Here we go again, just when one thinks that the insanity of the personalisation of the PALESTINIAN CAUSE is finally running its course, long, long overdue, I add… I find that a blog called Shoah.org that purports to be very popular and pro-Palestinian, though featuring almost no Palestinians at all among those it publishes, has decided that acceptable content is bizarre personal vendettas becoming “our business and thus THEIR business”. The blog looks actually scarily similar to the National Inquirer. I have not had much opportunity to see the site in the past, but having seen the recent “popular” post I do worry about the state of activism and mostly, for what concerns this site, wonder if it is competing in the stakes of activism tabloids.
Happily being able to ignore the big flame wars between activists has been a wonderful luxury. I feel that most of these activists and campaigners are strictly relevant to themselves and basically just bringing grist to their own publicity mills, since they turn out to be little more than a few men glorifying their egos and repeating ad nauseam in public articles and posts their own self-worth and assuming the baton will be carried by others repeating the mantra that “if you are not with this (or that) “known” activist, you are a Zionist! You are a proven AGENT!” But it’s easy and desirable to disengage with this lot, since when asked over and over to prove the claims made against those who dare criticise them, they never do provide any proof of it besides comical ones that they invent themselves. Agents certainly DO exist, but to call anyone an agent is dangerous and no intelligent person will accept that without evidence. It certainly does speak volumes that this claim is made so very often and at the flip of a hat, but rarely is there anything to support it, thus it is empty of meaning. It is quite clear by now that it’s more productive to ignore this lot, because it serves no purpose to engage in time-wasting battles that no one but the men involved and their “followers” (yes, their own way of referring to those who engage in battles on behalf of them or even anyone who they are “friends” with) care about.
Yet, again, I find my name brought up in one of these smear campaigns, and despite my reticence to waste more time on issues that do not interest me because they are so far removed from Palestine, this time I will respond, because the level of smearing (not only of me, but of a plethora of people, in fact ANYONE who points out a criticism of the “author” of a piece vying for the most insane bit of using the Palestinian cause to settle a personal vendetta to date) simply calls for it being exposed for what it is. The rhetoric used in these endless smear campaigns waged by a specific faction most definitely falls into what has been defined by as “Extremist Traits” by an analyst of the rhetoric and propaganda of several hundred militant “fringe” political and social groups across the political spectrum. Militant and “fringe” are not derogatory terms, they present the positioning of a cause as to how it fits into the mainstream or dominant framework of political or social opinion. As such, I will address the issue and in those very terms. Extremist, however, is the style of the behaviour, and it certainly can be considered as being derogatory as it depends upon manipulation.
I am being referred to in comments on the “popular” post, which is very little else but a character assassination based on the personal feud someone has with the subject, I have seen probably the worst displays by “activists” available, even vying with some of the most absurd smear posts on Facebook, attempting to create a sort of mobbing and consensus as to the character of a person who shares one thing in common with me, and that is that she does not think Ken O’Keefe is such hot shit as he claims, but who actually has a big difference with me in that she once actually supported him and then changed her mind, without any solicitation from me, but independently and of her own freewill (and this shared view regarding Ken O’Keefe creates in the minds of the Ken O’Keefe Fans the automatism that this person and I are affiliated.) Besides the point being that this entire thing is nonsensical, especially as Siraj Davis (the author of the piece) is a legend in his mind alone, having claimed that I was posting things to him, totally debunked and with MY screenshots to demonstrate it, the issue of Ken O’Keefe being the pillar of activism is entirely outdated and misleading. (At the bottom of this post, 4 screenshots concerning Siraj Davis, his unsolicited harassment of me and my response to it, as well as evidence of some bizarre stalking-like behaviour in my regards and his own uncontrollable addiction to pornography, which he also has used the Shoah org blog to promote these screenshots he himself made showing his “particular tastes in that regard).
It is clear and acceptable that there are many, particularly from the ranks of O’Keefe’s former “most dedicated followers” who no longer see him as relevant enough to form the dividing line between supporters of the struggle and its opponents. Indeed, the moment they so much as voice a criticism of him, they are accused of being paid agents or somesuch. His former “spokesperson” who had publicly stated that he had hijacked a vessel, despite having claimed the opposite a few months earlier, also quite publicly, was accused by him of being an MI6 agent, and those who had most vocally defended him (by attacking those who criticise him) have been dragged over the coals, one by one and there are dozens of such examples, should anyone care to look.
