Sunday, May 29, 2011

One for the Women

By: Ken O'Keefe

This is one of those very unplanned articles born out of inspiration in Egypt.
I arrived in Egypt after being blocked by the Egyptian security services four separate times over the course of nearly three months.  During this period, with an easy opportunity for attention and exposure, I kept my mouth almost completely shut.  In the meantime I have quietly done what I could to depart Gaza and return to my family and to join my wife for the birth of our second child.  Instead I was repeatedly blocked, missed the birth of our child and have been unable to give emotional, physical and even financial support to my family.  All the while it has never been lost on me that this is only a small fraction of the injustice thrust upon Palestinians every single day.
The blessing in this is that the Samouni Project and other very promising work has transpired, due directly to me ending up in Gaza longer than planned.  I am always keen to turn negatives into positives, and that is exactly what I have done.
In this extra time in Gaza, being separated from my wife and family I have become that much more aware of how ultimately blessed I am as a man.  What my wife endures, all too often without any tangible support from me, is a man who is gone much of the time, who works every single day when he is absent or around, a man who earns almost no money and who by the nature of his work brings danger not just to himself, but possibly to her and our family.  When you add all this up, I have a gem of a woman, the best kind of woman (in my mind anyway), a Palestinian woman, a shining example of womanhood.
It is said that behind every great man you will find a great woman.  I do not look at myself as a great man per se, but I do see the greatness of the women in my life, and if I do indeed succeed in my ultimate goals, you can thank these women every bit as much as me.  They have played the essential role in my character development, they are Goddesses, the fabric of a healthy society and responsible for the most important job that exists, that of being a mother.

My mother, my first great blessing in life.

