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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 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. In The General's Son, Peled writes about growing up in Jerusalem in the heart of the group that ruled the then-young country, Israel. He describes the path he took to his belief in peace between the two peoples living in the Holy Land. And he paints numerous touching portraits of Palestinian and Israeli peace activists he has worked with in rcent years.


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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 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. In The General's Son, Peled writes about growing up in Jerusalem in the heart of the group that ruled the then-young country, Israel. He describes the path he took to his belief in peace between the two peoples living in the Holy Land. And he paints numerous touching portraits of Palestinian and Israeli peace activists he has worked with in rcent years.

30 review for The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine

  1. 5 out of 5

    Aya

    I have read many books by Israelis who are opponents to the occupation and Israel's policies of ethnic cleansing, but this is the first time I read a book by a General's son! The son of a well- known General in the Israeli army who played an important role in the establishment of Israel and the war of 1967. The book is divided into five parts. First, the writer gives us a full picture of his roots, his family and his father. All of who were pure Zionists. He was raised to be proud of his Zionism I have read many books by Israelis who are opponents to the occupation and Israel's policies of ethnic cleansing, but this is the first time I read a book by a General's son! The son of a well- known General in the Israeli army who played an important role in the establishment of Israel and the war of 1967. The book is divided into five parts. First, the writer gives us a full picture of his roots, his family and his father. All of who were pure Zionists. He was raised to be proud of his Zionism and his father is considered a hero for his roles in the Israeli army. Then the writer talks more about his life, how he excelled in karate, how he moved to the US, and how he started his journey of knowledge and eye opening to the truth about the Israel/Palestine conflict. He started to participate in clubs for peace talks, he tried to promote peace between the two sides, and finally he made it to the West Bank and then Gaza. He saw the occupation as a reality on the ground, he lived with Palestinians and saw how they suffer, he saw how the Israeli army, which he was taught to be proud of, treats Palestine. While reading this book, I couldn't but feel impressed by this person who went against the grain. This person was raised on specific principles and stereotypes about his country, the hero army, and the other enemy. This was all supported by almost everyone in his surroundings, in school, in his community and in a whole country. How much courage did he have to really think about it and open his heart and his eyes to see the ugly truth and occupation? How much courage did he have to face most people of his country- who are known to exclude and be aggressive towards anyone who dare to speak about it? I know Israeli peace activists who call for peace, but based on the 1967 borders. For us Palestinians, the issue is not about only the 67 borders, the issue needs to go back to its roots, to Haifa and Yaffa, to Safad and Beesan..Thank you Mr. Peled for acknowledging that this is a Palestinian land! Thank you for speaking out, thank you for being brave and for writing this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Noran Azmy

    I imagine if we printed a couple of billion copies of this book and sat the whole world down for two days to read it, we would be able to achieve peace in the middle east the next day. Two days is how long it takes to read this book, partly because it's short and partly because it is too interesting to put down. But before you read it, I recommend you first see the YouTube lecture by the author. The account of not just any Jewish Israeli, but a former Zionist and army soldier, son to one of the mo I imagine if we printed a couple of billion copies of this book and sat the whole world down for two days to read it, we would be able to achieve peace in the middle east the next day. Two days is how long it takes to read this book, partly because it's short and partly because it is too interesting to put down. But before you read it, I recommend you first see the YouTube lecture by the author. The account of not just any Jewish Israeli, but a former Zionist and army soldier, son to one of the most iconic figures in the Israeli army, grandson to one of the founders of the state of Israel, and close family friend to about a dozen of the most influential people in its history! Extremely recommended to anyone living in this world and interested in its affairs, but an absolute must to middle-Easterns of all backgrounds, who are often told by the rest of the world some fabricated version of history, and then asked to defend themselves about it. It struck me as I was reading this book that I, who had previously thought myself better-read, was actually unable to give a coherent narrative of the history of Palestine over the past century. The book's references made me ashamed of my own ignorance. But here's what you'll really get from this book: 1. An understanding of the Zionist perspective and the psychology of Israelis across generations. 2. A deeper look into the IDF. 3. A visual reminder of a Palestine outside the Gaza strip. 4. A realization that you are capable of not only respecting, but admiring, loving, and truly wanting to meet an Israeli person, maybe even an entire family. 5. A sudden urge to learn Hebrew. 