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

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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 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.

224 pages, Paperback

First published June 15, 2012

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About the author

Miko Peled

6 books57 followers
Miko Peled is an Israeli peace activist, author, and karate instructor. His first book is The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine, and his most recent is Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. He has travelled extensively, giving talks about his experiences to audiences across the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia.

Born and raised in Jerusalem in 1961, Peled grew up in a prominent Zionist family; his grandfather, Avraham Katsnelson, signed Israel’s Declaration of Independence.His father, Mattityahu Peled, fought in the 1948 war and served as a general in the war of 1967; later, after the Israeli cabinet ignored his investigation of an 1967 Israeli war crime, he became a peace activist and leading proponent of an Israeli dialogue with the PLO. He condemned the Israeli military for illegally seizing the West Bank, Gaza, Sinai and the Golan Heights, calling the war a "cynical campaign of territorial expansion".He was marginalized and shunned for his activism and call for a two-state solution. Palestinian activist Susan Abdulhawa has described Peled's father, who died in 1995, as “a man that many of us Palestinians could not figure out whether to love or hate” and whom “many notable Palestinians” nicknamed “Abu Salam” (Father of Peace).
Miko Peled followed his father’s footsteps at first, joining Israel’s Special Forces after high school and earning the red beret, but he soon grew to regret his decision. He surrendered his status as soon as he earned it, becoming a medic, and finally, disgusted by the 1982 Lebanon invasion, he buried his service pin in the dirt.[5] He then distanced himself from activism until 1997, becoming a sixth-degree black belt in karate and moving first to Japan, then to San Diego.For a time he was involved in activism. One evening in 1983, however, he skipped a Peace Now demonstration in Jerusalem to attend karate class, and on that evening a grenade attack by a right-wing extremist killed one of the demonstrators. “Peled took this as a sign,” according to one interview, and consequently “followed the path of karate – a practice of non-violence...that teaches one to 'overcome insurmountable obstacles.'” This path “that took him to Japan and eventually to San Diego, where he settled with his wife and family” and worked as a karate instructor. He is a sixth-degree black belt.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 103 reviews
39 reviews7 followers
August 15, 2013
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.
Profile Image for Sahar Zakaria.
345 reviews547 followers
January 8, 2021
الكاتب ميكو بيليد هو ابن الجنرال الإسرائيلي ماتي بيليد الذي كان مؤمنا بحق الفلسطنيين في العودة إلى أراضيهم وإقامة دولتهم في الضفة الغربية وغزة .. وأخذ ينادي بهذا الحق في الصحف والإجتماعات والمحاضرات حتى أطلق عليه الإسرائيليون "حبيب العرب" واطلق عليه الفلسطنيون "أبو سلام".

ورث ميكو عن والده هذه الأفكار النبيلة .. وبرغم إنه ترك الحياة العسكربة في مقتبل عمره إلا انه لم يترك الحياة السياسية وإستمر على نهج والده في مساندة حقوق الشعب الفلسطيني والتنديد بعنف ووحشية المحتل الإسرائيلي في التعامل مع الفلسطنيين .. وكان يبتهج بمبادرات السلام وبمحاولات التسوية للصراع العربي الإسرائيلي ويشعر بالتفاؤل عند وصول كل رئيس وزراء إسرائيلي جديد للحكم أملا منه في أن يكون أكثر إنصافا لحقوق العرب.

عمل ميكو على مؤازرة الحق الفلسطيني بفتح قنوات حوار بين الطرفين الفلسطيني والإسرائيلي وجمع تبرعات للمصابين ومساندة عائلات الضحايا ومشاركة أصدقائه الفلسطنيين في إحتجاجاتهم ضد المحتل الإسرائيلي .. وكان يرى أن أفضل حل لهذا الصراع هو تأسيس دولة علمانية موحدة يعيش فيها العرب واليهود بسلام ومساواة.
Profile Image for Noran Azmy.
34 reviews7 followers
July 18, 2014
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.
Profile Image for فايز غازي Fayez Ghazi .
Author 2 books3,460 followers
October 11, 2022
- هذا الكتاب عبارة عن سيرة ذاتية (بشقها السياسي في الغالب) لكاتبه ميكو بيليد، ابن الجنرال ماتي بيليد (جنرال مشهور في نكبة ال48 ونكسة ال67) والذي نشأ صهيونيًا يحلم بالقبعة الحمراء للوحدات الإسرائيلية الخاصة قبل ان ينقلب رأسًا على عقب ويصبح من معادي الصهيونية وناشط فاعل ضدها وباني جسور بين اليهود والفلسطينيين داخل وخارج الأراضي المحتلة.

