West, Israel pushing world to brink of World War III
Press TV has conducted an interview with Ken O’Keefe, antiwar activist from the capital city of London, to further discuss the Western and the Israeli threats to global peace
Press TV has conducted an interview with Ken O’Keefe, antiwar activist from the capital city of London, to further discuss the Western and the Israeli threats to global peace.
The program also provides opinions of two additional guests, Derek Graham, the Irish pro-Palestinian activist from Gaza, and New York-Based reporter Maxine Dovere.
What follows is an approximate transcript of the interview.
Press TV: Mr. O’Keefe, where you surprised at what you have seen, the way the authorities at the airports at many of the European countries have come down hard, not even allowing these people to actually get on planes?
O’Keefe: I will be surprised when Israel and their so-called leaders act with any human decency, so if they are doing criminal things, if they are lying through their teeth that is not going to surprise me at all.
Before I forget, I must say this, it was one year ago today, that my brother, Vittorio Arrigoni, was murdered, a Palestinian, a martyr, a beautiful man, and I must say love and respect to him and his family he will always be with us.
But no, Israel will never surprise me when it carries out the actions that it does. It is an apartheid regime and it will carry out these crimes as long as we, Western citizens, allow our governments to continue to do business with Israel which is where, I think, our focus in the West should be, because we know what Israel does. Now it is time to take focus on our governments who collaborates and gives that cover to Israel.
Press TV: Let us look at that, Mr. O’Keefe, as far as the complicity of the Western governments in this. How is it allowed that, for example, we saw in Germany, we saw in Turkey, we saw in France, that they did not even allow these passengers to get on the plane because of orders from Tel Aviv?
O’Keefe: Well, it is even worse than that. Aside from Turkey, Europe and America are both trading in weapons, weapons of mass destruction.
Germany is giving the Dolphin Class submarines, which Israel is putting the nuclear weapons on, and Europe is doing about 25 billion euros a year in trade with the Israelis, while it is carrying out its apartheid policies, while it is locking up people with no due process of law, including children, while it is using weapons of mass destruction in heavily populated areas, while it is collectively punishing the 1.6 million people in Gaza, which includes over 800,000 children.
Our governments are every bit as guilty as the Israeli government. In fact, I find more anger and rage and shame at the American governments and European governments.
They are worse than the Israel, in the sense that, at least, Israel is a criminal and carries out the crimes whereas our governments pretend to be democracies and sit there and do business with Israel, all the while trying to pretend to be civilized. It is a disgrace, embarrassment and our government is every bit as guilty.
Press TV: Well, Mr. O’Keefe, your take on that? [Our previous guest speaker] Mr. Graham says Israel needs to be stopped and it needs to be stopped now.
What do you think has to be done internationally to stop what is taking place by the Israelis?
O’Keefe: Well, I think the first task is to stop shifting blame. I have been involved in this issue for many years now and I am sick and tired of us content to sit there and shout insults and point out the obvious fact that Israel is committing crimes.
What this woman is saying in New York is excellent, actually, because it just shows how delusional and how much dishonesty those that represent Israel have.
The fact that you qualify a democracy as being a democracy, even though you are not allowed to disrupt the society, by that standard what you are saying is that anyone who would wish to disrupt society in America can no longer exercise that right because that would be a threat to their security and existence. That is an absurd way to define what is a democracy.
Aside from that, what is the Israel doing right now? Israel is threatening to attack Iran - a nation which has not invaded or occupied another land for, literally, hundreds of years.
It only had one war in that time with Iraq, while Saddam Hussein, our stooge, was carrying out that war as a proxy for US policy.
The fact is that Israel is threatening to throw the entire world into a full scale Third World War. We are already in a world war. We already have a war in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other parts of the world.
It is a regional world war and it soon would be a full scale world war, if Israel has its way. It is a paranoid, sociopathic, pathologically lying state, which is threatening all of our existence.
And one last point for all you red-blooded Americans out there, you have been shamed. The last time Netanyahu came to your congress, twenty nine standing ovations. All of you might as well bend over and prostrate yourselves for the Israeli state because all your so-called representatives are nothing more than poodles for Israel.
Press TV: Mr. O’Keefe, what now has to be done? We see that, basically, Israel appears to have impunity. We see, as you talked about, the Western governments basically going along with Israel and not only going along with but supplying, not only equipments but billions and billions of dollars every year to help them do what they are doing.
So what is the responsibility at this point in time? Let us talk about the people because we saw activists with this flytila coming from the US, coming from various European countries, taking it upon themselves to buy their tickets, to try to get to Bethlehem, to show solidarity with the Palestinians.
What do you think the people of these countries have to do in order to put pressure on their own governments?
O’Keefe: Well, I am very, very focused on carrying out a trade mission to Gaza.
As Derek mentioned, there is something called the Euro-Mediterranean partnership in which all the member states of the European Union have entered into agreements, both bilateral or multilateral agreements, with certain "partner countries" in the Mediterranean region. This includes virtually all those countries: Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Palestine.
Under this contract, a trade is protected and a barrier to trade is unlawful. And this is working very, very well for the Israelis because, as I have mentioned before, roughly twenty five billion euros a year is being done in trade between Israel and the EU.
All the while with Israel committing all these crimes, contrary to what this delusional woman [other guest of the show] in New York has to say, there are war crimes being committed, crimes of apartheid being committed, and detention without any due process of laws being committed.
All of this is being done, and Europe and Israel continue to do business as well the United States, which we know is giving over three billion dollars a year - much more than that, actually - in aid including weapons of mass destruction.
So what should we do? I would argue that people in Palestine, people in Iraq, people in Afghanistan, people around the world who are facing tyrannical regimes or having to put their lives on the line every single day, they are standing and they are not just risking their jobs nor their freedom, they are risking their lives.
We should be looking at the Palestinians as our brothers and sisters and if we truly look at them as our brothers and sisters, ask yourself what would you do for your blood brother or sister if they were enduring these kinds of circumstances?
And whatever the answer is to that question that is exactly what we should do for the people of Palestine because they have been sucking on this injustice since 1948 and actually before then.
And we have not done nearly enough! We have not proven how serious we are until we actually put our lives on the line because that is exactly what we would do for our family.
Press TV: Mr. O’Keefe, closing remarks. Your take on what Ms. Dovere has said.
O’Keefe: We have to connect things. The people of Europe who are losing their jobs, losing their homes, the people of America who are enduring this financial crisis need to understand that the very same powers that are controlling the financial institutions, that are printing money out of thin air, indebting all of us while giving trillions to the bankers, the very same forces behind this fiasco and this fraud are the same types of powers that are carrying out policy in Israel as well.
We have to understand that these things are connected. What is good for Palestine is good for all decent people. And if we understand the connection of these things and actually start to look at what [previous guest of the show] Derek Graham, what you have said in Palestine - thank you so much, that was a beautiful point made - and this woman can never answer it in a frank way.
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