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Dec-07-2010 12:13printcomments

Zahir's response to Mary at PTT: Ken O'Keefe, Road to Hope and a Kidnapping that Wasn't

The genuine rebel is a rare breed indeed, too few in numbers, too week in power...

Ken O'Keefe in Portland, Oregon - photo by Dexter Phoenix
Ken O'Keefe in Portland, Oregon - photo by Dexter Phoenix

(LOS ANGELES) - Forward by editor: An article was published Monday by Mary Rizzo of Palestine Think Tank that is highly critical of writer Ken O'Keefe's work as an activist for Palestine. Many who are rooting for Palestine see this development as little more than negative infighting, but the people who it is really about surely do not gain from any of this.

Dear Mary


I hope you are well. I would briefly like to respond to your letter which arrived in my emailbox this morning directing me to your article on PTT. Please note that I am cc'ing Tim at (and I hope Tim might forward this letter to  Ken) for reasons which are apparent below.

First, please permit me to state the following very matter of factly: I am unwilling to criticise an individual who willingly puts himself under the following life-threatening situation unless I have done the same first:

"Despite this entire event being completely peaceful on our end, Israelis shot at us and bullets whizzed by within feet of us. You can clearly hear one bullet whizz by myself (Ken O’Keefe) and several others in my area." --

I speed-read your missive at PTT with interest Mary, and I applaud your courage to speak your mind on this. I didn't read it entirely because I saw some issues in your article which I address in this letter. But I begin with a personal note by saying that I wish I had that much courage as you Mary to so openly critique my own Muslim brethren for our common failings with such candor. The fear of being used as a 'native informant' for the purpose of acquiring more cultural competance over us is a great moderator for me. This is why I greatly admire courageous Jews who stand up to Israel, and courageous Christians who stand up to the tyrannies and failings of their own. And they do have a tad less to fear of the same issues that I have to constantly grapple with when taking on our 'House Negroes' and the silent apathy of our peoples, as being from the 'untermensch' civilization bearing the full brunt of the uber criminals and brilliant hectoring hegemons from among the so called 'judeo-christian' civilization waging an incessant cultural as well as physical war upon us, I don't wish to be victimized twice.

Thus, I greatly admire and am most envious of the courage of ISMs and their opportunities to exercise their un-inhibitions boldy and to the fullest, even if there may be room for improvement in their modus operandi and in their conceptualization of the problem domain which ab initio creates mis-calculations on their solution-spaces, thus leaving the struggle for Palestine entirley without efficacy in no less a measure than the Palestinains' own futile attempts. Who is more to blame? The co-opted and out-witted Palestinians themselves like the ones in Diasopora waging a 'safe' weekend jihad from the comforts of their living rooms, or those not among them but who courageously come to the rescue of those beleagured on ground Zero directly braving a bullet to their brains, and fail?

I have critiqued that entire concept of the largely symbolic, inefficacious and vaccuous dissent against the Jewish State, and you have previously published some of my writings which carry such critiques, as for instance this article which had once been published on PTT:  And at other times, you have simply refused to publish other critiques because as you have explained, you will never criticize that individual as he has done so much for the Palestinian peoples. So you had declined the following submission which took on the most visible and respectable Palestinian in diaspora for his own unforgivable errors of omission which I feel are the 'highest order bit' of the matter in even having any hopes of success for reclaiming Israel-Palestine from the clutches of Zionism:  That of course is your choice as PTT is your soap-box. You make value decisions on what is good dissent, and what is bad dissent. What is appropriate and what isn't. That is just a factual statement, not an indictment, to highlight the fact that there is a great deal of subjectivity involved here. Right?

Having said all that to get it out of the way so that my following statements have a complete context, here is the short meat of this letter.

Mary, you have certainly identified some real tactical problems. And I would like to see a broader discussion of them without necessarily putting down the courageous peoples who bodly stand up for moral priniciples by putting their own lives on the line. The genuine rebel is a rare breed indeed, too few in numbers, too week in power, and too caught up in their emotional responses to have a real 'Mens et Manus' - 'mind and hand' - engineering efficacy in an interlinked multivariate domain of oppression so vast, and dominated by powers so elusive, that he and she is unable to see the invisible "iron wall" which protects the many visible effects from being rectified. My little Pamphlet on Palestine ( ) has analyzed that in some depth, and you had published one or two of its trilogy of essays at one time as I recall. My latest article examines the rebel and is equally applicable to the ISMs, and to Ken O'Keefe et. al:

Of Ostriches and Rebels on The Hard Road to World Order

I invite my comrade Tim at Salem News to pick up this topic that my comrade Mary has tried to courageously highlight, and as a more detached journalist, perhaps put some forensic spotlight on the issues raised, primarily of activists becoming more important than the activism for which they started, due to at times because of the very nature of the high-visibilty modus operandi they employ. There is no way in hell, and justifiably so, that Rachel Corrie's singular murder under the Israeli D-9 Caterpillar bulldozer would not get more spotlight than the many Palestinians' daily slaughter and murder of small children. Rachel Corrie herself wrote about it in her letters. And this is also the case here. And as Rachel put it (paraphrasing as her letters are not here with me, but I do possess a hardcopy which was distributed at a funeral event in Berkeley where my family was the only Muslim family in attendance), her hope was that because of her white skin, blue passport, etc., that the spotlight would be drawn back upon the Palestinians. That hasn't happened to the degree that Rachel Corrie and the Palestinians would have wanted, obviously - but that is not the failing of Rachel Corrie. It is our combined failure.

Thank you.

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xexon December 7, 2010 1:42 pm (Pacific time)

I'm sorry to hear of this. I've posted at the Palestinian ThinkTank and have exchanged emails with my favorite Palestinian journalist, Khalid Amayreh. I hope this sorts itself out. x

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