6. My most treasured experience: knowing what Palestinians really are. I don't think I have ever felt prouder of a people. I know some people who would be truly ashamed of themselves for spreading around hate speech about the Palestinians if they read half of what's in that book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    The General’s Son by Miko Peled, son of the legendary Israeli general Matti Peled is one of those books that is simultaneously disheartening and encouraging. In a sense, it’s two books. First, an account of how Matti Peled, the brilliant warrior and militant Zionist, became a scholar of Arab literature and proponent of returning the lands captured by Israel in the 1967 war to the Palestinian people. Second, an account of how his son, Miko, followed Mattei into Israel’s special forces, became inc The General’s Son by Miko Peled, son of the legendary Israeli general Matti Peled is one of those books that is simultaneously disheartening and encouraging. In a sense, it’s two books. First, an account of how Matti Peled, the brilliant warrior and militant Zionist, became a scholar of Arab literature and proponent of returning the lands captured by Israel in the 1967 war to the Palestinian people. Second, an account of how his son, Miko, followed Mattei into Israel’s special forces, became increasingly disillusioned with Zionist militarism and finally formed such strong bonds with his Palestinian counterparts that he now believes, and argues persuasively, that Israel/Palestine must be a single state--in fact, it already is one state, an apartheid state, within which the Jews dominate and discriminate against the Palestinians. That’s an unusual story for American readers to encounter but not unrelated to serious crises of conscience in both the Jewish and Palestinian populations of what originally was called Palestine. There are many people there who have lost loved ones to the ongoing conflict who don’t think continuing animosity make sense. I’d guess that the majority of both populations still thinks in terms of what is known as a “two-state solution,” but that is an idea that has not, for decades, gone anywhere. Instead, the Israelis have continuously built more settlements that diminish the Palestinians’ prospects of ever achieving a viable state. On top of that, these settlements have generated a need for massive protective barriers and special roadways on which Palestinians may not drive. Miko Peled’s account of the State of Israel, which he once served proudly, presents it as a nation ruled by succeeding generations of generals--brilliant leaders and politicians--who have overreached. The key novelty for me in this book is the assertion that in 1967 the Israeli cabinet did not direct the Israeli Defense Forces to occupy what is known as “the West Bank,” which formerly belonged to Palestinians under the 1947 partition. Rather, Israel’s key generals took that decision and made it a fait accompli. I also didn’t know that Matti Peled found the mysterious entity known as “the Gaza Strip” so repellant and unjust that he raised his concerns to Israel’s highest levels...without receiving an answer...from his friends and comrades in arms. Peled stood at the levels of Dayan and Rabin and was senior to famous Israeli leaders with a military background like Ariel Sharon and the current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. His son’s portrait of him is that of an introverted, somewhat authoritarian, brilliant, taciturn man who would not abandon his moral principles for any political gain. He wasn’t interested in going along with a project that betrayed its own value system. He preferred to get to know the Arab world and through knowing it become a vigorous advocate of Arab/Palestinian-Israeli understanding. This is fascinating. Matti Peled was a master of military logistics, acquisitions, and weapons development. Then in mid-career, he perfected his Arabic and became a man of letters and political culture, if you will. So there’s story one in this book. In story two, Miko falls out of love with the Israeli Defense Forces due to their wasteful arrogance and casual brutality. He follows a path that takes him deep into the martial arts. He founds successful businesses around his expertise in San Diego. And then his niece is killed in a Palestinian suicide attack in Jerusalem, and he begins putting himself on the line to try to figure out how to stop the carnage. First, he ventures into Jewish-Arab dialogues in Southern California. That’s demanding. Passions run high. Friends ask why he is talking with “those people.” Next, he works with fellow Rotarians to send wheelchairs to Israeli and Palestinian hospitals. Finally, he forms friendships with Palestinians in their chopped-up cities, towns, and villages. For the longest time, he thinks of himself as a two-state Zionist. Finally, he concludes that the Palestinians he knows are a natural affinity group for the Jews in cultural and even democratic terms. That’s when he turns away from the corrupting force of Zionism and commits himself to the dream of a single democratic state that puts Palestine back together whole, Jews and Muslims and others living side-by-side in peace. Miko isn’t a leading opinion-maker in Israeli thinking about the future of Palestine. He’s essentially a representative of a small minority that cannot bear the oppression the State of Israel imposes on the Palestinians. (Example: Netanyahu has explained that the Israeli settlements are a function of “natural growth,” as though the Palestinians don’t experience “natural growth,” too. Example: Golda Meir once indicated that for the longest time she had no idea that the Palestinians, i.e., the long-term residents of Palestine, were a people. This is more or less what Mitt Romney said--ignorance has a long shelf-life, apparently.) But in following his father’s path, Miko has found his way into a dynamic that may surprise us all over the next twenty years. How long before social media bring Israeli and Palestinian youth so close together that they can’t despise one another anymore? How long before the military credentials of so many Israeli leaders become less important than their diplomatic and economic credentials? Within 2013 we in the U.S. may find ourselves called to deal with an Israeli preemptive attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. Israel is definitely our “friend;” we haven’t been real “friends” with Iran for a long time, if ever. But what are our interests and values, and how will the Obama administration express them? These are difficult questions. A diplomatic solution, which requires dialogue, compromise, and verification, would be far better both in the case of Iran and the Palestinians--better for the Israelis and better for Americans. The outcome, however, depends on whether people like Matti and Miko Peled, proponents of realistic peaceful engagement, prevail, or leaders who trust force more than words prevail. So this is an interesting and timely book, a personal book written against the backdrop of historic issues. As Miko freely admits, it is possible to disagree with him, but I don’t think it’s possible to deny that he’s been a man who has acted out of conscience, just like his father.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Hamza

