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Listen to the Podcast from “Hawks & Doves in the Garden of Peace” Event

May 21, 2012

On May 14, 2012, the Levantine Cultural Center presented Israeli American author and peacemaker Miko Peled, discussing his new book “The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.” Palestinian/Lebanese American author and UCLA professor Saree Makdisi moderated a conversation and Q & A with Peled and the audience. The public forum took place at the Writers Guild Theatre in Beverly Hills.

Listen to the podcast here.

Find out more about his new book here.

Fabulous reactions to ‘TGS– from Ilan Pappe, and others!

April 24, 2012

We’ve all been excited by the reactions we’ve been receiving to Miko’s book. The book seems to have touched its readers in many different ways– through the power of Miko’s personal story, the power with which he has  so beautifully told it– and also, through the meticulous, committed nature of the historical research he conducted for it.

It’s been interesting how many readers have taken note of the role that Miko’s training in the arts and mental discipline of karate has played in helping to form his worldview.

Julia wrote from New England:

I am most impressed by the way you wrote the book itself non-violently, each chapter leading the reader gently, gradually, slowly forward, not ever hitting them over the head by putting the last seven pages at the beginning… The beauty of your book is that people will be drawn into it by its progression; you gain their respect and slowly, carefully, hopefully start to change their minds.

I knew zero about Karate before reading The General’s Son, and that too, ties in beautifully. Karate joins with the whole non-violent but forceful premise of the book. It is just beautiful.

… So, thank you — you have deep integrity and strength (by integrity I do not mean the popular definition of honesty; rather I mean “being in one piece”, centered, owning one’s own core. That too is where the karate fits perfectly, front and center, into the meaning of the whole book. If I were not [living in New England] … I would come to California and walk into your karate school! :-)

Huda Husseini wrote from Chicago:

… Your book gives hope for a better future for all. The fact that you are the son of a General and were raised as a Zionist and became a peace activist is fascinating by itself. I enjoyed the journeys that you’ve made across Israel/Palestine as you call it. I embrace the friendships you’ve developed and the good you’re planting in your kids and in the Palestinian kids whom you teach Karate.

… As I expressed earlier, your book is the trigger that I was waiting for. It is very therapeutic and your experience portrays the steps one can follow to ‘break the ice’ and deal with unresolved emotions and move on to build a better future for everyone.

Leila Diab has written in Muslim Journal:

Miko Peled is an Israeli who was born in Jerusalem and the son of a well known Israeli General, Matti Peled who later in life became an Arabist and a staunch peacemaker. Miko as a young boy always had a dream of becoming a karate, martial arts expert and it appears that ambition adds to his riveting style of writing that takes the reader on a discovery journey of truthful relativity.

… When a mother loses a child due to violence, murder or terrorism, the whole family mourns and suffers. Miko can unfortunately attest to this as well. His sister’s daughter was killed in Jerusalem by Palestinian suicide bombers. And in the sense of that painful reality, one can only imagine if the Israeli government would have listened to General Matti Peled’s initial recommendation that the Israeli government should sit down and negotiate instead of fight with the Palestinian Liberation Movement, maybe all of the killings of innocent people on both sides, could have been avoided.

And in this insightful review article, the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe placed Miko’s book right up there with George Orwell’s 1984 as a text that reveals and debunks the deadly propaganda of the military-industrial complex!

Pappe wrote about the “psychiatric ward of mass, pro-war hysteria” that he believes present-day Israel has become. He added:

Being part visitor and part inmate in the ward I found solace in three books, each one of which tells us how best to keep our wits even when the most armed and aggressive state in the region has replaced diplomacy and national strategy with hysterical brinkmanship that could easily transform into real war and greater bloodshed.

The first is an old classic, George Orwell’s 1984. In despotic Oceania, the leadership, the Inner Party, depends on a constant war with the other two global powers. The leaders manufacture hysteria to keep it going, but begin to believe in it themselves..

The second book is Miko Peled’s The General’s Son. Peled’s research in the Israeli military archives exposed how the generals of Israel on the eve of the June 1967 war manufactured mass hysteria in Israel and spun a tale of an imminent second Holocaust — as did David Ben-Gurion in 1948 — knowing very well, in both historical instances, they were facing a weak, disarrayed opponent more willing to compromise than to fight.

The third is Jay Feldman’s Manufacturing Hysteria, a compact history of how the leadership in the US manufactures collective hysteria whenever faced with real or imagined crises that had the potential to cost them their seat of power…

Big thanks to all who have sent their wonderful comments in to Miko or to us. It makes all our hard work worthwhile!

Miko’s photos from Jerusalem and Basel

April 14, 2012

Miko’s been doing some great things in the past couple of weeks. Including, Passover in Jerusalem with his family. Plus, of course, the launch he did for The General’s Son at the American Colony Hotel last week, and a subsequent talk at Al-Quds University. While at Al-Quds University, he visited the Abu Jihad Prisoners’ Museum– and he took this great photo of a map they have there showing all (or most) of the prisons and detention facilities in which Israel incarcerates Palestinian prisoners… Of whom, currently, there are well over 6,000.