إن الصهيونية أعادت اليهود الى اسرائيل تحت ذريعة انهم عاشوا في هذه البلاد قبل ثلاثة آلاف سنة، ثم تطالب الفلسطينين بعدم الحديث عن التاريخ اذا كان لديهم عزم على ان يبرموا سلامًا، رغم ان كثيرًا ممن طردوا من بيوتهم ما زالوا يملكون المفاتيح والوثائق، المفارقة هي ان ستين عامًا من المنافي قصيرة جدًا قياسًا بثلاثة آلاف عام!

- نلاحظ ان ميكو قد بدأ تعلّم السردية الصهيونية في بداياته: فلسطين ارض بلا شعب، المقاومة الفلسطينية ارهابية، العرب غوييم وأغبياء، اليهود دافعوا عن نفسهم ضد مجازر العرب عام 48 وبسالتهم أدّت الى انشاء الدولة!! وغيرها الكثير من السرديات التي يتبنوها دون تمحيص او تدقيق. بدأ رأيه بالتغيّر مع تغيّر رأي والده الجنرال ومن ثم بعد موت ابنة شقيقته وصولًا الى لقاءاته الكثيرة والمتعددة مع فلسطينيين داخل وخارج الأراضي المحتلة. ونشاطه الإنساني في نوادي الروتري العالمية.

عندما دخل شارون السياسة كان واصحًا انه رجل لديه رسالة. فقد ٱمن ان القتال مع الفلسطينيين يجب ان يستمر حتى نهايته المرة. المرة بالنسبة الفلسطينيين. دعت اتفاقيات السلام لإستمرار في المفاوضات رأن تشمل الفلسطينيين لكن السلام الشامل كان أبعد شيء عن عقل شارون."

على مرور الشهور التالية، قرأت كل الكتب التي كتبها اولئك الكتاب (بني موريس، إيلان بابه، آفي شلايم) وكلما قرأت اكثر اردت ان اعرف اكثر. لقد أكّدوا ما كان الفلسطينييون يقولونه منذ عقود: ان اسرائيل تم انشاؤها بعد ان دمرت الميليشيات اليهودية فلسطين وأخرجت أهلها الى المنافي بالفوة."

- يعري ميكو في كتابه جيش الإحتلال وتصرفات الحكومات المتعاقبة والإستيطان ويلقي الضوء على الإذلال والتعذيب الذي يتعرض له الفلسطينييون في الداخل، ويبدأ رأيه السياسي بالتبلور مع الوقت ناسفًا ما يدعى بحل الدولتين وصولًا الى اقتراح دولة علمانية ديمقراطية واحدة تساوي ما بين اليهود والعرب امام القانون.

كان احدهم ضابطًا في قوات الأسطول الخاصة.... كانوا يداهمون قوارب الصيد الغزّية من آن الى آخر، ويختارون واحدًا منها، ثم يفجرون القارب بعد ان يأمروا من عليه بالقفز في الماء، ثم يخبرون الص��ادين تحت التهديد بالسلاح ان يعدوا من واحد الى مئة، وبمجرد ان ينتهوا يأمرونهم بالعظ من جديد حتى يفقدوا القدرة على الصمود في الماء وبغرقون... كانوا يفعلون ذلك "لتعليم العرب درسًا في من له الأمر والسيادة""

لقد تغيرت آرائي بخصوص حل الصراع في فلسطين/اسرائيل كثيرًا، نتيجة لرحلاتي الى الضفة الغربية، وذلك بعد ان شاهدت استثمار اسرائيل الهائل في البنية التحتية من اجل جذب المستوطنين اليهود، ومن ثم عزل الفلسطينيين الذين تعود ملكية الاراضي لهم. وأصبح واضحًا بالنسبة لي ان الصهاينة يكذبون عندما يتحدثون عن حل الدولتين."