    I really can't give this book anything less than a perfect rating. It's one of those stories that just really sticks with you. Mr. Peled's evolution is truly remarkable, and I'm sure his father would be right there with him if he were still alive. I really can't give this book anything less than a perfect rating. It's one of those stories that just really sticks with you. Mr. Peled's evolution is truly remarkable, and I'm sure his father would be right there with him if he were still alive.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laurence

    This is an amazing, eye-opening book by the son of an Israeli general that chronicles the opening of his eyes to the injustices endured by Palestinians, and his personal journey of abandonding the petty solidarity of group identify for the struggle for justice. Incredibly riviting, and renews my faith in peaceful change.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Zee1

    I will never be the same after reading this. Where do I even start? Mine is the tale of an Israeli boy, a Zionist, who realized that his side of the story was not the only side and chose to cultivate hope in a situation most call impossible. This is about Miko Peled's journey. His father's influence. The death of his niece in a suicide bomb attack that only further strengthened his resolve. It is enlightening, moving, at times, almost too much to read. His father was the famous General Matti Pe I will never be the same after reading this. Where do I even start? Mine is the tale of an Israeli boy, a Zionist, who realized that his side of the story was not the only side and chose to cultivate hope in a situation most call impossible. This is about Miko Peled's journey. His father's influence. The death of his niece in a suicide bomb attack that only further strengthened his resolve. It is enlightening, moving, at times, almost too much to read. His father was the famous General Matti Peled. A hero for the Israelis for his military finesse and ruthlessness. A man who went on to become a peace activist. Who received death threats and hate from the very people he fought wars for. That right there should tell us everything about the VERY toxic Israeli mentality that goes with Zionism and Nationalism. Calling someone an "Arab lover" is an insult. Fraternizing with the "dirty, stinking, Arabs" is frowned upon. Two groups of people who live that close, and aren't allowed to intermingle. It wasn't long before friends stopped inviting him and my mother to social events. He became a political and social pariah And let me clarify, his father was NOT against the Zionist state. He was ONLY against the continued oppression of the Palestinians and believed they deserved equal rights. THIS was the man other Israelis sent death threats to, THIS is why he was accused of treason. One point he came back to often was that the best thing America could do for Israel was to stop selling it weapons and giving it free money. It amazes me, that an ENTIRE population of Israelis, and people around the world, choose to blindly believe the propaganda they are told by ANY government, let alone the Israeli govt. Israeli citizens were led to believe that the Arab armies were coming to rape and murder them Miko Peled talks about the days he was proud to wear the red beret and serve "his country", but how he was often uncomfortable with the orders. .. that if anyone so much as looked at us, we were to beat them, or as he put it, "Break every bone in their body." {{snip}} But soldiers do not ask questions; they follow orders. Where, oh where, have we ALL heard that before? I cannot say how much I admire Miko Peled and his sister, Nurit's, minds. After Nurit's daughter died in a suicide bomb attack. She did not blame the oppressed and desperate Palestinians. As she saw it, every Israeli politician who did not end the Israeli occupation and oppression of Palestinians was responsible for the deaths of Israelis and Palestinians. She reasoned, and still does, that this is not a question of policy or inability to reach an agreement but callousness, greed for land, a desire to rule, and a lack of will to end the conflict. The sheer amount of fact and history in this book is overwhelming. How he went around reading up on Israeli historians and academics who corroborated NOT what he had been told his entire life by his government, but the "other" side of the "conflict" (and books he has mentioned which I have every intention of reading, except for the ones in Hebrew.. which unfortunately I won't be able to.) It opened the door to a discussion most Israelis are fiercely protective about - which is, what did the Zionist forces REALLY do in 1948? And you know what kinda people are fiercely protective of certain topics? The ones they get defensive about? The ones they know deep down inside they won't like the answer to. And that makes it all SO much worse. The new state did not allow any of the Palestinians who left to return to their homes and land. They were to remain refugees forever. About halfway through the story, Peled talks about the first time he actually SOCIALIZES with the dreaded Palestinians. Admits his fear, the fear that had been instilled in him by his people. And overcomes it, slowly, but surely. And it was a wonderful thing to read in an otherwise harrowing story. It just made me realize HOW dehumanized the Palestinians are to most Israelis. No wonder they don't care, no wonder they call for Palestinian blood, and cheer for it. For generations they have been told that the Palestinians are no better than rabid dogs out for blood. They don't SEE the women, the children, the fathers, the grandparents. They CHOOSE not to see them. They have built an apartheid wall to separate them. They have no guilt. The ugly concrete structure was built around the city by Israel to separate Palestinians from lands that Israel wants to settle. {{snip}} You could also see work being done to expand the wall and tunnels to allow Israelis settlers to travel from Israel to the settlements in the West Bank without having to see or interact with Palestinians. He has been arrested numerous times by the Israelis, his own people, for things like making trips to the Occupied territories for peaceful protests, charity, taking supplies to those in need. (He recently got arrested once again for protesting for Palestine.) My own people had arrested me for doing something good. My disillusion with Israel had sunk to a new low. The sheer cruelty of the Israelis was mind boggling. Honestly, I just had not imagined it could be that bad. And that's saying something when you see the pictures of devastation in Gaza. Miko Peled's account is nowhere near as graphic, nor written dramatically, but in it's quiet earnestness, it is just as effective. Gaza has essentially turned into an enormous concentration camp. Since the early 1950s, Israeli commandos have conducted "punitive" operations against the people of Gaza - in spite of the fact that the people of Gaza never had an army and never posed a military threat. Facts like how, OF COURSE, Israel was a staunch ally of South Africa in the apartheid years. How it used ethnically based oppression for decades to achieve it's gaol of creating a Jewish majority in Palestine. I, of course, especially loved how Israel claims the same bullshit over and over again for decades, and the world still sits silently by. To make things worse, Israel claimed that notices were given to the local population that the attack was imminent and that people should leave areas that were going to be bombed. One can only imagine a mother or father sitting for days anticipating the onslaught, yet knowing full well that there was no escaping it. Borders closed, no bomb shelter luxuries that the Israelis boast (for those pesky Hamas rockets), nowhere to hide themselves or their children. And sitting there waiting. While the Israelis sit at the border and view the bombing as if it were a display of beautiful fireworks. .. was a continuation of an ongoing war, a war that aims to complete the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. I heard stories of people who drove to the Gaza border to sit on lawn chairs and view the bombing. The searing hypocrisy of the Israeli military and police even when they were trying to arrest him shocked me. "Look, he is an Israeli citizen and he has rights. It's not a Palestinian that I can just beat up and throw in prison." There is an entire population of people. Who act like that. Think like that. Justify their heinous crimes like that. Do EXACTLY what was done to their ancestors. The Holocaust lasted for 4 years (1941-45, the systematic genocide of the Jewish people), they had been persecuted since 1933 before that. The world is still reeling from the atrocities committed. The Palestinians have been enduring their holocaust for decades more. Will the future ring with the screams of the dying innocents for centuries to come? Or will history turn a blind eye to this as the world is doing now? Will we be telling our children that there once were Palestinians who lived on Palestinian land? Who had their own culture and identity? But are no more? Will we all continue treating Israelis as EQUAL victims? As bizarre and ridiculous and illogical as that is? Miko Peled is way more hopeful than I about a resolution to this. I see no light at the end of this dark and bloody tunnel. I see no way the world will EVER be able to make up for ignoring the plight of the Palestinian people. I see no way that most Israelis, who deliberately do NOT want to educate themselves on facts, will ever see the truth. But I find a glimmer of hope in the stories of the hundreds of Israelis who have searched for the truth themselves, and not trusted their ruling class (like none of us should).. the groups of Jews who condemn the "state" of Israel. The ones who realize that Palestinians are their fellow human beings. And there is no greater reason to NOT kill them. This book is a MUST read for anyone who wants a harsh, but real, look at the situation. Miko Peled, and MANY Israelis after and before him who spoke of similar things, have NO reason to lie. And have always backed up their information with facts. The blind to the truth Zionists can condemn them as traitors and liars. But the truth is, they have NO reason to do so. And EVERY reason to share the truth with the world. It made me cry more times than I can count. But I would read it all over again just to educate myself. And to realize that this, unlike what our politicians tell us, is NOT a complicated issue. It is simple. It is straightforward. And it comes down to the world condoning the massacre of innocents. That is it. That is all. I stand with Palestine. (even though I will probably never have the strength of heart that they do, to continue going on and making a life for themselves from the rubble and debris and blood soaked streets the Israeli occupiers leave behind.)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Aseel Tell

    As a Palestinian living in the occupied land outside the separation wall , I hate this book !! before reading this book , I was trying to ignore the fact that on "OUR occupied land " there's actually people living , going to schools every day , having weddings, ... living ! they were born and raised here , on our stolen land ,... they ignored our existence on this land 65 years ago,and stole our land, and just because it's been stolen for 65 years doesn't mean it became theirs ! it will never be As a Palestinian living in the occupied land outside the separation wall , I hate this book !! before reading this book , I was trying to ignore the fact that on "OUR occupied land " there's actually people living , going to schools every day , having weddings, ... living ! they were born and raised here , on our stolen land ,... they ignored our existence on this land 65 years ago,and stole our land, and just because it's been stolen for 65 years doesn't mean it became theirs ! it will never be , someday ....we'll take it back, and this day is coming soon there's no such a thing as two state solution ,there's one state , palestine -from the river to the sea , and it's my home, we will never forget that this is a TEMPORARY occupation , and it's gonna fall someday , it's kinda hard to believe it will fall by protests or negotiations , either by this or by WAR , what we "Palestinians" want is our home , from river to sea.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Clif

