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Statement by P10K founder in Tel Aviv court

Ken O'Keefe, founder of the Human Shield program in Iraq, appears before Israeli court in deportation hearing. Mr O'Keefe was arrested and imprisoned while attempting to cross into the Gaza Strip to garner further support from Palestinian militant groups for a cease fire.
Activism: Statement by P10K founder in Tel Aviv court
Posted on Wednesday, June 23 @ 23:09:43 EST

P10K News
Statement by P10K founder in Tel Aviv court
Wednesday 23rd June, 2004
Before I state my "defence", I feel compelled once again to express my infinite love for Mother Earth and my entire human family. If it were not for this love, I simply would not be before this court today.

For the record, my purpose in Israel and Palestine was, and shall remain even after my departure, to further the P10K Mission of truth, Justice and ultimately Peace. Among the primary objectives of this mission was to secure a P10K ceasefire "Agreement in Principle". I submit this agreement to the court as proof of my intentions. Had I been successful in securing this agreement the inevitable result would be a cessation of offensive operations in Israel by Islamic Jihad and Hamas; in other words Israel would be more secure, and Israeli life would be spared. In addition, Palestine would be more secure, and Palestinian life would also be spared.

It is worth noting that critical individuals within Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigades had agreed to the conditions of this ceasefire and my journey to Gaza was intended to personally push for Hamas and Islamic Jihad to agree as well. That is why I went to Gaza.

With regard to law; contrary to the conclusions of those wishing to deport me, I have great respect for law, especially human rights law and international law. But with Mohandas K Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela as examples, I do not respect laws that do grave injury to inherent human rights and a nation's right to self-determination. And just as Gandhi, King, Mandela and many more have proven, all such laws that violate humanity are laws that must be resisted and challenged.

When I came to Palestine I came at the invitation of Palestinians and their leaders. I came as their guest, and I traveled to Gaza as their guest as well. But because Gaza is effectively a prison with Israeli policy and control preventing peaceful travel to and from, I was compelled to violate Israeli law, endanger my own life, in order to further a plan intending to save greater life. I shall in no way apologize for this; quite the contrary. I shall wear like a badge of honour my time in Israeli jail as proof that the Israeli government is for now the greatest threat to the security of the Israeli people.

In order to justify my incarceration and pending deportation, the Israeli government has made four key conclusions about me:
1 - That I claim Israel uses "terrorist tactics"
2 - That I "have sympathy for the Palestinian resistance"
3 - That I "express solidarity with the armed struggle"
4 - That I am ultimately a threat to Israeli security

With regard to the first conclusion, not only do I claim that Israel employs terrorist tactics, but I expose it as a verifiable fact. By the legal and logical definition of the word, house demolitions, fighter jets and helicopter gunships firing on civilian targets such as apartment blocks, extra-judicial killings, Sabra, Shatila and Jenin and more all qualify as terrorist acts resulting in the predictable deaths of innocent civilians.

As a critical thinking person, a moral being, I make no physical distinction between individual, group or state terrorism. All are repugnant in my mind, but since the latter in the examples I cite is representative of the state of Israel, a so called "democracy" no less, I must admit that I find it the most offensive of the three. And it is just such state terrorism from my birth nation of the Untied States that was most responsible for me legally renouncing my US citizenship on March 1st, 2001.

The truth is the word "terrorism" is the most abused word of our times. Israel and the United States are the primary abusers of this word terrorism, and these nations make themselves the biggest of hypocrites in their use of this word.

And the hypocrisy is not lost on our Palestinian and Iraqi victims, nor is it lost on those of us who see the crimes of our nations for what they are. There is such thing as "collateral damage" or "precision strikes"; there is only a blood stained legacy masquerading as "security".

With regard to the second conclusion, that I have sympathy for the Palestinian resistance, yes I do. As I do for the targets for Palestinian resistance. I do not, contrary to the designs of well oiled corporate propaganda machines and political puppets who incessantly chant about the need to fight "terror", ignore the primary root cause of individual and group terrorism. I acknowledge that the primary root cause of individual and group terrorism is state terrorism. I acknowledge that yesteryears "terrorist" often becomes today's hero, and I cite Nelson Mandela and the "founding Fathers" of America as but two examples. In both cases great individuals defied tyrannical powers endorsed violent resistance as a legitimate tactic to affect justice. I will say however that I find the deliberate targeting of civilians to be tragic and unjustifiable. If I am successful with the P10K Mission, all such terrorism will cease in Israel and Palestine. And I must clarify, just because Israel says it "regrets civilian loss of life" when it firs rockets into apartment complexes or bullets into stone throwing crowds, I am not impressed. When Israeli officials make these ludicrous statements they paint themselves as dishonest terrorists and nothing more.

The third conclusion; "I express solidarity with the armed struggle." In the face of a brutal and illegal occupation, in accordance with a United Nations Mandate justifying armed resistance, yes I do express solidarity. In fact, I have no doubt that if I were Palestinian today, South African during Apartheid, or American under British Colonial rule, I too would not only support but join the armed resistance. If I were Iraqi today I would participate in armed resistance. But I am not Palestinian or Iraqi; I am a human being who sees greater power in non-violence and I am committed to this form of struggle above all else.

Yet I do not turn my back on my brothers and sisters who do not enjoy the luxuries I do as a western citizen, who can return to a comparatively safe life in Europe. Instead I will work incessantly to get my western brothers and sisters to see our collective power to expose the Israeli crime of occupation in order to end the occupation and eliminate the need for armed resistance. Once again, I make no apologies whatsoever for this position.

The fourth conclusion; "I am a threat to Israeli security". The truth in this matter is that the Israeli government itself is the greatest threat to Israeli "security". This government is serving the interests of extremist Jewish Zionism by its continued expansion of Jewish settlements and unlawful land grabs by the construction of the obscenity known as the "security barrier". This transparently Jewish Zionist agenda, backed by Christian Zionists in America, explains the horrendous policies that result. These policies provoke individual and group acts of terrorism in which Israeli and Palestinian civilians become the victims. This feeds the Zionist agenda, leading to the inevitable result; effective genocide of the Palestinian people and nation, and further land and settlement expansion, furthering the Zionist dream of "Greater Israel".

All of this insanity is made not just a Palestinian and Israeli problem, but a global problem. By virtue of the Israelis known stockpile of illegal nuclear weapons, citizens of the world not only have the right but the obligation to participate in resolving this conflict.

Indeed, the fate of our entire planet, our very survival is at stake. The world must not be held to ransom by any rogue state, especially states that not only have weapons of mass destruction, but have publicly stated their willingness to use them.

Israeli and American "security" has come to mean increasing global insecurity. And this by any standard is unacceptable. I for one refuse and reject in total Israel and America's farcical claims of seeking security and for now I will focus my energy on ending the primary cause of Israeli insecurity; the occupation of the Palestinian territories. My deportation will only strengthen me in this endeavour.

Truth Justice Peace

Ken O Keefe

Original at:  http://www.ramallahonline.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1946
For more info 25.Jun.2004 10:23

A Peacenik

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