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[ISBN:978-1-935982-15-9; 223pp; $20 in U.S.] In 1997, a tragedy struck the family of Israeli-American Miko Peled: His beloved niece Smadar was killed by a suicide bomber in Jerusalem. That tragedy propelled Peled onto a journey of discovery. It pushed him to re-examine many of the beliefs he had grown up with, as the son and grandson of leading figures in Israel's political-military elite, and transformed him into a courageous and visionary activist in the struggle for human rights and a hopeful, lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Esteemed African-American author Alice Walker has contributed a very moving and thoughtful Foreword to The General's Son.
The journey that Peled traces in this groundbreaking memoir echoed the trajectory taken 40 years earlier by his father, renowned Israeli general Matti Peled. In The General's Son, Miko Peled tells us about growing up in Jerusalem in the heart of the group that ruled the then-young country, Israel. He takes us with him through his service in the country's military and his subsequent global travels... and then, after his niece's killing, back into the heart of Israel's conflict with the Palestinians. The book provides a compelling and intimate window into the fears that haunt both peoples-- but also into the real courage of all those who, like Miko Peled, have been pursuing a steadfast grassroots struggle for equality for all the residents of the Holy Land.
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Posted by Majed on 15th Mar 2013
I like how the author tells the story. His style is simple and easy to understand. I love the book so much that I ordered several copies for my friends.
Posted by R. Shansky on 13th Mar 2013
One of the most valuable books I have read in recent years. We learn what transformation can occur when a person is open to challenging his preconceived views. This is a must read for spporters of Israel and of the Palestinians.
Posted by Unknown on 20th Feb 2013
I am so impressed that I gave several copies to people I know
Posted by Jayne W. on 8th Feb 2013
I am pleased that I could order this book directly from the you, the publisher. Thank you for producing this type of book which I look forward to reading.
I just purchased it so have not - yet - read the book. My review is not on the content of the book but rather on the great service you provided; both professional and efficient service. It arrived quickly and in perfect shape.
THANK YOU very much
Posted by Rachel Levy on 11th Dec 2012
Peled manages to answer every argument put forward by well-meaning apologists for occupation by combining actual facts on the ground with the story of his own family's responses to Israeli oppression. The Peleds and the Elhanans are true heroes of liberty and democracy.
Posted by Doris Soroko on 25th Oct 2012
Should be required reading for US Congress.
Posted by Fuad Abboud on 3rd Sep 2012
This is an honest and moving account of a difficult personal journey. Miko, a staunch Zionist, a "Red Beret" Special Forces commando, the son of a famous top Israeli general, becomes an "Arab-loving lefty" peace activist.
The journey starts with the death of Miko's 13-year old niece, Smadar, in a suicide bombing in Jerusalem. Miko grapples with the obvious question: what drove two Palestinian youths to blow themselves up?
As a Palestinian of the 1948 generation, I found the first few chapters hard to read. He recounts his grandparents journey to Palestine from Russia and Poland, their role in establishing the Zionist state and dispossessing the Palestinians. He writes of Israel's "War of Independence" but without quotation marks. I wondered: did Miko, like most Jewish Israelis, accept Israel's carefully-crafted myths? Having heard Nurit, his peace-activist sister speak, kept me reading. I was curious to know how his journey ends.
Miko joins a Jewish-Palestinian dialogue group in San Diego. He is initially outraged by the Palestinians' version of his "War of Independence". The dialogues are aimed at breaking down barriers but that's not easy. As Miko writes, "The willingness to accept another's truth is a huge step to take." To know more, Miko read the books of the "New Israeli Historians" which lead to a "rude awakening".
Miko starts to divide his time between his Karate studio in California and activism in Palestine. In the process, he gets to know, socialize and work with many Palestinian activists, some of whom spent many years in Israeli jails. The fear that seized him on his first trip to the West Bank has disappeared with the realization that Palestinians are not much different. Miko’s journey eventually leads him to the realization that there is only one just solution, a secular state with equal rights for all.
The General’s Son also exposes little-known facts. For example did the Israeli army exceed its orders and act on its own when it occupied the West bank in the 1967 war? Was there a massacre of Palestinians in Gaza following the occupation in 1967? How many Ugandans were killed in Israel's operation in Entebbe in July 1976? There are, as well, many revealing details about Yitzhak Rabin, Ehud Barak and Benjamin Natanyahu, all personally known to Miko’s family, that shed light on the peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
Miko’s writing style is easy-going, unpretentious, matter-of-fact narration which makes for easy and enjoyable reading. This book will appeal to anyone interested in a genuine peace in Palestine. It portrays, side by side, the fears and arrogance of Israelis, the struggle of the Palestinians, with help from brave Israelis and Internationals, to stop the on-going confiscation of their lands.
I would go further -- it's a must-read for anyone interested in Israel's future. The status quo is not a viable option and the so-called “two state solution” is no longer possible, if it ever was. This leaves only two possible long term outcomes: a secular state in all of Palestine, with equal rights for all; or what might be called the "Crusaders" scenario. Remember, the Crusaders occupied a much larger area than Israel and for a longer time; they were eventually expelled.
Posted by John Duggan - New York City on 30th Aug 2012
This intelligent, informative and moving memoir is well worth a quick and easy read. It tells the story of the Israeli author's personal and political transformation. Miko Peled, from a prominent Zionist family, the son of a prominent Israeli general, becomes a critic of the Israeli occupation and a supporter of the Palestinian victims. Highly recommended for both specialists and the general public alike. A book that is worth encouraging others to read.
Posted by Anne-marie Goossnes on 14th Jun 2012
The first chapters are hard for an anti zionist to read. But they are essential to understand how Miko has evolved from unquestioning citizen to a challenging peace lover.
The solution he advocates is the only possible one given the present circumstances. I never put the book down until it was finished and was sorry to reach the end
Posted by steeleweed on 3rd Jun 2012
As an Israeli with impeccable credentials in the Israel/Arab world, Miko Peled has no agenda except truth and humanity.
I am reminded of Golda Mier's comment to Sadat: "We can forgive you for killing our sons. But we will never forgive you for making us kill yours."
War dehumanizes the victors as well as the victims and IDF behavior toward Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza illustrates that clearly. The misbehavior is condoned and even tacitly encouraged by the morally bankrupt Israeli political and military establishment.
After centuries of pogroms leading up to the Holocaust, much of the world is inclined to cut Israel some slack, but the 'Israel can do no wrong' mindset, particularly among American fundamentalist has gone too far. One can understand Jews wanting a safe haven from thousands of years of bigotry, but Miko shows us the consequences of UNRESTRAINED Zionism, expressed in human terms.
One might even see this as an example that extremism in any cause is inherently destructive. Anyone who wants to understand what is happening in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank needs to read this book.
Showing reviews 1-10 of 12 | Next
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