Meinhaj Hussain, firstname.lastname@example.org
We have a major dispute between Ken O'Keefe and a group of his former colleagues including Catherine Myles. The dispute is over the Samouni Project which has been led and established by Ken. The success of the project's "Trade not Aid" program has been inspiring and has brought in a large amount of support worldwide. This very support is now being shaken by this dispute and the only beneficiaries will be Israel; once trust is broken, people will not be willing to financially support such enterprise.
Therefore, it is of vital importance to see who instigated this crisis and is ultimately responsible. Ken has claimed that Catherine Myles had underhandedly bought vehicles and other items under her name and was therefore able to seize them from Ken. While Catherine has worked hard in this enterprise, if Ken's claim is true then she is in direct violation of the utilization of funds for the cause.
Ken comments that Saeb Shaath, not a meaningful contributor to the effort, along with others including Catherine Myles has wrested control by claiming authority through committee. However, Saeb Shaath is a politically influential person in Gaza. On the surface this appears to be wrong, given that Ken founded this effort and there is no reason why Catherine among others could not simply leave the organization and start their own enterprise if they so disagreed. Samouni Project and Aloha Palestine CIC are the two social enterprises that form the partnership of the Trade Not Aid Mission (TNA Mission) and both these organizations are Ken O'Keefe's primary effort, far more than anyone else. However, court decisions can possibly be swayed by political considerations in Palestine, which is were Saeb Shaath and others come in.
What is worrying is that Catherine Myles is attacking Ken's character claiming his supposed marriage to a Palestinian woman is not legitimate, that he is mentally disturbed and needs medical help. She complains that Ken is autocratic but what can one expect from an ex-Marine?
She also points that Ken considers Islam to be a joke. Be that as it may, we all know that Ken isn't a Muslim and is non-religious. That has not stopped the Palestinians from wanting his help, nor has it stopped donors from giving donations.
She also points out that Ken has promised the Samouni family visas (she perhaps means emigration to some wealthy Western country) and that this is a lie and he is unable to arrange for this. Supposing that is true, the Samouni Project has visibly helped the Samouni family for all to see. If he cannot get them visas, is it his fault? Again, what sounds at the surface as a dishonest argument.
This episode reeks of character assassination and, unless Catherine said these words in haste and with emotion, points her and her colleagues to be the culprit. Giving both sides the benefit of the doubt, the best way to come clean is to allow an agreed upon independent arbiter to settle the issue between them. This author would suggest Lauren Booth as the ideal arbiter.
This can also prove to be a litmus test for everyone to see which of the two sides agrees to this solution. This is because the case going to court can only be to Palestine's loss and to Israel's gain; time, money and effort that could help Palestine would now be spent fighting a legal battle. It would be the worst PR for anyone remotely considering giving them money. Meanwhile, many of these assets will sit impounded. Thus, in my opinion, the innocent of the two parties would agree to an independent arbiter.
It would of course be heartening to see both sides agree to Lauren Booth as the arbiter and we can all move on like this was another bad nightmare for the Samouni family.