    This is the latest read in my pursuit of knowledge about Israel/Palestine. The book was a surprise to me in that the father's views were not what I expected. Matti Peled, the father, a famous (in Israel) general in the 1967 war, was not a narrow minded martinet, though he was brusque and reticent with his children. It is a shame that much of what his son Miko discovers in this story, could have been related to him directly by an open conversation with his dad. But we the readers would be worse of This is the latest read in my pursuit of knowledge about Israel/Palestine. The book was a surprise to me in that the father's views were not what I expected. Matti Peled, the father, a famous (in Israel) general in the 1967 war, was not a narrow minded martinet, though he was brusque and reticent with his children. It is a shame that much of what his son Miko discovers in this story, could have been related to him directly by an open conversation with his dad. But we the readers would be worse off if that had happened. This story is not that of a son telling of his radical departure from parental ideas, but of a realization by the son that he was following his father in being capable of change in the light of reason. Far from repudiation, Miko Peled comes to take a deeper pride in his father than that effortless and empty pride of being a child of a big name. The story of a Zionist coming to see reality, escaping from the mythology that Israel (like any country, but especially an insecure one) attempts to pass as truth is one that I have heard before, both in literature and in personal conversation. The pattern goes like this: a person is raised to believe the Jews have an unquestionable and exclusive right to Palestine, the Arabs who live (have lived) there are the enemy, interlopers that wandered in at some point in the past and must be removed. These Arabs have blood lust, wanting above all to kill Jews and remove Israel from the map in revenge for the founding of Israel in 1948. this is an interesting parallel with the thoughts of many whites in the early United States, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams among them, who were convinced that, if freed, slaves would rise up and slaughter whites. This idea, sincerely held, was a convenient argument for doing nothing about slavery, just as in Israel now there is a common belief that things can continue indefinitely as they are. Any Jew is a fool who will go into the Palestinian areas and the only line of defense is the Israel Defense Force without which a slaughter would commence in an instant. This is the view that is relentlessly put forth by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and supported by most members of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, and by a depressingly large number of Israelis. It is the view that must be promoted in order to maintain the reason for being of Israel - as a safe refuge, a fort being held against catastrophe. Then comes the moment of doubt. By one means or another, the person whose views are those just related, comes into contact with Palestinians that bear no resemblance to the fiends expected. In fact, these Arabs turn out to be the exact opposite, not just friendly, but gracious, polite, and unwilling to use violence. Instead of being assaulted, the astonished Zionist is asked into Palestinian homes for tea. It turns out that an Israeli Jew can walk without fear into a Palestinian village and interact freely, even eagerly, with those who were said to be waiting to commit murder, that an Israeli Jew can even stand with the Palestinians as uniformed Israelis come to administer violence to one and all. here again is a parallel with the United States experience during slavery, where slaves were almost without exception friendly to any white who took notice of them and their predicament. This behavior by oppressed blacks continued right through the civil rights movement of the 20th century. This brings epiphany. The mental picture long held of the enemy collapses with the realization of the horror of over six decades of oppression and dispossession of an innocent people whose only crime was to be present when Zionists arrived to make an exclusive claim that could not be challenged by reason or might, a claim made real with violence. And not just violence but deliberate slaughter and the use of terror to induce the flight of hundreds of thousands from their lands. This paradigm is reproduced in The General's Son by the experiences of the author, but with the added impact that his father had fully participated in the expulsion in 1948 and the occupation in 1967, and had gained distinction for the excellence with which he did his job. Retired from the military, he would not put on his uniform again, saying that the military is a tool, not an identity. General Peled was no ordinary man. We find it so with his son as well. I will not go further because the exposition of the character of the general is as much a part of this story as the epiphany of the son. The conclusion that Miko Peled reaches about the future for Israel is the only one anyone with an open mind and an understanding of the facts on the ground can reach, and I will leave that for you to discover as well. The book could as well be titled "Meet the Palestinians" because the reader is introduced to many of them, and rightly so, for with this Peled makes his case for the character of the people Israelis are raised to hate. A close relative of mine, who is Jewish, absolutely refused to attend a meeting with me where I offered to introduce her to some Palestinians. So on it goes with Zionism, even in America. The Story of Israel cannot withstand the truth that would come from contact with the other. I'm convinced that ethnic-supremacist Israel will ultimately be viewed as a great blunder made possible only by the horror of WW2, the exploitation of which made possible The Jewish State. I have the very strong impression that Israelis believe they are fully entitled to be prideful and arrogant as a kind of balm, a recompense for centuries of subjugation of Jews in Europe, that allows Israel an exemption from the norms of the rest of humanity. But no generation is a repetition of the past. We all start anew. No people are born "booted and spurred" as Jefferson put it, ready to ride another. Israelis, blinded by an obsession with historic injustice cannot see the injustice they do. Far from an account that will bring pride, as it did in its early years, Israel's story in times to come will be mortifying to Jews, in the same way that America is shamed by the Indian Wars, in the way that all nations that have known empire have learned by now: power and arrogance parent a terrible child.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sleepless Dreamer

