The General’s Son

Journey of an Israeli in Palestine
Second Edition
by Miko Peled
Foreword by Alice Walker

There are few books on the Israel/Palestine issue that seem as hopeful to me as this one.Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author

The General’s Son

This is the powerful account by Israeli peace activist Miko Peled of his transformation from a young man growing up in the heart of Israel’s elite and serving proudly in its military into a fearless advocate of nonviolent struggle and equal rights for all Palestinians and Israelis. His journey mirrors in many ways the transformation his father Matti Peled, a much-decorated Israeli general, had undergone three decades earlier. Peled paints touching portraits of his childhood in Jerusalem, of the tumultuous events that sparked his transformation, and of the Palestinian and Israeli peace activists he has worked with in recent years.

This critically important memoir…is a must-read.
Naomi Wolf, Author, social critic, political activist

This new edition contains an Epilogue that takes readers with Peled on his travels around the world to promote his message of personal discovery and peacemaking: to South Africa, East Asia, Europe, the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel itself. He also reflects further on his continuing inner journey.

Foreword from Alice Walker
Part 1: The Early Years
1. Roots
2. My Father Was Matti Peled
3. Against the Current: Academia and Activism
Part 2: A Long Way From Home
4. The Red Beret
5. Karate
6. Black September
Part 3: The Road to Palestine
7. A Journey Begins
8. Two Flags
9. The Fear Virus
10. The Commanding General’s Order
11. Who Will Speak for Gaza?
12. Abu Ansar
13. Defiance
Part 4: Hope for Peace
14. The Next Generation
15. Abu Ali Shahin
16. One State, Two States, Three States
A Note on Maps
It is inspiring and enlightening to read the unfolding of one man’s path to liberate himself from racist ideologies, to disavow the privilege accorded to him because it comes at the expense of those who do not belong to his religion. I imagine it cannot be an easy path… This is an important book, full of hope and inspiration for a shared destiny between Palestinians and Israelis based on mutual respect and equal rights.
–Susan Abulhawa, Author, Mornings in Jenin and My Voice Sought the Wind
Matti Peled, the general of the title, was a remarkable personality. An underground fighter, a combat soldier and an architect of the Israeli army that won the Six-day War, he was a militaristic hawk before becoming an outstanding peace activist. The man who pushed the Israeli government into the war turned into one of the most implacable enemies of the occupation that resulted from it. During the twenty years we were close associates in this endeavor, I sometimes wondered how it was for a boy to grow up in the shadow of such a headstrong father. In this candid account, Miko Peled tells us how he followed in the footsteps of the general, from parachutist to fighter for peace, although his beloved 12-year-old niece was killed by suicide bombers. A fascinating story that provides much food for thought.
–Uri Avnery, Veteran Israeli peace activist and former Member of Knesset
Miko Peled has written a fascinating book about his illustrious father — military hero, defiantly independent peace-activist politician and Ph.D. professor-translator-scholar of Arabic language and literature. But this is in no way a conventional biography of a multi-talented great man. Rather, it is a penetrating, honest analysis of the core beliefs and courageous lives lived by an iconic Jewish leader and his remarkable family. A family that, though part of the national Zionist political-military establishment, have long reached out with empathetic concern for the Palestinians under Israeli occupation control — and who continue to agitate for a just peace acceptable to both Jews and Arabs. That family commitment to reconciliation has been sorely tested but remains unbroken even after a young grand-daughter of the general was killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber… Miko is truly inspiring in the telling of his family’s story — and of his own struggles to come to terms with the moral, ethical and intellectual legacy from his father.
–Landrum Bolling, veteran U.S. peace activist, former president, Earlham College
This is a brilliantly rendered father and son saga amidst a background that evokes Greek mythology. The father was an Israeli hero in the fight for independence and the subsequent wars that led to Israeli dominance, and a brutal occupation. The father and son difficulties can never escape the bigger picture. This is a story of admiration—and anger.
–Sy Hersh
Miko did not automatically follow in the footsteps of his remarkable father—a hawkish general turned Arabist and early proponent of a two-state solution in dialogue with the PLO. Instead, we are privileged to accompany the author on his own fascinating internal odyssey—a journey of self-education and cumulative critique of Zionist premises and Israeli practices culminating in poignant advocacy of a unitary binational state anchored in common humanity.
–Walid Khalidi, General secretary, Institute for Palestine Studies (Washington DC, Beirut, Ramallah)
The story of Miko Peled, his mother and father, reveals how facts, compassion and a universal sense of justice took hold and inspires this energetic and informed voice for peace.
–Ralph Nader
Out of personal pain and sober reflection on the past comes this powerful narrative of transformation, empowerment and commitment. It is the personal story that brings home forcefully how one liberates oneself from oppressive ideologies without losing one’s identity, family and humanity. Miko’s story is a must read for anyone who has not lost hope that one day peace and justice will prevail in Israel and Palestine.
–Ilan Pappé, Israeli historian, Professor of history at the University of Exeter (UK)
The General’s Son provides a window into a unique view Palestinians need to see. It tells the story of a man and his son whose experience in the Israeli army awakened them to the horrible reality of Israeli occupation. I would strongly recommend it to all Palestinians and to those that sympathise with their quest for freedom and justice.
–Azzam Tamimi, British-Palestinian Academic, Author of Hamas: The Unwritten Chapters
This critically important memoir by Miko Peled, a writer and citizen at the dynastic heart of Israel’s identity, is a must-read for anyone, Jewish or not, who cares about our collective evolution to a more peaceful and compassionate world. Brave, honorable and engaging work.
–Naomi Wolf, Author, Political Activist, and Social Critic

The General’s Son 2nd Ed. is available in Hardcover ($29.99), Paperback ($19.99), and Ebook ($9.99)


272 pages, 6″ X 9″
Published April 2016
ISBN 9781682570029