ان الجواب المعروف بحل الدولتين ينتمي الى واقع لم يعد موجودًا. فالضفة الغربية مثقلة بمدن ومراكز تسوق ومصانع وطرق سريعة، كلها مصممة لليهود فقط، ويمنع الفلسطينيين في الضفة الغربية وقطاع غزة من التمتع بأي من التطور الحاصل على ارضهم. ليست هناك ارادة سياسية في اسرائيل بإعطاء الفلسطينيين حريتهم."

- تمّت ترجمة الكتاب على يد الدكتور محمود الحرثاني لتعريف العرب (والفلسطينيين بشكل خاص) على خريطة العالم بشكل أفضل وشخصياته والقوى الفاعلة فيه خصوصًا "القوى الناعمة" ولإستكشاف اعمق لمؤسسات هذا العالم وديناميات التحول التي "لا تملكها جهة ميتافيزيفية تحول دون كل تطور وتكبح كل تحرر"

- حسنًا، ميكو يبدو انسانًا طيبًا بالفعل لكن منطلقه ايديولوجي-براغماتي: امّا الإيديولوجي فينطلق من افتراضات ميتافيزيقية يثبت علم الآثار زيفها يومًا بعد يوم، لكنه مصيب في البرغماتي نسبةً الى الواقع الحالي. لكن السؤال الذي يطرح نفسه ماذا يريد اليهود؟ وماذا يريد الفلسطينييون؟ وهل هناك ارضية مشتركة لحوار او صراع مفتوح او جمود؟ بالإضافة الى سؤال آخر، ما نسبة ابناء شعب ميكو الذين يؤمنون بأفكاره؟!

- يمكن ارسال هذا الكتاب لبعض "الناس"، مع اهداء من قصيدة درويش:

كانت تسمّى فلسطين، صارت تسمّى فلسطين
Profile Image for Hamza.
162 reviews48 followers
April 1, 2015
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.
Profile Image for Robert.
Author 14 books94 followers
January 23, 2013
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.
Profile Image for Sleepless Dreamer.
847 reviews211 followers
June 4, 2019
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.
Profile Image for Aseel Tell.
6 reviews9 followers
July 26, 2013
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.
Profile Image for امتياز.
Author 4 books1,575 followers
April 2, 2018

من الكتب التي يصعب تقييمها والحديث عنها

كنت أتمنى أن يسعفني الوقت والجهد لاكتب مراجعة مناسبة وملائمة

من الكتب التي غيرت من مفاهيمي حول الصراع الفلسطيني-الإسرائيلي وبالمناسبة هذا أول كتاب تقريبًا اقرأه كاملاً مترجمًا لمؤلف إسرائيلي

بعد قراءته تولدت في نفسي رغبة عارمة في قراءة المزيد من الكتب الفلسطينية والتي وحدها قادرة على عدم حرف البوصلة عن مسارها الطبيعي والحقيقي

لا أنكر أبدًا بأن هذا الكتاب ترك أثرًا عميقًا في نفسي كفلسطينية
Profile Image for Laurence.
7 reviews1 follower
September 7, 2012
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.
Profile Image for Zee1.
180 reviews24 followers
July 15, 2014
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.)
Profile Image for Clif.
436 reviews116 followers
July 21, 2016
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.