    It's quite challenging to speak about this book. So before I get into my opinions, I'd like to say this book is very easy to read. It flows well and I enjoyed reading it. I think it provides a perspective that's important. The first third of the book is essentially the author flexing his cool family history, as Israelis love to do. If you're not Israeli, I'm not sure how much this part will influence you but for me, I found it quite impressive (and a little annoying). The author goes on and on a It's quite challenging to speak about this book. So before I get into my opinions, I'd like to say this book is very easy to read. It flows well and I enjoyed reading it. I think it provides a perspective that's important. The first third of the book is essentially the author flexing his cool family history, as Israelis love to do. If you're not Israeli, I'm not sure how much this part will influence you but for me, I found it quite impressive (and a little annoying). The author goes on and on about how rare it is for an army general to become a leftist. I found this strange because in my generation, that's practically a cliche. In the words of my former art teacher, "I was an officer for enough time for me to be this left." As an Israeli, I found this didn't really give me anything new in terms of information. I found this to be a basic life story of the Israeli that discovers that the conflict is complicated. What I found strange was that he stops believing in the two state solution. For me, the more I learn about Palestine, the more the two state solution seems right. I think we have to look at Serbia and Croatia. The ideal, as I see it, would be two democratic states with open borders. I think the religious settlers wouldn't mind living in Palestine as long as they could continue practicing their faith. If you go up north, there are plenty of Palestinians that are okay with living in Israel. It's not the name that matters, it's the culture and the lifestyle and I truly think we could create a small European Union but just with Israel and Palestine. Autonomy matters but so does freedom of movement. We could cooperate on environmental issues, we would all be bilingual and hopefully manage to create a bridge of Arabic and Hebrew. As the cliche goes, in the book he goes to Palestine and learns that, wow, Palestinians are people. The more he goes to Palestine, the less he loves Israel. Now, I don't mean to belittle this but honestly, I'm so tired of this narrative. I know that most of the Palestinians are great. I've decided that once my Arabic gets good enough, I'll reward myself and go to Ramallah. I've met many Palestinians and while I've never been able to cultivate an actual friendship, that could also be down to me being bad with making friends. What bothers me is that I feel that in order for Israelis and Palestinians to get along, it's always the Israelis that have to come apologetic, to back down on their opinions. I've been to dozens of peace dialogues and I always feel like I'm more familiar with the Palestinian narrative than they are with mine. I'm happy to admit that in 1948 war, Israel didn't entirely behave right, happy to talk about Israeli war crimes in the West Bank but Palestinians argue with me that Israelis have a claim of the land at all. They simply refuse to acknowledge me as anything but a colonizing European. I've heard Palestinians claim that Jews have no culture, claim that our only culture is stolen from Palestinians, claim that we're all taught to shoot Arabs in the army. There's such a lack of knowledge on their side and that's challenging. I remember in one of those meetings, a guy from Ramallah was talking about violence from policemen. An Israeli there was immediately sympathizing and talking about how wrong are the Israeli border police. The guy stopped her and explained he was talking about Palestinian policemen and the problems of the Palestinian government. And Israeli leftists don't like hearing about these things. We're proper Jews, we like blaming ourselves for everything and it's as if the left can't comprehend that this shitty situation is not just our fault. I had hoped that this book would tell the story of an Israeli who holds on to his Zionism and love of Israel but still manages to have a proper dialogue and to further peace. This simply isn't this story. He changes his narrative until he's entirely unable to embrace the Israeli one. I think there's truth everywhere and a true mediator is able to hold on to the conflicting views. The magic of solving a problem isn't to agree with one side and in a way, he's no different than the right wing extremists that refuse to acknowledge the other side. During my army service, I decided to start volunteering as a Hebrew teacher to Palestinian women. There was something hilarious about me leaving my army base a little early, finding places to change out of my army uniform (thank you, clothing stores in the central station), and going to East Jerusalem. One time, I forgot my army beret (a gray one because I was in the Air Force, sorry for not being cool) in the class. A week later, the Palestinian secretary handed it to me. It was a strange moment because I hadn't told anyone I was in the army while volunteering but this secretary knew and it didn't stop her from letting me practice my Arabic with her and offering me coffee all the time. I found myself thinking that I'm able to love my students even if they come from the same villages where many terrorists came from and they were able to accept me, even if I was in the army. That said, we never talked about what hurt. And the more I age, the more I'm looking for a painful conversation, I want us to show our true colors, to make it real and genuine. Because it's not about a guy with a kippah and a girl with a hijab. It's about us solving this problem, as civilians. This was quite long but man, I'm so tired. In Russia, I realized that if I didn't truly and honestly believe that things can change in this country, I'd leave immediately. And so, I do have faith. Even if Netanyahu will win again and even if this country seems to be moving backwards, I want to make this better, I truly think we have so much potential. I'm looking forward to seeing my view change in the next few years, when I'll have more time to work on my Arabic, meet more Palestinians and learn more politics. what I'm taking with me: • idk Miko, I served in the army as a leftist queer non binary and I wasn't bullied at all. Things have changed. • there's a difference between one soldier behaving wrongly and a policy that is wrong. • Matti Peled seems like a cool dude, I'd like to read more about him. • honestly man, the fact he skips over Yom Kippur war is quite telling.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mohammed Morsi

    This book is amazing, not because of the way it is written but because of the integrity in which it is written. Furthermore the authenticity of the voice of Miko Peled carries you through his journey. To me, having experienced the brutal terror of the IDF, the words are not just describing of a man's journey but also of a man's conflict and in that, all of us. The way we wish to identify ourselves and whether the identity we choose is really true to who we are deep down. It takes courage to choo This book is amazing, not because of the way it is written but because of the integrity in which it is written. Furthermore the authenticity of the voice of Miko Peled carries you through his journey. To me, having experienced the brutal terror of the IDF, the words are not just describing of a man's journey but also of a man's conflict and in that, all of us. The way we wish to identify ourselves and whether the identity we choose is really true to who we are deep down. It takes courage to choose humanity and to renounce terror, even if it means going against the very own voices who gave you your identity.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne

    The story of the war between Israelis and Palestinians is not an easy one – even its name changes with viewpoint. Several years ago, I read My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. With each chapter, Avi Shavit turned my understanding of the conflict on its head. Every time I thought I understood what was happening, the story changed. Miko Peled's memoir and analysis of Israeli/Palestinian conflict, The General's Son: Journal of an Israeli in Palestine takes a more definite stance. Al The story of the war between Israelis and Palestinians is not an easy one – even its name changes with viewpoint. Several years ago, I read My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. With each chapter, Avi Shavit turned my understanding of the conflict on its head. Every time I thought I understood what was happening, the story changed. Miko Peled's memoir and analysis of Israeli/Palestinian conflict, The General's Son: Journal of an Israeli in Palestine takes a more definite stance. Although Peled is an Israeli Jew living in the United States and deeply loves his first country, he draws Israel as the aggressor, Palestinians as an oppressed and generally peaceful people who are behaving as makes sense under the circumstances. Peled is from a family of peace activists. His father, Gen. Matti Peled, became a peace activist and professor of Arab literature after retiring from the military and government service. He advocated for a two-state solution, with Palestinians and Israel both having their own independent states. Miko Peled, his older sister, and her husband began actively advocating for peace after his sister's 13-year-old daughter was killed in a suicide attack. Miko Peled argues that peace can only happen if Palestinians and Israelis talk together and build a single state comprised of citizens with equal status. Increasingly, he perceived Israel's army and bombing as disproportionate in size to the Palestinians' response (e.g., in Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli air force dropped 100 tons of bombs on Gaza in the first eight hours of a 21-day attack, with a one-ton bomb capable of destroying a city block). He recognized that his fear was of Palestinians was discrepant with the warm welcome he received as he entered their homes. He was dismayed when Israel prevented him, on the behalf of the Rotary, from giving wheelchairs and medication to the Palestinians (such humanitarian gifts to Israel were easily arranged). That innocent children were killed alongside "the guilty" – in contrast to God's willingness to spare Sodom if he found fifty righteous men there (Genesis 18: 23– 26) – caused him to feel betrayed by my own people, I felt ashamed of the country I used to be so proud of (p. 192). He concluded that Gaza – and much of the land on which Palestinians are allowed to live – is a prison for nearly two million people who are punished merely for insisting to live (p. 262). From Peled's perspective, fear and separation were poisonous, while communication in more natural situations (e.g., grief groups) was healing for Palestinian and Jew. Much of The General's Son describes the opportunities he found to listen to and collaborate with Palestinians on humanitarian missions. Peled was surprised by the ways that the news was distorted in the US and elsewhere to portray Palestinians as the aggressors and the Israelis as attempting to defend their rightful homeland. He quoted Charles Glass, ABC News's chief Middle East correspondent from 1983-1993, who emailed following the publication of one of Peled's articles: I learned then something that was taught to me again and again over the years: you cannot write even simple facts about what Israel was doing if your editors cannot accept that Israel would do such things. I don’t know if they didn’t believe the story or they wanted to protect the image, but it happened with just about every American news agency I ever worked for. (p. 182)This is an important point for all of us to remember, one that we forget when a political viewpoint disagrees with our own. If only for this reason, The General's Son is an important read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Shahrazad

