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Miko is continuing to travel across the US–from California to Wisconsin to Georgia to Pennsylvania, but if you haven’t been fortunate enough to catch him in person, don’t worry. Pictures of his lecture at the Levantine Cultural Center of USC can be viewed here. You can listen to his podcast interview with renowned peace activist Cindy Sheehan, or read his recent interview with the Madison Times following his talk at UW-Madison. See the previous post for a video recording of one of his latest talks.
Also thanks to the wonders of the internet, you can now read Miko Peled’s acclaimed memoir, The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine immediately! This critical book is available for instant download from Just World Books as a Kindle eBook. If you do not have a Kindle, there are free apps that allow you to read Kindle formatted books on any computer or device. So remember, whether or not Miko has come to speak in your town, his message is accessible to everyone, everywhere through his book, The General’s Son, in paper or electronic form!
You may have seen recently on Just World Book’s Newsfeed that The General’s Son is second only to Gandhi’s autobiography in Amazon’s “War and Peace” section and has really shot up the charts with his speaking tour. In another sign of his growing prominence as a speaker about the important issues facing Israel and Palestine, a video posted on YouTube of Miko’s October 1 lecture in Seattle has gone viral with over 25,000 views to date, being reposted on dozens of blogs and message boards. Fortunately for his fans in the US, he has plenty of appearances lined up in the coming weeks and months across the country–check the calendar to the right for details.
Just World Books publisher Helena Cobban announced that Miko’s memoir The General’s Son was so popular in the Pacific Northwest that all the copies that were shipped out for the five day book tour sold out at the first event at the University Temple United Methodist Church on October 1. There were many great sponsors for the evening’s presentation, including: Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), Mideast Forum Ministry at St. Mark’s Cathedral, SUPER UW, The Palestine Task Force of the Church Council of Greater Seattle, Kadima, Episcopal Bishop’s Committee for Israel/Palestine, Palestine Solidarity Committee, American Friends Service Committee, The Committee for Human Rights UW, Voices of Palestine, University Temple United Methodist Church, and the Seattle National Lawyers’ Guild.
Journalist Alma Khasawnih, who attended Miko’s book event at the church, describes his talk in her article for the Seattle Globalist. She says his presentation is “almost like The Question of Palestine 101″ as he “begins with some background on Zionism’s movement into Palestine, then the partition of Palestine in 1948 and its occupation by what we now know as Israel.” But, true to form, Alma notes that “his narrative goes beyond politics to a personal story of self discovery.”
Keep your eye on this blog for updated info regarding Miko’s upcoming book events around the US and beyond. Helena assures us that she will be sending out far more books to make sure there are plenty on hand for his presentations in the future, but remember you can always purchase The General’s Son for yourself or for a gift here.
In his presentation at this weekend’s conference, Miko Peled, the Israeli-born anti-Zionist and advocate of equal rights and decolonization in a single state, made the observation that every cause of social justice in history that has been worth fighting for was divisive in its time. The Civil Rights struggle in the United States was one such cause, but even more divisive than that, Peled reminded us, was slavery. So divisive, it led to Civil War in which hundreds of thousands died.
–Ali Abunimah, referring to Miko’s speech at the Sabeel Conference held in Albuquerque, New Mexico September 28-29 in his Electronic Intifada article “‘Seeking Balance’: How Albuquerque Cathedral that slammed its doors to Sabeel helps Israeli oppression.” The original host of the event, an Episcopal church, disinvited Sabeel after pressure from American Jewish organizations.
Miko has just finished three fabulous events in northern California over the past week, including a lecture September 18 at the Resource Center for Nonviolence in Santa Cruz hosted by the Palestine-Israel Action Committee, a book signing in Berkeley on September 19 organized by The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA), and a reading September 20 at Time Tested Books in Sacramento. The General’s Son sold out at all of these events, which is perhaps not surprising to those who have had the opportunity to read the book or to hear Miko speak before. His insightful remarks were recognized with a standing ovation at the MECA event. Helena Cobban, CEO of the publisher Just World Books was pleased to be able to attend that evening’s festivities and to introduce Miko to the full house audience of 100-120 people. Alice Walker, renowned author and writer of the foreword to Miko’s memoir was also present and is featured in the photograph to the left. You can buy the book online at Just World Books’ webstore.
Miko Peled, along with Souhail Toubia, spoke about his book The General’s Son, as part of the Hawks and Doves benefit for the Levantine Cultural Center, September 8, 2012, at the Women’s Club of Laguna Beach, CA. For those who couldn’t be there in person, the organizers have generously filmed and posted videos of the entire event, including the question-and-answer session. Take a moment to listen to his important story here:
by Miko Peled (Cross-posted from his site)
September 4, 1997 was the day my niece Smadar was killed. For my family and I it will forever be a sad day, a day that brings bad tidings. It was September 4 when that phone call came from my mother telling me that there was an explosion in Jerusalem, even as I was watching the horror live on CNN. Those words: “there was an explosion and we can’t find Smadari” will forever ring in my ears. Hours later it was confirmed and I was on my way to Jerusalem, for the funeral.
No one warned me that I would see those words in the morning paper in Jerusalem as I arrived from the airport: “The granddaughter of peace activist, ret. General Matti Peled…” It was still dawn. I still don’t know what to say on this day or what to think as September 4 approaches. That day I would cry in my sisters arms like a baby, and would feel that way over and over again, each year, even now, all these years later.
As we drove away from the grave site, Elton John’s new version of “Candle in the Wind” was playing on the radio and Nurit, my sister would never forgive herself for leaving her baby girl alone buried in the dirt. Then, for seven days and six nights, the house where I was born, and where Smadar lived ,would see so many faces. That the door of the Jerusalem apartment through which Generals and diplomats once entered and on which now a sticker reads FREE PALESTINE, was open for people who sought to find light at the end of their darkened lives.
At the time Smadari was killed Bibi Netanyahu was Prime Minister. He was asked to stay away, and spare himself the indignity of facing our family. Today Bibi is once again Prime Minister. Among those who did come to pay respects at the time was Ehud Barak. The General, decorated soldier and now Israel’s “defense” minister – personally responsible for the death of thousands of innocent Israelis and Palestinians. At the time he was the head of the Labor party and people had hope he would be different. Today Barak is an all powerful “Defense” minister standing at the head of Israel’s unstoppable war machine – placing the full weight of the mammoth he leads so that death maintains its dominion.
Each year I try and each year I fail to somehow face this terrible day. And each year September 4 just brings more sadness. It brings more sadness because of a girl that was killed, and because so many thousands have died since from the same preventable cause – Israeli terrorism.
This terrorism is part of the discourse among Israelis and Israeli supporters; It faces you at Ben Gurion airport where Palestinians humiliated each and every day; You meet Israeli terrorism at the weekly peace marches in the West Bank, where participants are shot and arrested, and it thrives in Israeli jails where hundreds of thousands of palestinians have been tortured for decades; Israeli terrorism is unstoppable in Gaza where millions are locked up in an open air concentration camp, and where Israeli pilots drop bombs on civilians and then congratulate themselves on a job well done. And now Israeli terrorism has even reached as far as Persia, with Israeli threats to bomb Iran and terrorize its 75 million people.
If we want little girls to stop dying in this place, its time to stop Israeli terrorism. Meanwhile, September 4 will remain a day when my sweet, 13 year old niece Smadar died.