Profile Image for Jeanne.
932 reviews63 followers
April 29, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Marwa Hassan .
392 reviews96 followers
September 8, 2017
لم أكمل الكتاب ، لا ادري هي الترجمه ام لغه الكتاب نفسه ، قصه الكاتب شيقه جدا تاريخه منذ البدايه؛ جيل الاجداد ثم الاب الذي قضي مرحله من حياته في الولايات المتحده ثم قراره تعلم العربيه .الي اخر ما وصل اليه الكاتب كناشط سلام قصه و سيره ذاتيه سردها رائع ، و لكن لا ادرى اهو اسلوب الترجمه ام اسلوب الكاتب او كثره التفاصيل هي ما جعلتها ممله لدرجه انني لم اكمل الكتاب، بخصوص رأئ في محتوى الكتاب ، المؤلف يدعو الي التعايش مع الاخر و يؤمن بأن لتحقيق السلام يجب ان يعيش الشعبين معا في دولتين وان لا يعادى احدهما الاخر ، يوجد ايضا في الكتاب دعوات صريحه للتطبيع و ان يندمج الشعبان معا كعقد لقاءات الوديه و زياره الاصدقاء من الشعبين... ..الخ الخ ، لست فلسطينيه لأحكم فأهل مكه ادري بشعابها، و لكن يكفي ان تنظر الي اخر صفحه في الكتاب و هي توضح خريطه لفلسطين بدءا من بدايه احتلالها ١٩٤٨ و حتي ٢٠١٢ تقريبا اصبح نصيب دوله فلسطين ١٥% من الارض في حين ان بدأ نصيب المحتل ب ١٠% و توسع الي ان وصل الي ٨٥ % ؛ و عند سؤالك لأى عيل ماشي في الشارع؟ كيف حدث هذا؟ سيجيب بالتهجير و الاستيطان و اخراج اصحاب الارض منها ظلما و زوراً ناهيك عن الحروب و الانتفاضات التي رملت نساء و يتمت اطفال و ثكلت امهات ، ثم يأتي من يرى ان نتناسي كل هذا و يري ان الحل هو التعايش مع الاخر في سلام ، كأن اللي مات و لسه هيموت شويه فراخ ملهمش ديه مش بنى ادمين . عندما يعود كل مستوطن، محتل ، ترك وطنه الام وأتي مضحوكا عليه باسم ارض الميعاد، عندما يعود من حيث اتى في سلام، ساعتها بس ممكن يتحقق السلام ، اما اذا اختار ان يبقي "سلامتها ام حسن"
Profile Image for Mohammed Morsi.
Author 12 books131 followers
February 7, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Beorn.
300 reviews54 followers
July 30, 2014
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.

146 reviews13 followers
November 20, 2018
كتاب وليست رواية، كما هو مكتوب عن رحلة شخصية، ولكن هذه الرحلة مخاطرها في كسر الحواجز والمعتقدات السابقة لشخص يعيش في بيئة معزولة عن الآخر، أشبه بغيتو ضخم بنوه حولهم.

المعلومات فيه كثيرة، ولكن الأهم هو وصف طبيعة الحياة والأعتقادات لكل طرف، سنجده بعمق أكثر في طرف العدو لم نألفه كثيرًا أصلًا.

ليس هنالك الكثير لأتحدث عنه، لأن هذه الرحلة تغير الكثير من معرفتنا بذلك العالم الخفي بجوانب كثيرة منه عنا، ستدرك كمية الوهم المزروعة حول الفلسطينيين بشكل عدو ذو مخالب وأنياب.

الكتاب شدني بقوة، أنهيته بسرعة رغم التوقف المؤقت بدايةً، لم أرغب حينها بالتوقف عن القراءة بسبب الفضول وكثرة المفاجآت والرغبة بمعرفة المآل لأمور كثيرة.

الكاتب تجرأ على الحيادية في قضية تمس ذلك الاحتلال وحقيقة وجوده في هذه الأرض باعتباره ابنًا لهذا الاحتلال وابنًا لجنرال شارك في إيجاد هذا الاحتلال كذلك.

الكتاب مليء بالعواطف نظرًا لحساسية هذه القضية.

رغم عمق الكتاب والكاتب إلا أنني لا أقول بأنني سأتفق مع كل شيء يبديه من آراء وأفكار ولكن اتفق في جانب كبير منها، تظل هناك أمور يصعب علي الاتفاق معها، في نهاية المطاف يظل هذا الكتاب مهمًا قراءته عند العرب والعجم على السواء لأهميته.

اقتبست الكثير من الاقتباسات منها عميقة ومنها مهمة ومنها متعلقة بالقضية وهكذا.

لغة الكاتب سلسلة وغير مملة على الإطلاق، كذلك الترجمة سلسلة ورائعة.

