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Oct-05-2010 09:40printcommentsVideo

The Ugly Details of Israel's Gaza Siege & Attack Against the Mavi Marmara (VIDEO)

Ken's Intl NW Tour concludes tonight, October 8 at Portland State; 7:00 PM at Smith Memorial Student Union bldg, Cascade Room.

Ken O'Keefe
Ken O'Keefe was a U.S. Marine before becoming one of the world's most outspoken peace activists. Photos: Bonnie King

(SALEM, Ore.) - The last thirteen days of my life will leave an indelible impression from here on out; to say any less would be a vast understatement. I have been accompanying Ken O'Keefe on an international speaking tour of the NW Americas.

Kevin Neish of Victoria, B.C.

This man who fought Israeli commandos last May aboard the passenger ship Mavi Marmara isn't afraid to admit that it takes strength to bring about real change. I like his program and I certainly admire Ken's spirit.

From the midst of a movement to free Palestine from Israeli occupation that is largely tied to non violence, Ken admits that it takes direct action, physical resistance, and yes, sometimes violence, to counter a deadly threat to peaceful action.

The message is truth. "All you ever have to do is rely on The Golden Rule," he says, boiling the complexity out of moral dilemma.

Tim King interviews Ken O'Keefe.

Ken's Mom, Pat Johnson in Washington

I had the good fortune of meeting and interviewing a second Mavi Marmara survivor in Victoria, British Columbia, on the tour; his name is Kevin Neish, a lifelong peace activist and friend of Ken O'Keefe's for many years.

It was very interesting to hear things that had missed my attention, and to record these thoughts and statements so they can be presented to the public.

The level of dedication these activists possess is definitely long term.

Ken O'Keefe's involvement in the future is centered around the company AlohaPalestine.com, though his activism goes back and includes years of fighting for Hawaiian national heritage, marine sea life and ecosystems, human shields in the beginning of the Iraq War, and many other accomplishments.

Ken renounced his U.S. citizenship in protest over political issues, specifically relating to the U.S. military industrial complex and the wars overseas. Today he is a citizen of Palestine and Ireland, though the U.S. he explains, does not release citizenship, even when one burns their U.S. passport in a public ceremony... twice.

The people who chose to attend the various speaking events so far have been curious though not hostile. It was almost surprising.

This video delves into areas that have not been fully explored:

Ken O'Keefe & Bonnie King Salem-News.com

  • The absurdity of Israel stating that the Gaza activists were terrorists, Ken O'Keefe specifically; it is one area wide open for factual rebuttal.
  • Israel's use of deadly firearms against unarmed activists armed with broom handles; that is certainly an area screaming for exposure.
  • Then there are the three activists who died by bleeding to death while Israeli 'commandos' refused to offer medical aid.
  • Ken O'Keefe offers his straight opinion on suicide, an act he says he will never commit.
  • Finally, Kevin Neish addresses the question; what is responsible for Israel's lack of humanity?

Salem-News.com Reporter Eileen Fleming

Over the next several weeks we will deliver a great deal of information regarding Ken O'Keefe, future plans to break Israel's illegal siege of Gaza, and highlights from Ken's Northwest tour, which is extended to include one more speaking engagement at Portland State University.

This has been an extremely important and successful event and Ken's talks were well received everywhere in the U.S. and Canada.

Our party included Ken's mom Pat Johnson who had not seen her son since before the Mavi Marmara attack, and Salem-News.com Reporter Eileen Fleming, who discussed her seven trips to Israel/Palestine and her new book. Learn more by visiting WeAreWideAwake.org.

Needless to say, people are curious about what happened last May when the Turkish flagged Mavi Marmara was attacked by Israel's top rated commando unit 13 in international waters.

The ship was part of a larger flotilla operation that intended to break Israel's illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip.

This report is the first in an upcoming series that will examine many aspects of the attack that happened on 31 May 2010, leaving nine people dead, including one U.S. citizen who was 19-years old.

Ken O'Keefe speaks Friday, October 8:
Portland State University: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Smith Memorial Student Union bldg, Cascade Room (236 Smith Union)

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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Pirate TV October 5, 2010 11:02 pm (Pacific time)

Gaza Freedom Flotilla survivor and retired film producer, Dave Schermerhorn gives his experiences of being aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and of being illegally detained inside an Israeli prison. Hazim Shafi talks about the humanitarian aspects of what life is like in Gaza - http://www.archive.org/details/The_Crisis_in_Gaza


mimo October 5, 2010 5:15 pm (Pacific time)

Thanks fr sharing ,i have a lot of respect fr y guys,it's amazing 2 see ppl how really care fr others especially ppl in need & ppl like y really making me think of helping others were i can fr a better world.......bless y all & peace be with y all ,one love & power to freedom VIVA PALESTINE :)))


Omar October 5, 2010 12:42 pm (Pacific time)

THANKS FOR THE STORY KEN AND KEVIN, IT IS AMAZING WHAT YOU LEARN WHEN YOU HEAR FROM THE PEOPLE WHO WERE ACTUALLY THERE.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.