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Sunday, August 30, 2009


Written by: Rick Staggenborg, MD on Jun 1, 2010 7:23 AM PDT

This chapter is devoted to Gila Svirsky and Lee Wilson, two women who dare to stand against the tide of public opinion in Israel to give hope to the children who are under grave threat by the actions of their government. I spoke to Gila last night (this morning, to her) to assure her that Soldiers For Peace International stands squarely behind them and are prepared to help in whatever way that we can to bring peace to the region and prevent a conflict on the scale of Armageddon.

The Israeli government lost its collective mind yesterday. Even as we in America paid homage to those of our ranks who have fallen in war, the Israeli Navy was authorized to illegally board a flotilla of humanitarian relief ships in international waters 80 miles from Gaza in clear violation of international law. This resulted in the massacre of at least 10 volunteer peace activists and the wounding of many more in the melee that ensued. The Israeli government claims that the fighting was sparked by Turks aboard one of the ships, but the activists say that the Israelis fired first.

In either event, the fact that the Netanyahu government was aware that there were many members of Parliaments from various nations of Europe aboard demonstrates a flagrant disregard not only for the subjugated Palestinians but for international law and all basic standards of human decency. It is time for all Soldiers For Peace to join in the effort to bring pressure to bear to force the Netanyahu government to dissolve itself in the interest of world peace. They have failed utterly either to act justly with Palestine or to protect their own people from the wrath of the world.

In the American media, the story of the conquest of the West is usually told through the eyes of the European conqueror while the truth of what Native Americans endured at the hands of our nation is rarely heard. Countless movies portray the Army and settlers in various places and times throughout this shameful history as brave defenders of their women and children against “savages” whose beliefs did not include the concept of ownership. Washington, Jefferson and Franklin were all great admirers of the Iroquois system of government, parts of which were incorporated into the Constitution of the United States.

Perhaps the most sympathetic and honest story in cinema of the conquest of the American west was Little Big Man, starring Dustin Hoffman as a white man raised by Native Americans who referred to themselves as “Human Beings.” The story of the systematic slaughter of the Native Americans as seen through his sympathetic eyes is very different from the Orwellian version of this chapter of the American story. 

In the end, it is Custer’s arrogant assumption that he understands the motivation of Hoffman’s warning not to go into the Little Big Horn valley that seals his fate and that of his cavalry division. They paid for their murder of hundreds of innocent Native Americans with their lives, triggering an intensification of the genocide in bloody defiance to God’s wish that we live together in justice and harmony.

As we stand at the threshold of a new dawn in human history, the world collectively faces the choice that the United States government and the people on whose behalf it acted chose poorly in the 19th century. If we are to assure the survival of human civilization into the 22nd century we must act now to save Israel from self-destruction. The way to do this is to act with the knowledge that we are all in this together and must turn the tide of public opinion in the US and Israel toward a vision of world peace and away from the belief that war is inevitable.

The path to peace is not hard to follow. If we put into motion the Battle Plan to Take Back the Americas for the People, North and South America will soon stand shoulder to shoulder with Europe and the peace lovers in Israel and Palestine in demanding a just solution to the plight of the Palestinians. Israel is on trial in the court of public opinion and the jury is more hostile than ever. 

It is our job to be the attorneys for the defense of the Chosen People. Christ and Mohammed taught their followers to love our enemies and our commandment is to love one another as we would want to love ourselves, if we felt worthy. If we believe in democracy, then we must believe that we are good enough to rule ourselves with compassion and mercy.

By the waters,
the waters
Of Babylon.
We lay down and wept,
and wept
for thee Zion.

We remember,
thee remember,
thee remember,
thee Zion.

Rick Staggenborg, MD
Roseburg, Oregon

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