    5 stars for the paradigm shift. Eye opening , Informative and emotional at the same time. You don’t need to know a lot about the conflict to read this as Miko gives the background and goes through arguments and counter arguments with clarity and precision. May we manage to be like Miko and Matti Peled always capable of recognizing when the answers have changed.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Beorn

    For people not quite as fully immersed (read: obsessed) with the situation in Israel/Palestine, the name of Miko Peled, or his father Matti, may not be immediately familiar. I first came across him when researching conscientious Israelis actively taking a stand for peace and opposing the actions of the Israeli state done in their name. It took me a little while to get around to buying Miko's book but I couldn't regret for a second doing so. In brief summary, up until his death, and such was his le For people not quite as fully immersed (read: obsessed) with the situation in Israel/Palestine, the name of Miko Peled, or his father Matti, may not be immediately familiar. I first came across him when researching conscientious Israelis actively taking a stand for peace and opposing the actions of the Israeli state done in their name. It took me a little while to get around to buying Miko's book but I couldn't regret for a second doing so. In brief summary, up until his death, and such was his legacy that he remained so afterward, Matti Peled was one of Israel's most famous generals who was an arch Zionist that took part in the country's 1948 'War of Independence' or 'Nakba' depending on which side of the fence you sit. He also fought in the 1967 Yom Kippur War. After stepping down from his generalship, as governor of the newly conquered Gaza strip, Matti Peled gradually went through a moral reawakening and became a noted peace activist, became fluent in Arabic (even teaching Arabic literature at Tel Aviv University), working across the divide between Israelis & Palestinians, making life-long friends with the latter. It is against this backdrop that his youngest(?) son, Miko, was born & raised in Jerusalem though spent some of his formative years in California. After growing up as both a Zionist and questioning the stories he was told about the formation of his country as a child, Peled completed his mandatory IDF service in an elite special forces and eventually developed into a karate teacher. With a number of uncomfortable, face the fear moments and events behind him, Peled is now one of Israel's most well-known peace activists and supporters of Palestinian rights. Nothing I can write here could quite do justice to the emotional journey that the book takes you on. Whatever side of the fence you sit on, whether pro-Israel, pro Palestinian or still feigning neutrality, you will appreciate the journey this man has been on. I felt a little uncomfortable at first, after years of reading histories of the conflict from a Palestinian viewpoint, to be confronted by the POV of someone who had been born & raised in Jerusalem yet was not one of the maligned & dispossessed. It was forcing my brain to accept that there are Israelis who are just as close emotionally to the land as those Palestinians dispossessed, killed and expelled that truly opened myself up to what Miko had to say. I only hope that anyone who is devoutly pro-Israel reads this with an open mind as, while this book is ideal reading for Palestinian advocates, to me it is just as compulsive reading for Zionists, politically savvy Jews and ordinary Israelis. For only when those who support Israel's actions without thinking come to appreciate the views of one of their own will there be genuine development in the search for peace. Magical.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Belal Dabour

    A good book generally. It gives an insider look at the lives of "the others" and how they are brought up and perceive their existence on this land as rightful. The historical narration was interesting to read, but I think the book needs a deeper, analytical take that goes beyond the simple narration of a man's journey. I am glad Miko doesn't identify himself as a Zionist anymore, but I want to hear it loud and clear how he thinks the future of 6 million refugees in exile fits within his vision of A good book generally. It gives an insider look at the lives of "the others" and how they are brought up and perceive their existence on this land as rightful. The historical narration was interesting to read, but I think the book needs a deeper, analytical take that goes beyond the simple narration of a man's journey. I am glad Miko doesn't identify himself as a Zionist anymore, but I want to hear it loud and clear how he thinks the future of 6 million refugees in exile fits within his vision of one democratic state as I believe the question of the refugees is the most crucial question in the Palestine situation.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Johnny

    An important book about one man's journey to change his ideology and to explore how Palestinians in the West Bank live in the midst of military occupation. The shadow of his father Matti Peled (a general during the 1967 War who supported Palestinian rights afterwards) and the death of his 13-year-old niece to a suicide bombing in Jerusalem, loom over the entire book and led the author to become a supporter of peace and justice for the Palestinians. An important book about one man's journey to change his ideology and to explore how Palestinians in the West Bank live in the midst of military occupation. The shadow of his father Matti Peled (a general during the 1967 War who supported Palestinian rights afterwards) and the death of his 13-year-old niece to a suicide bombing in Jerusalem, loom over the entire book and led the author to become a supporter of peace and justice for the Palestinians.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Very good book written by a very good man. I felt it was eye opening and at times made my heart ache. It made me see that even as a Christian I can still have a heart as a human being no matter our differences the treament of another person inhumanly would not be accepted anywhere else. I already have someone waiting to read it. Very happy to pass it on to help other people see what is really going on where we only see one side.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    I simply disagree too strongly with the premise here to finish reading. I admire the integrity of the author and his idealism but I simply completely disagree with him. Because I am quite sure that people will passionately disagree with me, I am not giving details and will not answer any attacks on my opinion.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Louis Spirito

    If you're interested in the Middle East and want an insider's perspective on how peace can be achieved, this is a must read. If you're interested in the Middle East and want an insider's perspective on how peace can be achieved, this is a must read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Review to come once I have a few days to let the book's words sink in. Review to come once I have a few days to let the book's words sink in.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Duncan Falconer

