Israeli politics get personal: dissident Miko Peled in Seattle this week

Israeli dissident Miko Peled is in Seattle on a book tour this week.

Israeli peace activist Miko Peled is in Seattle this week to give a presentation called “Beyond the Zionist Paradigm: New Hope for Israel/Palestine.”

I saw him at the University Temple United Methodist Church last night, and he’ll speak again at the University of Washington’s Smith Hall on Thursday at 6:30pm in room 205.

Peled was born and raised in Jerusalem, served in the Israeli army, and now lives in San Diego, California. He comes from a privileged family, his father was an Israeli army general who took an active role in orchestrating the attack on Arab armies in the Six Day War of 1967.

Peled’s presentation, outlined by his newly published book The General’s Son: a Journey of an Israeli in Palestine with a forward by Alice Walker, provides a historical narrative of the creation and objectives of the Zionist state, intertwined with narratives of personal histories.

The presentation is almost like The Question of Palestine 101. 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.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the UN last week. Peled describes Israeli concerns about Iran’s nuclear program as a smoke screen to distract from what’s happening to Palestinians. (Photo from REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

But his narrative goes beyond politics to a personal story of self discovery.

His mother, born and raised in occupied Palestine, refused to live in homes stolen from Palestinians who fled for their lives in 1948, because she could not understand why she would steal their property. His father, in 1973 began informal peace negotiations with the Palestinian Liberation Organization. His niece was killed in a bombing in Jerusalem. His sister, in a press conference after her daughter’s death, said that she blamed the Israeli government because, “as long as Palestinians are denied peace, hope, homes, water, and land, we will always have things happen.”

For Peled, the truth lies in the personal story, not the national narrative. At age 39, he says he became aware of his privileges as an Israeli Jew from an affluent family in Israel, and came to the conclusion that everything he was taught in school and served in the military for were lies.

Peled draws on this awareness to narrate a story of a national dogma that is in its essence racist. And like racism, he says, Zionism has to go.

alma khasawnih is an immigrant from Far West Asia. Detroit is the city she feels most affinity to, currently lives in Seattle, and wants to grow old in Barcelona. alma is a PhD student in Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington, her focus is street artists and graffiti art in Cairo's Arab Spring. She is interested and involved in Digital and Public Humanities. She finds it relaxing to color within the lines in coloring books.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Miko Peled’s presentation at UNC Chapel Hill, NC 11-12-12 was a collection of misrepresentations and, as usual with his NC sponsor the Coalition for Peace with Justice, full of “the sins of omission.” He includes a projected photo of his niece killed in a terrorist attack in Israel, but refused to answer a question from a woman in the audience asking if he thought the attack was justified (he repeats “Zionism is racism” and faults Israel for “ethnic cleansing” repeatedly), but he said the woman’s question about his presentation was “offensive.” He topped it all off when I asked Peled why he omits saying that there is a high percent of Arab Jews in Israel “because they were ejected from Arab countries after Israel was established.” Peled’s reply, “That’s a lie, that’s a lie.” See al Arabiya re Yasser Arafat;s wife Suha: http://www.alarabiya.net/views/2007/08/22/38159.html

    • Stop lying Lynne, you and all the people working with you there to change wikipedia and change the truth. Israel is kill, destroy, invade…

    • yes, once again the lies and distortions of the anti-semites, the palestinian muslim arabs were cutting the heads off jewish children and stabbing their mothers to death. that was hebron 1929 (see police chief ray cafferatas report to the court 1929) no, nothings changed, israel is in a battle for survivlal against 100′s of millions of arabs and islamists. now, with the help of degenerates like this israel is surrounded by enemies seeking nuclear weapons to finish hitlers plot of killing all the jews. this miko peled should be tried for crimes against humanity. fame and fortune, he has sold his soul to the devil

  2. This man’s goal is everything that will bring peace. He and every Israeli and Jews around the world that are finally taking a stand are helping to awaken the CONSCIENCE of the Israeli people and the world. His personal connection to the very moment in time that changed the face of the Middle East. The military accounts, actions, and predictions of his own father about the fate of Israel. What his mother accounts as she witnessed the Palestinians being driven out of their homes. All the voices of past Israelis speaking out in this book grab and demand the readers attention.

    All his findings and work have historical backing by Israeli historians, sources, and information that have come straight out of Israel itself – including its own military archive. They can be easily found and are provided.

    The rise of the Israeli war mongering regime, the destruction of Palestine, what was in Palestine before the systematic decimation of the Palestinian people, the myths, the propaganda, and the distortions all exposed. Making this book a MUST READ for anyone new to the conflict of those familiar with it and seeking out the truth behind all the distortions.

    All written and researched by an Israeli, whose only goal is for conscience to rise, barriers be broken, justice being served, wrongs being put right, and peace to finally reign.

  3. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Zionist and said that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.

    Exchange the word Islam for Zionism and people would be screaming “Islamophobia” a term coined by Muslim Brotherhood. The uninformed masses need to understand that there were traItors of Jewish faith that betrayed their brothers and sisters during the Holocaust. Peled seems to be going down the same path. Shameful.

    • Craig, that’s an asinine corollary. If I changed the words “fresh squeezed orange juice” to “the blood of children” everyone would also be against that. It would also be similarly a ridiculous comparison, educating no one about anything.

    • I agree with your point. And their are so many people gullible to accept a peace at the cost of selling out their birthright. Miko Peled denies his heritage and his God in his presentation. The Palestinians as they are called could live in relative peace in Israel, if their leaders in wiping Israel of the map would lay down their arms. Why does Peled not speak with them instead of gullible trendy Americans. I too believe in peace, and wars are a shame, a blight in the heart of man. But in this day people talk of peace…but the plan is for WAR.

  4. Anyone wonder why not a single legitimate synagogue in the United States has invited this traitor to speak? Why does he only speak to anti-Zionist, anti-Jewish establishments? It is because most American Jews are well informed. We know about the 500,000+ Arabs that came into present day Israel from bordering areas between 1900 and 1945. We know that Arabs from Jordan stole JewIsh homes In Jerusalem. We know this because of the Peel CommIssIon Report In 1937 & Robert F. Kennedy wrote about it in 1948 while reporting in Israel:
    http://robertkennedyandisrael.blogspot.com/?m=1

  5. I agree with your comment. I will say that Miko Peled is like Esau in denying his people and his birthright. He denies God as well. Gullible Americans and people all over that clamor for peace at any cost give him an ear. The Palestinians could live in Israel in relative peace if their leaders would not conspire with the muslim world, and lay down their arms. Peled is a foolish man to think he is working for a peace that “man” cannot bring about. While they talk of peace, they plan for war.

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