaps you should go and ask the Shurrab family what have they been doing with their oranges all these long years before KO came to show the Gazans how to trade!”

So for the third time, where THE HELL did you get this from?? Give me one video?? One evidence!! Trying to ‘teach’ how trade lol. I think some people do not understand English very well, Ken I am guessing you might need to try some different language for people to comprehend your objectives!

“Mary Rizzo: If you don’t believe Gazans can and do their things, just check out the new video by the Gazan municipality (Welcome) which points out the vast array of self-actualisation and realisation of great projects, all done because this is normally how people do things, without telling everyone how special they are! The whole hero worship thing is very comical!”
Same Nonsense. Owned!

And now they move from that argument of him seeking fame and money to him being a Zionist implant!! I am impressed…! Before I quote them and respond, I’d like to mention that I am a literature major. I do not follow New Criticism, I much prefer New-Historicism; and therefore, I’d like to trace Ken’s past. He founded the Human Shield Act in Iraq! What does that have to do with Mossad and Zionists?? What does he gain from such endangerment? That’s purely anti American-Terrorism and government-complicity! You can also watch all of his videos arguing that 9/11 was an inside job and Israel had a hand in it, as well as in the attack on USS Liberty! Someone who argued so passionately for that and brought up so many questions surely can’t be a Zionist?

Let’s see what she says here about the Mavi Marmara attack “you should ask yourself how did someone who claimed to attack zionist commandos get away with it while Palestinians get imprisoned for defending themselves and our homeland?”

Weak argument to doubt his commitment to the cause! Tell that to Israel and racist West who consider a white life more valuable than that of a Palestinian or an ‘other’! But wait a second, he claimed to “ATTACK” Zionist commandos??? Show me where he said this, I challenge you!! Everybody watched his Hard Talk interview on BCC where he SAID VERY CLEARLY that he HELPED DISARM ISRAELI COMMANDOS”; he did answer her that he did not beat up commandos, though he does not have a problem with those who did because those commandos just KILLED 9 of our brothers aboard!

“He also claimed that the zionists called him a “trainer of terrorists” and yet, Mubarak’s collaborationist regime lets him pass through Egypt into Gaza when ONLY medical teams were allowed into Gaza and all the other passengers of Mavi Marmara were denied entry into Egypt!”

Haha dear medical teams were not the only ones who were allowed to enter. Persistent humanitarian convoys got in. Ken did not enter alone, he came with the road to hope convoy which I had the pleasure of meeting. Shahid was a member of that convoy and he’s coming back to Gaza with an art exhibition thingie (Bristol to Palestine), watch here. Tell me he’s a Zionist too since he managed to enter? I met that sweet guy, and even wrote a post here about his paintings in gaza :) 

”Perhaps you can explain to me why did Mubarak’s regime gave him a visa to Egypt if he were a “trainer of terrorists!” If you live in the US, you would know of the activists who exposed the zionists who were detained, deported and labeled as terrorists because the zionists labeled them as such. The US government and Mubarak’s regime receive/received their orders from “tel aviv!”

Oh really? Prove it! You do not know how the Egyptian border even works! And for your information, you do not need a VISA to enter Gaza lmao! It’s just a simple stamp of entrance. And how did Ken manage to get in? It wasn’t easy and you can watch the videos, but that’s Ken for you :) 

“KO is nothing but a zionist mole that must be exposed!”
I thought you said he was a money and fame seeking son of a gun? lol

“People were outraged after what happened to Mavi Marmara and nobody bothered to analyze his story. The zionists wanted us to believe that KO was a hero and should be welcomed with open arms within our movement.”

‘Hero and should be welcomed with open arms within our movement’ haha well, you really contradict yourselves here when you say: “PS. I know the very few that he works with in Gaza. No one from BDS, Free Gaza Movement, local ISM or any of the civic societies in Gaza works with him! Perhaps that should make you wonder why!”

First what do you say about his participation in the buffer zone protests with ISM?? One video here. What about his hang abouts and demonstration along with his and our dear friend and brother Vittorio?? Tons of videos on that you can find on his YouTube channel.
And if you say they don’t work with him, maybe he doesn’t work with them?? Look each movement has its own objectives! Ken participated in the ISM peaceful buffer zone protests, but that wasn’t his objective! He does his own thing and he is focused on trade! If he was an implant he’d stick to them and those movements, don’t you think? Those who focus on the same thing here in Gaza DO work with him! Maybe you should visit and find out :) 

I guess Tallha responds well to this also: As for organisations not working with him, so what? Most of the work I do is as an independent so that I am not influenced by the politics of other groups. That doesn’t mean I have some mad scheme to conquer the nascent Gazan economy for my own personal gain just because I may or may not encourage aid. Finally, you know the very few that work with him do you? Interesting. I know a few myself, most of them independents. Just how extensive is your contact network? You sound more connected than the CIA. Revise your posts, bring a compelling argument to the table, and make sure it is rational. “That doesn’t mean I have some mad scheme to conquer the nascent Gazan economy for my own personal gain just because I may or may not encourage aid” that was in reference to Ken’s idea of trade rather than aid. Sensible, self-sustaining, and makes people dependant on themselves.

She responded to Tallha: And of course, the Gazans don’t know how to do that [again she is going to the first point I answered to at the beginning of my post here], right Tallha? Give me a break!!! They are not children or disabled people to allow a crook to live off of their blood. Show some respect for them and their agency!

