The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.
Press TV: Mr. Ken O’Keefe, what do you think about the reason behind the siege that has been imposed on the Gaza Strip because Israel has been saying that we have our security reasons, but a lot of other people are saying that the siege can only be aimed at economic damage and economic destruction of the Gaza Strip? What do you think?
O’Keefe: Well we can see historically the treatment of the Palestinians has been nothing short of atrocious; they are treated like sub-humans on every level.
International law is very clear. You are not allowed, according to law to punish children which in the population of Gaza include over 800,000 children. You are not according to law able to punish children. Innocent people including women and men as well, being punished for apparently the crimes of a few.
This is very easy to understand, you don’t need to be an international attorney. Anybody who would subscribe to an ideology that would allow you to punish children for the supposed crimes of a few is simply not humane and not intelligent and not moral.
So this is completely illegal according to law. But aside from that, Israeli officials are very famously said that they would put the people of Gaza on a ‘diet’.
So their whole intention here is not quite to starve them because if they starved the Palestinians in Gaza there would be such an uproar that finally the rest of the world would do something substantial to help the people of Gaza.
So what they’ve done is they’ve malnourished them, they’ve impoverished them in such a deep and profound way that life becomes almost unbearable. And that is the intended policy it has nothing to do with security.
The best way to recruit enemies is to punish them as they’re doing to the Palestinians and even with that the Palestinian people remain remarkably reserved given what they’ve had to endure.
Press TV: What do you think about the reasons cited there by our guest (Frederick Peterson, Congressional Defense Policy Advisor)? He is saying that it is not fair to say that Israel’s policies are aimed at making children starve in Gaza, it is about Israel’s security, it is about the problem of missiles as he’s mentioning.
O’Keefe: Well, he can say whatever he likes, but Israeli officials themselves have said that they were going to put the people of Gaza on a diet.
Regardless of what kind of gobbledygook is mentioned from this gentleman the reality is that 800,000-plus children are being subjected to an environment in which they are malnourished; they are constantly bombarded, traumatized and terrorized with regularity to the point that virtually every single child that lives in Gaza is suffering from one level or another of post-traumatic stress disorder.
In fact the entire population of Gaza suffers from one degree to another of post-traumatic stress disorder. The entire population of Gaza is continuously being punished so whatever the Israelis say or don’t say doesn’t change the fact that the people in Gaza are treated worse than many …[animals] are treated in the world. In fact…[many animals] will find better care in most Western countries than the people of Gaza find at the hands of the Israeli system, which has systematically looked at them and treated them as sub-humans.
And I’m referring to many within the Israeli power structure who subscribe to Talmudic beliefs in which God chose the Jewish people above all others and that effectively the rest of us are nothing more than cattle.
And to ignore the fact that Israelis in high elements of power in Israel subscribe to this kind of ideology is to be either stupid or completely…to the point that you’re simply towing the party line.
Press TV: Do you think that the remarks by John Kerry were provocative and do you think that the spat between Tel Aviv and Washington is really serious?
O’Keefe: It’s not serious. Let’s talk about the truth because I don’t need to exaggerate in order to demonstrate very clearly that the United States is not an honest broker in any kind of peace and anybody who would think so is again clearly delusional.
The United States has a relationship with Israel whereby it basically invokes the tax payer of the United States to the tune of billions per year to basically give welfare to the military complex of Israel, which in turn uses that military hardware to kill Palestinians on a nearly daily basis and it commits some of the most atrocious crimes imaginable including dropping white phosphorus on civilian population in Gaza.
So, the United States’ relationship with Israel is so completely one-sided to the point that we now see more and more people realizing that the US Congress is nothing but a bunch of sycophants who basically kowtow to Israel and vote for every single thing that Israel wants almost without exception.
So whatever John Kerry might say that’s interpreted as supposedly provocative is ridiculous. The relationship between Israel and America is beyond lop-sided, it is disgusting and it is so favored towards Israel that it beggars belief anybody would suggest otherwise.
Press TV: This whole debate including John Kerry and officials in Israel, this has brought up the issue of the boycott and divestment sanctions regime, it’s brought it in the media, people are talking about it; and the recent issue with the Hollywood actress Scarlet Johansson also brought it to light.
And now Benjamin Netanyahu has been saying these attempts to impose a boycott on Israel will not achieve their goal.
Do you think that this boycott campaign is actually a very serious one and is going to have an effect since now John Kerry has also been referring to it as something that should be considered?
O’Keefe: There are a couple of very important things to consider when looking at boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS). The first thing I’ll say is that it’s the least that we should do to not buy products that are being produced in areas such as the West Bank, the occupied territories because it’s simply providing more profitability to such industries.
However, there are a couple of things to understand here. If you want to understand power then we need to understand who controls the money supply, who prints the money and who is able to issue money at interest to the populations in the world.
These people who run that system basically own Israel. So I don’t think for a second that we’re going to be able to bankrupt Israel because the Rothschild’s and other banking families can put as many zeros in as many bank accounts in Israel as they want.
So first off I think we need to be realistic about the way the financial system works and who we’re fighting. The idea that we can beat the system through BDS alone is ridiculous.
Another thing to contemplate is the fact that the leaders of the BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign, in the last couple of years have changed the mission statement whereby the mission statement used to state that BDS was against ‘all occupation of Palestinian lands’, period full stop.
But it’s been changed to “all lands occupied after 1967.” Now, this is very important because if we give more power to the BDS movement we have to look at the fact that it very undemocratically changed the mission statement of BDS; did not consult with the 1,700-roughly organizations that signed on to the BDS campaign and therefore it looks very possible that the BDS campaign has been infiltrated to the point that they’re changing the mission statement, which could lead us to some sort of support for an agreement in Palestine, which would be anything but fair.
And for me I want what is fair: The right of return must be respected 100 percent; and also international law with regard to compensation for losses for all of the lands that have been stolen must be honored absolutely 100 percent.
So I don’t agree with the BDS changing the statement to reflect 1967 at all and I think people need to be aware of that.