One of the human race’s leading activists addresses baseless allegations that thwarted an Overland Convoy to 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
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.
“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
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.
“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.
“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”.
“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”.
“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”. ♥
“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”
“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”.
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”.
(salem-news.com / 01.08.2011)