For a site to facilitate this and allow the use of a space ostensibly for the Palestinian struggle to attack someone to settle a personal issue he has with someone – and without a real argument or substantial proof to boot – is the blog’s own business, but it has damaged any reputation the blog might have had as being about the Palestinian issue. Again the Palestinians are caught in the middle of some activists who are NOT Palestinian to settle their own disputes. They are used as an excuse to create a consensus surrounding someone that is not natural. Actually, Palestinians stay out of the discourse for the most part, seeing it as a distraction and an abuse of their cause. But then again, what a blog puts up is its own business. I really don’t care that much what these blogs and sites say when they are either hagiography or smears. They truly cease to hold any interest for me, and I would not be surprised if I were not alone in this assessment. Yet, again I am dragged into the smear campaigns because I have not bent to the mobbing. It would not be appropriate for me to feed this campaign, and yet, since I will be accused of not being able to support my point of view, I for the last time will refer those interested to the factual events, and they can be their own best judge of the righteousness of certain persons and of the wrongfulness of the smear campaigns, especially when they are jumping the back of the Palestinian cause to justify their wrongdoing.
I am addressing something I would prefer to ignore given my lack of interest in the persons involved, as it is clear that I do not really care about the lies and the capacity to engage in such character assassination and abuse of the cause by these subjects whose ethics and integrity (as well as mere accountability) are filled with quite a large number of gaping holes. It is generally preferable to allow those engaging in these attacks to their own devices, since it will become clear over time that they are lacking in accountability and that they invent things as they see fitting, avoiding truthfulness when they feel it suits their ends. It is evident that I have taken my position based on facts and evidence, and it is likewise evident that people are free to judge as they see fit based on the available facts. I have not attempted to influence or win over anyone. Like all I have written, it stands on its own and people are free to judge with their own minds. I do not live on internet as many of the other activists seem to do, and I do not need to convince anyone at all of the logic of my argument. If people are convinced, they have reached this awareness not by my insistence, but upon their own judgement.
As I have written, The Truth Sunk during the Road to Hope Fiasco (http://wewritewhatwelike.com/2011/06/14/truth-justice-and-peace-nearly-sunk-as-rth-convoy-facts-emerge-and-as-usual-gazans-get-the-worst-part-of-the-deal/), and caused a big mess in the meantime. No one was obligated to “follow me” as I have no followers, nor do I want them. If people are going to take a position, however, they are advised to be informed of the facts, as objectively as possible, this is itself a bare essential for TRUTH. As Ken had refused to even be interviewed once it was clear that the article was not going to become his personal Tazibao, but all parties were going to be interviewed and all of their statements both in a public domain and those they had made in interactions with me (as declared openly and correctly that I was going to examine the evidence and write up an assessment of it) and all documents were going to be taken into consideration, not only his personal testimony and the information given by those who got it from him. Upon learning that other parties, including those who both at the time and subsequently, would be listened to and that he would not be given a list of the questions prior to the agreement to be interviewed (a condition no other parties had placed before me, all of them willing to subject themselves to “the investigation” without demanding any particular benefits or any right to view the material during its assembly and prior to publication). Ken demanded special treatment, and he wanted to control an independent observer. If he was unable to control her, he changed his tactic that she was an enemy to the cause since he believes he alone represents the cause! When the outcome did not please him, he conveniently forgot that he had the same exact opportunity to reply to questions and to express himself as all the other involved parties. Instead, he decided that it was in his best interests to “ignore” what was written, advising his “followers” to not read the (admittedly) long article complete with photos, documents, communications between the authorities and others, direct quotes taken from press releases and from communications in the public domain. His “followers” were advised to engage instead in smear campaigns against me and to use almost all of the techniques that have been pointed out so well by Laird Wilcox in his seminal study of “Extremist Traits” http://wewritewhatwelike.com/2012/06/25/laird-wilcox-on-extremist-traits/ reprinted here with definitions that come painfully close to the entire modus operandi of this faction. Most glaring was the tendency to engage in Inadequate Proof For Assertions. I was labelled as a CIA or Mossad Agent, as being a paid infiltrate, as being an Israeli and much more besides with some at times hilarious “proof” by the Ken O’Keefe minions.