    A very insightful book into the Israeli Palestine conflict as seen through the eyes of a man who's father played a significant role in the fight for Israel's survival after its creation in 1948. General Peled was an Israeli hawk who pushed hard to attack the Arabs first in the 6 day war and is largely given credit for that victory. When the war was over, General Peled believed it was time for the Israelis and Palestinians to live together and share the country in peace. Few members of the milita A very insightful book into the Israeli Palestine conflict as seen through the eyes of a man who's father played a significant role in the fight for Israel's survival after its creation in 1948. General Peled was an Israeli hawk who pushed hard to attack the Arabs first in the 6 day war and is largely given credit for that victory. When the war was over, General Peled believed it was time for the Israelis and Palestinians to live together and share the country in peace. Few members of the military elite and politicos shared his views. General Peled spent the rest of his life arguing for the removal of the physical and political barriers the Israelis were building between themselves and the Palestinians. He predicted decades ago the terrible and constant conflict Israelis and Palestinians would have to suffer until Israel changed its myopic attitude, brought down its walls and embarked on the construction of two states, one Israeli, the other Palestinian. The story does not end with the death of the general though. Miko, one of his sons, a trained Israeli soldier, did not always share his father's views. But his love for and interest in his own country and people led him to explore his father's beliefs and subsequently he took up the fight in the name of his father. Miko has gone one step further than his father in proposing a single state where Israelis and Palestinians live together. I lived and worked in Palestine for many months when Miko was a young man, during the Second Intifada, spending most of my time in Palestine's West Bank and Gaza. I arrived not knowing much about the conflict but within weeks, despite being no fan of Islam and despising the PLO, after experiencing the Israeli solutions to the problem, comparing them to my own deep experiences of an internal security conflict (Northern Ireland), I soon came to the conclusion there was something unsustainable and terrible about the way Israelis were managing their country and neighbours. The book describes many hard truths about Israeli inhumanity and Palestinian suffering. It isn't popular among most Jews and Israelis, mainly because they don’t appear to believe it to be true. For a conflict where there seems no end, it's hard to ignore Peled's solutions. They might just be the only ones that will bring about peace in that troubled land.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Noor Jaber

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is truly a work of art, it is an amazing read for whoever likes to read about the mentality of the Israeli occupation. Back in college I was enrolled in a course titled “Palestinian- Israeli Conflict”. During one of the classes in this course, Miko Peled was brought in as a guest speaker. Now as a Palestinian his speech was very heartfelt as it has resonated deeply within me and some of my other classmates. After hearing him speak; I decided to purchase this book from him. All in all, This book is truly a work of art, it is an amazing read for whoever likes to read about the mentality of the Israeli occupation. Back in college I was enrolled in a course titled “Palestinian- Israeli Conflict”. During one of the classes in this course, Miko Peled was brought in as a guest speaker. Now as a Palestinian his speech was very heartfelt as it has resonated deeply within me and some of my other classmates. After hearing him speak; I decided to purchase this book from him. All in all, this book is a magnificent read, I truly enjoyed reading about all the various details he brings forth in his diverse chapters. He mentions some great and forgotten details about what Arabs have lived through during war times and resistance movements (what happened at the Rafah border after the war of 1967 is truly keen to understand the measures of ethnic cleansing that the Israeli’s have taken). He touches on some really interesting key ideas; one of which is that Palestinian resistance will never achieve immunity for them. This stands true because there are different laws set to govern ‘different people’. What I enjoyed most about reading this book was the fact that how he like all other Israelis grew up to be completely and utterly oblivious to their surroundings and their disregard to the Palestinian inhabitants. With time his thinking has changed and is documented in his book, and he could even be searched up on the internet, to this day he portrays himself as an activist with the means of defying his own corrupt system. In chapter 9 Miko Peled visits Nazareth for the very first time. Once in Nazareth he says that he feels alienated “the street signs screamed in Arabic. I realized I was surrounded by Arabs, and suddenly everything spelled danger. This trip is dated to have taken place sometime in 2003. What I didn’t like here is that in throughout all of this book, Peled makes these comments about the Arabs with the word Arab being typed with the use of quotation marks around it, but why? This is written in chapter 9, so this narrative of his has come a long way; by now, he has his beliefs set in stone, but he still portrays himself as naive as ever (by saying that ‘they’ would attack us), even though he’s been through a lot of changes in his life including one that involves commingling and portraying oneself as an activist and an active member in dialogue groups with Arab Palestinians in the US and in Palestine on this very issue. While reading through the events described in this book, and seeing how Peled describes his journey through Arab neighborhoods and the harassment he went through as he was leaving Bethlehem; one can’t help but wonder how the human life especially that of the Arabs had been devalued and belittled by the struggles that are inflicted upon them by the Israeli occupation; one that has proven itself to be very hypocritical because it has been noted and observed that at least from the 2000’s and on wards, if another ethnic race were in trouble, then the Israelis would have sided with them and aided them. One of the questions that I had whilst reading this book is: do current Israeli’s that continue with these ongoing and inhuman atrocities against the Palestinians ever read such books about redemption and reconciliation; if they read such narratives, then they’ll allow their thoughts to develop and they might bring about a change. Here is one possible answer and it is, no Israelis don’t read such narrative that are published by their own people. Reason is because if they read it, then whether bluntly or not they’re admitting to their own wrongdoings on behalf of the Palestinians. And where would they go from here with the never-dying question of: how many states should we have here?

  22. 5 out of 5

    Yasmin

    Utterly intriguing. Matti Peled's reaction to what he saw is what I, innocently, expect a normal human to do. Only after reading and hearing the arrogance by which Zionists talk about the nonnegotiable belief in their right to a Jewish state did I comprehend how not all Jews react the same way Matti and his son Miko did. Palestine from the eyes of a Jewish, previously strict Zionist, was a sight I never had before, and this is a brilliant book the get such a sight. I found the persistence that Mik Utterly intriguing. Matti Peled's reaction to what he saw is what I, innocently, expect a normal human to do. Only after reading and hearing the arrogance by which Zionists talk about the nonnegotiable belief in their right to a Jewish state did I comprehend how not all Jews react the same way Matti and his son Miko did. Palestine from the eyes of a Jewish, previously strict Zionist, was a sight I never had before, and this is a brilliant book the get such a sight. I found the persistence that Miko had for the idea of non-violent resistance to obtain peace contradictory to all the revelations he had in and Palestine and with Palestinians. At one point in the book, he himself point out that contradiction when he said, he couldn't blame Palestinian protestors for throwing stone at soldiers in the Israeli army who were in throwing tear gas grenades at the protestors. He saw it. How "violent" resistance is inevitable. How it is the only reaction that makes sense. And that was only in an oppression of a protest, how about when people face oppression, murder, stealth of land, and a brutal occupation? I have come to respect Peled for taking the effort to lift off his eyes the veil that he, and all Zionist like him wore since infancy and seeing Zionism for what it truly is. It takes a lot of courage to put in front of you all that you grew up to believe is the ultimate truth and doubt it. He is not the first, and he wont be the last. His call for "non-violent resistance" I think is bullcrap. Such calls are understandable from him, but when Palestinians, which I found out through this book are A LOT, call for such a thing, I can't help but judge them. Judge them harshly. Especially those that faced terrible losses, and yet find it in them to cooperate with Israelis in "non-violent" resistance.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    All Americans need to read this. Much more than dry history, a real eye opener about the nature of the Israel/Palestine conflict. Americans (as well as most Israelis) will never know the truth if they only hear the mainstream narative. Mr. Peled's father - a hero in the formation of Israel & also in the 1967 6 days war, spent the rest of his life seeking peace for the 2 factions. But world leaders deliberately paint an entirely different picture than what is seen if one is brave enough to seek t All Americans need to read this. Much more than dry history, a real eye opener about the nature of the Israel/Palestine conflict. Americans (as well as most Israelis) will never know the truth if they only hear the mainstream narative. Mr. Peled's father - a hero in the formation of Israel & also in the 1967 6 days war, spent the rest of his life seeking peace for the 2 factions. But world leaders deliberately paint an entirely different picture than what is seen if one is brave enough to seek the truth. Mr. Peled follows his father in seeking the truth & working tirelessly for peace, especially after his beloved neice was killed by a suicide bomber. Forget everything you think you know about the area. Mr. Peled - without prejudice - presents facts on the ground as no non-Jew or non millitary Israeli ever could. And yet it is a story of hope with a clear goal, the same goal for Palestinians as blacks were seeking in South Africa & the US. Respect & freedom. Why does the US misrepresent the matter? Our leaders are funded by Israel, Israel does not want their violence toward Palestine exposed. Also rich (political contributors) people profit mightily from war. If you dont want to read this, then please hear Mr. Peled on Youtube. I think this one might be most comprehensive along with the separate Q&A video. https://youtu.be/TOaxAckFCuQ