My mother, my grandmother, and my wife are such women; all of them have shown me a love that is boundless and unconditional.  Because of them, more than any other factors in my life, I hold great love for my fellow human beings and all life in general.  When you combine true love with the understanding of a women’s intimate relationship and experience with injustice, you will be empowered.  The strength that myself and countless others exhibit in the face of the sadistic tyrants and their minions in this world, is derived in great part by the beauty and essence of the women in our lives.  I feel sorry for the lowly men trapped in the simplistic attraction of the sexual essence of a woman, there is so much more, so, so much more, and to know women as I do is to know the whole beauty of them.
I had no plans to write about women when I arrived in Cairo, but something happened and a link in my mind was made between the Egyptian Revolution and the cause of women in general.  And I am always keen to link causes, always.  I have met many people since arriving in Cairo and what has been communicated to me is that the revolution continues as a non-stop endeavor.  I have been told the demands of the revolution are beginning to center around financial justice, workers rights and an egalitarian tax system that would result in a redistribution of wealth.  The achievement of these demands would inevitably lift countless millions of Egyptians out of the deep poverty that Western cultural imperialism and Egyptian corruption have relegated them to.
As fate would have it I watched a movie in Cairo that developed a link worthy of sharing.  I seriously recommend this movie to everyone, but especially to women.  And though it may seem the message of the movie centers around equal pay for women, I have to disagree.  I believe the central theme is justice, and as Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
The movie is called ‘Made in Dagenham’, watch it, breathe it in and realize that the struggle for equal pay in Britain, the struggle for redistribution of wealth in Egypt, and every struggle you can think of has just one thing obstructing justice, and that would be unity.  In the movie men and women of the workers unions united, despite the best efforts of the sell-outs, and in the end men and women united and gained.  That is the secret waiting to be figured out by us, we all have the same cause, when we unite, we can achieve anything.
I supported the Egyptian Revolution from the moment I heard of it, which was before it officially began, and that explains the reason I have been blocked by the security services up till now.  But I want Egypt to know, and the workers of England to know, as well as the Palestinians, the American’s, the students, the oppressed everywhere, to know, that you all have the same struggle, against the same centralized enemy.  Think critically, open your heart, shed the fear, and you will know this to be true.
If you see the world the way I do, and I know I am not alone in this, you will see the methods of divide and rule are everywhere.  The powers that be know all too well that we, the masses, the working class, the immigrants, the women, the blacks, the Hawaiians (kanaka maoli), the Palestinians and the occupied, oppressed and violated from all around the world are all fighting the same system.  God help the tyrants should we ever figure this out, because the moment we do, we will begin to experience the sweet taste of justice and the liberation of a dignified life.
And so I go back to the women, the massive numbers of women who have been raped and beaten and exploited and violated, and yet they do what women do, they are moms.  They look after us, love us, nurture us and support us, they shelter us from a cruel world.  God help the child whose mother does not fulfill this role, I reckon you can explain to one degree or another the level of insanity in our collectively insane world, by the success or failure of the mothers in every child’s life.
Zeinat Samouni, a great, great mother.
I was blessed in this regard, my children are equally blessed, and now I finally see my failure as a man, my failure to be the father and husband, something that every woman and child deserves.  As I return home to my family, after 8 months of absence, during almost the entire pregnancy of our second child, I vow to give the time and support my family deserves.  I will finally find the balance of time for my family and time for the cause.  I will not sacrifice my family for the cause any longer, I cannot, simply because I cannot respect myself as a man, when I chose my woman, impregnated her , while not honouring the commitment and responsibility that this inherently involves.
You will see less of me on Facebook and Twitter, but you will get more from me in the end.  Leadership by example is a principle I believe in to the hilt, and to be a good father and husband is essential for me if I am to be considered a leader.
For those of pure heart and genuine support, know this, as I achieve greater success in my stated goals, I am all too predictably to be increasingly attacked by the idiots and agents.  It seems the central charge, although there are so many, is that I do what I do for money and fame.  Make no mistake; the timing of these attacks is not accidental.  This latest round of attacks began just days after the birth of our second son, while I was involuntarily thousands of miles away from my wife.  This attack included an extra charge that I was committing adultery, again within days of my wife giving birth… alone.  Whether Zionists initiated this attack or not, they would be the first to cheer it on.
What can one say who is the target of such libel?  Not many are willing to subject themselves to this type of poison, but putting yourself out there on the chopping block is inevitable should you walk the path that I do.  Again it comes down to the love given to me by the women in my life.  Does a mother abandon her child because her own life or character is at risk?  Of course not, and so it is I will not abandon my brothers and sisters in Palestine, Hawaii, Iraq, Afghanistan, and indeed America and every corner of the Earth were people endure injustice.  We are all family, flawed as we may be, and I am a brother, and I will act as such.
Through the women in my life I have been given love that has afforded me the self-respect so many others can only yearn to know.  Rest assured, I will not abandon my mission for a better world, no matter how vicious the attacks on me.  I prefer to die, as a mother does to protect her vulnerable child, then live and turn my back on my brothers and sisters who constitute my human family.  And the women in my life are every bit as strong as myself, and they too will not be swayed by attacks on me or even themselves.
As for the slander directed at me, slander flying in the face of the facts, those of you who subscribe to this garbage make yourselves out to be dupes and fools.  You are indeed a significant part of the problem.  Do not get me wrong, nobody should be followed blindly, myself included.  Never should a person abandon critical thinking.  But to ignore the obvious commitment a person like myself has shown, by words spoken and deeds carried out, to buy into the slander leveled at me simply because supposed “allies” say it is so, is a disgrace.  In doing this you feed tyranny and division, you attack a brother who has put his life on the line numerous times.  It really is a disgrace, especially since most if not all of you have never risked what I or my family have.
The dupes fail to see that anyone who stands as I do against injustice, especially if they are getting results and inspiring others to act, will be attacked.  They fail to understand the method of divide and rule through slander and liable.  Wake up, smell the coffee, stop being dupes and join the struggle or identify yourselves as the agents of the enemy you are, unwittingly or not.
As the character Forest Gump says in the movie of the same title, “Stupid is as stupid does.”
As yet another means of educating the idiots I shall take an extraordinary step.  My wife and family and all of my closest friends already know this truth, but some of you are suckered into doubting it.  My path has meant an enormous amount of unpaid work; spiritually rewarding I must say, but the vast majority of it unpaid.  And yes many people have helped my along the way, so that I could do what I do.  The result however, in travelling this dubious, perilous path, for my wife and kids, is a sacrifice in which they are deprived of the resources required for financial security.  I could make money a priority, but I have not.  Nonetheless, I am not willing to subject them to this insecurity any longer; accused or not of doing what I do for money, I will secure a modest paycheck earned out of an honourable and altruistic job.  My benefits will derive from the benefits of others.  If you see me sporting flashy cars and living in a mansion, then you will have every right to sling mud my way, but bank on this, that will never happen.  Riches for me are measured in terms of what you give, not what you take. And in this sense, I am one of the richest men on the planet, I will continue to give everything I have, except my self-respect.
And as I venture to earn this pay, to honour my duty as a father and a husband, I will submit my bank statements for the world to see.  Thus you will all be able to see that while I have risked life and limb, as do so many others, I have done so with little to no reward in financial terms; and yet some very stupid or very evil people, have been spreading the lie, that I do what I do for money.  I do not say this to defend myself, really I don’t, I say this to help others understand, because enough of us must understand in order to create a better world.
But I am telling all the idiots right now; I will not take on the full time job of responding to every spurious claim made about me.  After I show my bank statements, the next charge will be that I have taken cash payments which were never deposited.  How will I prove this false?  The answer is there is no way to disprove this, and that is why such charges will inevitably come.  The idiots will buy it, I do accept this, but the thinking people, those not clouded by jealousy, insecurity, cynicism and outright stupidity, you are the ones I am talking to now.  You are the ones that matter, idiots do as idiots do, it is irrelevant as long as thinking, conscientious people do what they can do.  And that really is the question, will enough of us do what we are capable of doing?
I have made it a goal of mine to help the stupid people who bite hook, line and sinker into the slander written and said about me, and I will help you.  I will help you see the character assassination trash for what it is, and how it makes the Zionists and the tyrants smile.  But I will not dedicate limitless time to this endeavor.  I will do it because I know many of the idiots, like myself when I was a US Marine, are not bad people.  You are just stupid, and easily manipulated, a crime worth forgiving.  Like myself 20 years ago you deserve some love and effort, how could I not extend to you what was given to me when I was once you?
But the rest of you, the insidiously false “allies”, you I am happy to expose.  You are often the neo-liberal wanker “activists”, you make us Western people of good heart look like the enemy.  You are even worse then the direct enemies, at least they are much more honest about where they stand.  You on the other hand are the people who destroy the capacity of good people in the West to express genuine brotherhood and sisterhood with our non-Western family.  The damage you do is incalculable, and exposing you is a task of significant importance.
And so I return to the women, the women in my life are the core of my strength.  Ultimate love and respect to all the sane and beautiful women out there.  In me you have a brother or a son, look at me as you would your blood brother or your beloved son, and I in turn I shall give what you deserve of me.  You, the true woman, you are our greatest hope; you are at the center of a just and peaceful future, I am born of you, and I will die of you.

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