However, the one thing lacking was even ONE serious attempt to provide evidence to confute the thesis of the failed Road To Hope convoy, that it was managed in a bizarre way at least from the “leadership change” and the outcome of this were false claims of being kidnapped in order to attempt to create confusion, consensus and mostly to elicit donations and support from those who were already fully determined to support Palestine – allowing the cause to morph into Supporting Ken O’Keefe.
None of them were able to confute, and Ken in primis, the lack of a contract, which was the crucial circumstance upon which all else depends in that most bizarre of events! In fact, what is most clear throughout the entire debacle is that Ken was indeed somehow convinced of the veracity of a fact that was patently false, so convinced that he himself sent me what he labelled as “The Contract”, when it was clear as the light of day that this was not a contract at all, and it was merely a pre-Contract negotiation, which by its very nature is non-binding until the stipulation of what instead IS a contract! When I pointed out that I was aware it was not a contract, it dawned upon him that he had to turn me into the adversary since his entire story had no backbone to sustain it.
That a contract was broken and the counter-party scooted off with the loot to his Israeli masters is the first of the bizarre stretching of truth, this accessory big fish story of the captain being really on the Mossad payroll and jumping off his own ship with the wad of money itself was quite hilarious and indeed worrying when spread as if it were fact the same way old gossips do, when the facts are brought to the fore instead of just one extremely false claim. I was already watching the playing out of the events, called as I was by other concerned activists to ensure the safe passage of the chartered convoy when trouble first started, in an ad hoc group I was invited to, and kicked out of when I asked that we seek confirmation of any claim being made prior to disseminating what could later be demonstrated as dangerous false rumours and nothing more.
It was when I was invited by persons whose loved ones were on the convoy and who found them stranded in Libya without any more resources that I began collecting evidence in earnest from all parties involved, deciding to not further participate in the public debate, but to merely collect the evidence. Why did these people ask me? Because for a long time I have been involved in the activism for Palestine camp and it was and still is clear that my only loyalties are to Palestinians. I am not, nor have I ever been beholden to anyone. I have been and remain thoroughly independent and am influenced merely by facts. It was this objectivity that was considered as being the best guarantee of a faithful assessment of the reality, as there was all of a sudden a complete shift from the convoy being about the entire convoy and instead being about Ken O’Keefe and those who were most loyal to him. It was indeed logical that others who had different priorities, and for this reason did they agree to sacrifice their own time, money and effort in order to participate in a long and trouble-ridden land convoy, would seek to know the truth and would be asking that a third party that had nothing but a solid record of support of the Palestinian cause to attempt to clarify all the hazy and contradictory points.
It was the research that convinced me of the correctness of the thesis that things were NOT as they were being presented to the activists, and that the conflicting reports coming from Libya were proof enough that there was indeed a serious conflict between “factions”. Why did Ken O’Keefe claim there was going to be a “confrontation on the Egyptian border” when there had not been any arrangements for a land transit anyway and this would be detrimental in the extremely precarious situation of those in Libya without the proper paperwork and without adequate economic support? Why would he claim that he and 9 others were being kidnapped and some people spread this without it being verified? Why would it be taken as fact that this vessel had taken people against their will off the coast of Libya? Why would Ken O’Keefe engage in actions with the intent of involving NATO and the Libyan armed forces as well? Would this not endanger any future convoys to Palestine and would it not cast a very dark shadow over the efforts made to break the siege which did not resort to such reckless measures? Would not the abuse of trust that ensued be disastrous for further (more well planned and feasible) interventions? Since I presented the evidence that Ken O’Keefe did not get “kidnapped” off the Libyan coast and instead had unlawfully boarded a vessel he had no right to board and analysing as well the knee-jerk response to his “appeals” that were not backed up by facts and were instead abusing the trust of many sincerely caring individuals who were involved both in the convoy itself and those following it at a distance, I became the target of a huge smear campaign.