Tallha replies: First off, do not question my respect for my fellows. Second, any idiot can get into Gaza as you do not require a visa, and if you’ve been there, then I rest my case. Third, he entered several times with convoys, protecting and providing aid for Palestinians (including the Samouni family who love him dearly). You have not provided a scrap of evidence, so I suggest you either bring me some proof, or else close your deceitful mouth. Your name is Nihaya [Arabic for end], so I expect a “nihaya” to your bullshit
Another thing which is laughable; “they are not children or disable people to allow a crook to live off of their blood”. Really? So all Palestinians are, according to your definition, disabled children then. Over 60 years of Israeli crooks living off of their blood, and then collaboration by dogs like Abbas and Dahlan who stole, embezzeled, and appropriated millions of dollars for themselves that were supposed to be for Palestinians. So now you’re bitching about Ken, yet you don’t even have the decency to realise that the biggest thieves robbing the Palestinian people are traitors amongst Palestinians themselves. Palestinians are suffering, but why are you putting them on a pedestal as if they do no wrong, brook no evil, and can fend for themselves? You have plenty of crooks amongst you and you cannot fend for yourselves which is what people like Ken are trying to change.

She says: “I do have evidence that I can post here and anywhere. I have the financial records of his fictitious company too.”

Tallha: Nihaya, if you have questions, fire away, but keep in mind that is is YOU who are making accusations and not me, and apart from telling me you really can prove Ken’s crimes, in reality you’ve proven nothing. Your arguments are self-defeating when you say you have financial records of his fictitious company; if it’s fictitious, how do you know it is, and also why are there accounts for it?

Maha posts: تقديري انه الافندي لهف المصاري مع الكلبة اللي تجوزها
which is Arabic for “my speculation is that he and the dog he married just swallowed up the money” the dog he married??? Does she even know anything about her? She’s calling his Palestinian wife whom she’s never even had any contact with or engaged in a conversation with a dog, based on speculations. Very nice.

She carries on: “After the Mavi incident, the Israelis labeled him a “terrorist trainer” He was the ONLY individual going on tour and on television saying that they disarmed three commandos. He is the ONLY one going around talking about attacking the Israeli commandos when they tried to board the Mavi. Understand, what Ken said in many minds justified the Israeli response. Imagine, this was a humanitarian mission and there is Ken telling everyone “We fought them off and I would do it again and the nine deaths were worth it all”!

Haha again talking about him saying he attacked commandos! And her words “ the 9 deaths were worth it” are SO out of context!! I INVITE EVERYONE to watch his Hard Talk interview where he talked about this. I bet you anything you’ll end up loving everything this man represents and stands for.

She goes on: This is Ken’s FIRST tweet.
I’m Tweeting; being accused of ‘terrorist activity’ by the IDF, it must be done. http://dover.idf.il/IDF/English/News/today/10/06/0701.htm

See? The Israelis really did label him a terrorist.”

Oh they did label him a terrorist! So according to her this means he’s an implant so that we’d accept him as a hero haha. I guess Vittorio was an implant as well if this is the case! He was the number 1 ISM member wanted in Israel and called terrorist!  A very funny argument really! I mean, ISRAEL CALLS EVERYTHING and EVERYONE linked to Palestine in anyway a terrorist! It takes more than that to prove someone is an implant haha.

“Ken says he renounced his citizenship but the US government wouldn’t let him do this. He wrote a CRAZY letter to them and was denied. But he also refuses to pay income taxes. You cannot renounce your citizenship if you have taxes you have not paid.”

Oh! I thought he was a Zionist implant! You know Israel would have compromised this with their prostitute the United States to fit their purposes if he was indeed a Zionist implant haha. They would have paid for him at least, yeah?
You guys confused me, is he an implant, or a money/fame seeker? lol

Oh and check this out!!! She goes: “I have tons more. Pretty much everything he has written but this is why he is dangerous, he wants you to sign up as a TJP volunteer and be willing to DIE and it’s not his responsibility!
From the “Terms and Conditions of Conduct” for TJP

TJP as a whole or it’s Managing Director, supervisors or managing staff members shall be free of any liabilities or responsibilities for any health issues such as illness, injuries or death during any volunteer activity or protests. All volunteers accept and acknowledge all voluntary work is undertaken of their own free will and at the volunteer’s own risk
How many volunteer organizations do you know write such statements? Drink the Kool-Aid and beware it’s your own responsibility if you DIE!”

Haha well OF COURSE it is your responsibility if you die! When you volunteer for risky missions, you should expect it any moment, and that’s Ken’s life for you! If you’re not willing to take the risk, then simply do not sign up!! No one is forcing you! What a stupid argument!!!!!!!!!!

So would the Nakba March from Cairo to Gaza be held responsible if deaths occurred due to Israeli and collaborative terrorism?? You CAN NOT doubt his commitment to the cause OR prove ANYTHING with this argument you know. Next time provide some solid evidence, please :) 

It gets even better!! : “I really wish he’d offer them the kool-aid. Over the last few months, I’ve discovered that some of his most fervent supporters are Islamophobes, anti-semites, misogynists, and white supremists.”
Really? Hahah. Prove it? Examples? Btw, I happen to be one of his biggest supporters :) 

“KO is a jerk and is not worth your time. The biggest problem with him is that he has a Messiah complex. Just what the Palestinians DONT need”

Oh PUULLL-EEAAASE! Take your hatred elsewhere. Ken have contributed to the Palestinians more than all of you put together. Maybe you should see how the samouni children look up to him as a father a brother. I think I have a little bit of that in my video here. They all love him. He made them love life again and forget the indescribable agony and misery they have gone through during Operation Cast Lead. He drew the biggest smiles on their faces. Eve if for this alone, he deserves my full respect and support.
And managing by the number of haters he has, HE’S A LEGEND :) ROCK ON, KEN :D 

Jehan Alfarra
May, 17, 2011

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