We thought this is a fascinating map. A whole new way to visualize the “Holy Land”…

This week, he’s been in Switzerland. In Bern, yesterday, he and his sister Nurit Peled-Elhanan had a great crowd at a gathering held by Palestinian solidarity organizations. Photos from that soon, we hope!)

He also got to visit Basel, where he had his photo taken on a balcony made famous 120 years ago by the founder of Zionism as an actual political movement, Theodor Herzl. He wrote on Twitter: “At Basel we contemplated how to end Zionism… at Hertzl’s famous balcony.”

Miko’s speech for Palestine Awareness Week at CSU San Diego

April 14, 2012
I want to begin by thanking the members of AIPAC, the Jewish Zionist community, who are here tonight. I am glad that they decided to set aside time to express solidarity with the people of Palestine. I know that you will listen to the tapes and view the recordings of my remarks tonight and you will study them well and hopefully you will realize that you are supporting evil. You see, I too came from a deeply Zionist background, far more Zionist and Jewish than most of you here tonight. My grandfather was a signer on the Israeli declaration of independence, and my father, a general, one of the giants who planned and executed Israel’s most definitive military victories, namely 1948 and 1967. So I know what you were taught and I know what you think. But its time to sweep away the Zionist myths and uncover the truth so that we may all finally live in peace. The myths I will address tonight are the three most common myths:

1. The myth of 1948.
2. The myth of the existential threat of 1967.
3. The myth of the Jewish democracy.

I want to read to you a passage from my upcoming book The General’s Son, and I quote: “Growing up we were taught to believe that the Arabs had left Eretz Israel partly on their own and partially at the directive of their so called leaders, and that therefore taking their land and homes was morally OK. It never occurred to us that even if they did leave willingly, we had no right to prohibit their return. But then Israeli historians had found that what Palestinians have been saying for decades was true.”  In other words when Palestinians claim something is true we doubt it but when Israelis claim it themselves, well now that is a different story. So Israeli historians found that Israel and Palestine the exact same place. But when Israel was created it was created on the ruins of Palestine.

Now, although Palestine was not a state yet, it would have become one had it not been so thoroughly destroyed. Palestine had bustling cities where commerce and trade were taking place, they had a middle class, they had judges and scholars and a rich political life and indeed they had culture and a unique identity that set them apart from the rest of the Arab world. What the Palestinians did not have, the one thing in which they did not invest was a military. And while they constituted the vast majority of the population, when the Jewish militias attacked, they were helpless.

Read more…

Sibling authors! Miko & his sister Nurit in Bern, Switzerland, Friday Apr 13.

April 6, 2012

… Not April 12, as previously mentioned…

The following announcement is for German-speaking readers. I imagine much of the event will be in English, but there will be Simultanübersetzung for German speakers.

Das Palästinenserbild in Israels Schulen und Gesellschaft

Freitag, 13. April 2012 / 18.30 Uhr Hotel Bern / Zeughausgasse 9 / Bern

Vorträge engl. mit Simultanübersetzung

tä. Apero

Eintritt: 15.00 SF

Die Gäste und ihre Themen:

Nurit Peled-Elhanan:

“Erziehung zur Feindschaft: eine Analyse israelischer Schulbücher”

Miko Peled:

“Zionistische Mythen und die Palästina/rage”

Moderation: Anna Trechsel

Nurit Peled Elhanan ist israelische Professorin an der Hebräischen Universität Jerusalem. Sie hat 1997 ihre 13-jährige Tochter bei einem Selbstmordattentat verloren und engagiert sich seither mit öffentlichen Aufrufen im In- und Ausland als Friedensaktivistin. Seit Jahren befasst sie sich mit wissenschaftlichen Studien zum Palästinenserbild in israelischen Schulbüchern. Im April erscheint ihr Buch: “Palestine in Israeli School Books”.

Ihr Bruder Miko Peled lebt in Kalifornien, USA. Er bezieht gegen den Einfluss der israelischen Lobby auf die Politik der USA Stellung, nimmt auf seinen zahlreichen Reisen in die von Israel besetzten Gebiete an gewaltfreien Demonstrationen teil und setzt sich für das Ende der israelischen Besatzung in Palästina ein. Im März 2012 ist sein Buch “The General’s Son” erschienen.

Miko in Coronado, CA, April 26

April 6, 2012

Book launch, Jerusalem– April 5th!

March 29, 2012

The American Colony- Bookshop

is pleased to invite you to a book discussion by

Miko Peled

who will be discussing his new book

The General’s Son: The Journey of an Israeli in Palestine

On Thursday April 5th at 6.30pm

At the Pasha Room
American Colony Hotel-Jerusalem

tel: 02-627-9731

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