But I was the first of many. It seems that instead of presenting a stitch of evidence to dispute the claims, the issue has become that I am an “irrational Ken Hater, fuelled by my jealousy of him”. I could not even bother to engage with this level of discourse, though the great number of comments on this blog (http://wewritewhatwelike.com/2011/08/05/the-171-comments-to-the-ken-okeefe-rth-fiasco-reprinted-from-ptt/) attest to the fact that there was indeed some discussion of the facts, but never by the minions of the “Ken Followers”. It was instead just one smear campaign after another waged by them, and at a certain point, valuing my time more than needlessly “debating” people who do not know how to debate and would not be interested in it anyway, I simply began ignoring whatever it is they do or say, and focussing on the Arab and Palestinian freedom causes, which has always been my priority. I find the whole “cult” quite comical and at some level am certain that sooner or later they will self-destruct because their major enemies are those who had turned on Ken after having felt that they had been taken advantage of by him and who have opinions of him that do not match the “godlike” one that he and his cult have built around him.
It is very interesting that the way to address any human being who dares to have decided that Ken is not worth their support and they will not only not “follow” him, but they will avoid him, are subject to a more or less organised smear campaign. It is quite alarming that this has got to do with the issue of Palestine, because each and every one of these “tendencies” have been utilised in the “war” Ken has with anyone who does not think he is so “godlike”
1. CHARACTER ASSASSINATION.
Extremists often attack the character of an opponent rather than deal with the facts or issues raised. They will question motives, qualifications, past associations, alleged values, personality, looks, mental health, and so on as a diversion from the issues under consideration. Some of these matters are not entirely irrelevant, but they should not serve to avoid the real issues.
Extremists object strenuously when this is done to them, of course!
2. NAME-CALLING AND LABELING.
3. IRRESPONSIBLE SWEEPING GENERALIZATIONS.
4. INADEQUATE PROOF FOR ASSERTIONS.
5. ADVOCACY OF DOUBLE STANDARDS.
6. TENDENCY TO VIEW THEIR OPPONENTS AND CRITICS AS ESSENTIALLY EVIL.
7. MANICHAEAN WORLDVIEW.
8. ADVOCACY OF SOME DEGREE OF CENSORSHIP OR REPRESSION OF THEIR OPPONENTS AND/OR CRITICS.
9. TEND TO IDENTIFY THEMSELVES IN TERMS OF WHO THEIR ENEMIES ARE: WHOM THEY
HATE AND WHO HATES THEM.
10. TENDENCY TOWARD ARGUMENT BY INTIMIDATION.
11. USE OF SLOGANS, BUZZWORDS, AND THOUGHT-STOPPING CLICHES.
12. ASSUMPTION OF MORAL OR OTHER SUPERIORITY OVER OTHERS.
13. DOOMSDAY THINKING.
14. BELIEF THAT IT’S OKAY TO DO BAD THINGS IN THE SERVICE OF A “GOOD” CAUSE.
15. EMPHASIS ON EMOTIONAL RESPONSES AND, CORRESPONDINGLY, LESS IMPORTANCE ATTACHED TO REASONING AND LOGICAL ANALYSIS.
16. HYPERSENSITIVITY AND VIGILANCE.
17. USE OF SUPERNATURAL RATIONALE FOR BELIEFS AND ACTIONS.
18. PROBLEMS TOLERATING AMBIGUITY AND UNCERTAINTY.
19. INCLINATION TOWARD “GROUPTHINK.”
20. TENDENCY TO PERSONALIZE HOSTILITY.
21. EXTREMISTS OFTEN FEEL THAT THE SYSTEM IS NO GOOD UNLESS THEY WIN.
Since my name has been brought up countless times by a specific group of persons who do very little else but engage in their facebook wars and online smearfests, rather than debate and discuss pertinent issues, I feel it is simply par for the course to consider the “source” of this new and most ridiculous round of the eternal war of Ken Supporters against the world as being a tabloid.
I do not feel I need to be “bullied” into participating in this juvenile “debate”, as it is clear that the editor of said site uses zero responsibility in allowing the same author to participate using at least a dozen screen names in order to be abusive to any commenter that bothered to criticise both the form and the content of said article and further commentary by Siraj Davis, and while doing it is unable to even remotely respond to the major questions about the ethical qualities of the author, as evidenced in his own screenshots which are a catalogue of his weird porno fetishes in addition to being simply too ridiculous to take into consideration by any serious person that this issue of his private war with two persons (extended to include others not even related to them, myself included). I certainly do not need to “debate” about Ken O’Keefe, as all are free to read whatever is available for reading and make up their own minds regarding the issue.
I consider my time too valuable to engage further with a group of persons I, in a moment of generosity, consider to be nothing more than clowns and self-deluded extremists.