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    I wanted to learn more about the history of this region and the peoples who live there - from differing viewpoints. On hearing this, a Jewish friend recommended this book. Bought the electronic version initially. I was so impressed I then bought the paperback version so I could more easily mark passages in the book. The actual writing is occassionally disjoint with too much time spent on the karate parts of his life. It could have used another go with a good editor. It jumped about chronological I wanted to learn more about the history of this region and the peoples who live there - from differing viewpoints. On hearing this, a Jewish friend recommended this book. Bought the electronic version initially. I was so impressed I then bought the paperback version so I could more easily mark passages in the book. The actual writing is occassionally disjoint with too much time spent on the karate parts of his life. It could have used another go with a good editor. It jumped about chronologically, which for someone not well-versed in the historical timeline made it a little hard to keep track of the sequence of events. But for me the author's firsthand experiences made up for these weaknesses. Warning: This book details incidents and attitudes unfavorable to the prevailing Israeli government & military mindset toward/treatment of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Do not read this book if: [1] your mind is firmly closed on the subject of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (mine isn't) and [2] you equate all Palestinians with Hamas (I don't, any more than I equate all Christians with the Westboro Baptist Church or all Muslims with Al Qaeda).

  25. 5 out of 5

    Suze

    After reading the previous book, I Shall Not Hate, which gave a Palestinian’s view of Israel’s stranglehold on Palestine, I thought I should balance it out with an Israeli’s perspective. In this book Peled, who comes from a prominent Israeli family, tells his personal story of surmounting the bigoted attitudes of his upbringing. Surprise – both authors are of the same opinion! Men from two different sides, one a Palestinian victim, the other an Israeli born Jew, are both saying Israel’s regime After reading the previous book, I Shall Not Hate, which gave a Palestinian’s view of Israel’s stranglehold on Palestine, I thought I should balance it out with an Israeli’s perspective. In this book Peled, who comes from a prominent Israeli family, tells his personal story of surmounting the bigoted attitudes of his upbringing. Surprise – both authors are of the same opinion! Men from two different sides, one a Palestinian victim, the other an Israeli born Jew, are both saying Israel’s regime is the persecutor. Both say that there are many people in Israel who want peace but it’s the politicians and army who battle on. How ironic that this nation, who 75 years ago suffered massively at the hands of the Nazis, is now behaving in a similar way toward Palestinians and turning Gaza into a concentration camp. And what a pity that America is skewing the world perception by supporting Israel. Peled has great courage in being a candid peace activist willing to make friends with and talk to his Palestinian counterparts. These two books have really opened my eyes with their historical insight backed up with statistics.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Roger

    The fact that it only took 3 days to read is the first clue on how good a book it is. Having recently traveled to Israel / Palestine and spending much of our trip in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, this book made a lot of sense. I concur that the 2 state solution is untenable, given how badly the Palestinians have been oppressed by the Israelis. I really feel for the Palestinians, as the Israeli military presence is overpowering, as is the explosive growth of the Jewish settlements eating up e The fact that it only took 3 days to read is the first clue on how good a book it is. Having recently traveled to Israel / Palestine and spending much of our trip in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, this book made a lot of sense. I concur that the 2 state solution is untenable, given how badly the Palestinians have been oppressed by the Israelis. I really feel for the Palestinians, as the Israeli military presence is overpowering, as is the explosive growth of the Jewish settlements eating up ever more of the West Bank. You only have to stand inside the 20 foot concrete walls that enclose Bethlehem to feel the Palestinian’s oppression. Everyone should read this book to be exposed to the real truth of what is happening in this region.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Maryc

    Definitely 4 and 1/2 stars. Easy fast read but good insights into history and reality without getting too heavy. His stories of personal relationships, friendships, and family make this narrative so compelling and easy to access compared to some other more academic reads on this subject. Highly recommend this one! Miko is optimistic and leaves the reader feeling there is true hope of a just peace. America needs to butt out and stop siding with the oppressors and stop funding this brutal illegal Definitely 4 and 1/2 stars. Easy fast read but good insights into history and reality without getting too heavy. His stories of personal relationships, friendships, and family make this narrative so compelling and easy to access compared to some other more academic reads on this subject. Highly recommend this one! Miko is optimistic and leaves the reader feeling there is true hope of a just peace. America needs to butt out and stop siding with the oppressors and stop funding this brutal illegal occupation.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Martin

    Very well written! Miko avoids politics as best he can and focuses on the human aspect of stories behind people and events. One of the most readable books on the topic, and in fact one of the most readable books I've ever read. Absolutely excellent for anyone who has no idea about Palestine and the related conflicts. He comes from a family of very prominent Israelis and I found that his book was very genuine and honest in his account of his experiences and him trying to make sense of things. Very well written! Miko avoids politics as best he can and focuses on the human aspect of stories behind people and events. One of the most readable books on the topic, and in fact one of the most readable books I've ever read. Absolutely excellent for anyone who has no idea about Palestine and the related conflicts. He comes from a family of very prominent Israelis and I found that his book was very genuine and honest in his account of his experiences and him trying to make sense of things.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Uli

    This is such an eyeopener and I so admire Miko Peled's journey and the story of his father's life. Anyone interested in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict should read this book. I borrowed it from the library. This is such an eyeopener and I so admire Miko Peled's journey and the story of his father's life. Anyone interested in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict should read this book. I borrowed it from the library.

  30. 4 out of 5

    karen mandraccha

    Conflict Middle East This book is an easy read and gives some insight into Israeli and Palestine. Problem. The information can get be repetitive. But over all an interesting. Story

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