الترجمة رائعة جدًا، وتوجد توضيحات هامشية تساعد القارئ لأهميتها.
Profile Image for Shahrazad.
79 reviews35 followers
December 14, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Belal Aldabbour.
16 reviews238 followers
May 1, 2016
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.
Profile Image for Johnny.
43 reviews
December 10, 2012
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.
Profile Image for Kelly.
3 reviews4 followers
January 27, 2013
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.
Profile Image for Zoopa.
33 reviews4 followers
August 15, 2016
الكتاب عظيم بقدر ما هو مؤلم ، بقدر واقعيته و مصداقيته هو متعب ، هو الواقع المرير لفلسطين المحتله ، كتاب يجب ان يُقرأ، كتاب يضع الجميع بلا اقنعه ، كتاب يجعل عقلك ينضج نحو القضيه الفلسطينيه لشكل اكبر من ما تتصور ، بلا شك من افضل ما قرأت هذه السنه ، تأرجح عقلي بالبدايه الا ان استقر ، ان الانسانيه اعظم لغه خُلقت على وجه الارض .
Profile Image for Duncan Falconer.
Author 20 books124 followers
July 14, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Himilo.
4 reviews1 follower
December 25, 2021
The General's Son can be described as a personal narrative of disillusionment, destruction and recreation. There's this idea that Israelis like Miko are simply self-hating Jews, or playing with fire as they create allyship with the enemy (that being Arabs), but really they probably care more about Jewish lives than most Zionists...

Israel is a settler country, a utopia, that unlike it's predecessors like in the US or Canada, it will fail. Not because it's a country born of sin and morally we should oppose it (gentile and Jew alike), but that because the only reason Israel exists is because of the fact that the Middle East is currently on its knees due to formal colonialism and now neocolonialism. Israel's saving grace in the 1967 war was mainly because the US figured out that it could be a good hub for preserving its influence within the region.

As Israeli historian, pro-Zionist, and uber Islamophobe Benny Morris said, "the Palestinians look at everything from a broad, long-term perspective. They see that at the moment, there are five-six-seven million Jews here, surrounded by hundreds of millions of Arabs. They have no reason to give in, because the Jewish state can't last. They are bound to win. In another 30 to 50 years they will overcome us, come what may." To believe that the Israel that exists currently today will last forever is to be childish. Everything ends. Including the conditions that preserve Israel's current existence.

To get back to Miko, I personally think that Israelis like him aren't simply Jews that are guilty of being on the winning side, but are working tirelessly to preserve Israel and Israeli children's future. They know that this endeavor was bound to fail once it started, as the old Yiddish song goes directed at the Zionists, "you want us all to die in Jerusalem".
Profile Image for Joan.
1,962 reviews
January 1, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Louis Spirito.
Author 1 book2 followers
May 2, 2013
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.
Profile Image for Salwa | سلوى.
40 reviews29 followers
March 6, 2018
جزء من الحقيقية المرة
نحن تعدينا مرحلة حل الدولتين والدولة الواحدة ...
الكيان الصهيوني بكل سفالة يريد كل الأرض له
وسيفعل كل ما يضمن له ذلك
هذا كيان سرطاني
ولن يرضى حتى يتفشى فوق وتحت ...
Profile Image for Mohammad K. AliHassan.
24 reviews2 followers
September 14, 2020
إن ما يعيب البشر أن يصفوا الشيء وصفاً لا يعطي الموصوف حقه، وإن هذا الكتاب مهما وصفناه، فإننا لن نعطيه حقه، فهو بالرغم من أنه يلبس حلَّة السيرة الذاتية، إلا أن في جنباته دروس وعظات للإنسان، فلا يمكن أن نختزل هذا الكتاب بوصفه سيرة ذاتية، فهو كتاب يشرح بشكل جليّ تصالح الإنسان مع ذاته، وتصالح الإنسان مع مبادئه، ويضرب مثالاً حياً على وجود النزعة الإنسانية لدى البشر مفرغة من الدغمائية العمياء، حتى يصبح فيها عدو البارحة صديق اليوم والغد.
إن كتاب ابن الجنرال، هو دعوة للإنسان بأن يتصالح مع ذاته، وأن يُمكِّن ضميره وقلبه وعقله من عقد اجتماعات داخل جسده ووجدانه تساعده على الفهم الصحيح والسليم لكل الأحداث التي يعيشها، بل هو دعوة لكل إنسان لو أراد أن يسعى ليكون شخصاً موضوعياً عليه أن يرى كل الأمور من المسافة ذاتها من كافة جهاتها.
إن البطل الحقيقي في هذا الكتاب هو الجنرال ماتي بيليد، فبالرغم من أنه صهيوني، وجنرالاً، وقائداً كبيراً، وبطل قومي وضعت تحت يديه كافة مفاتيح السلطة والجاه، إلا أننا نرى الإنسان الذي ارتقى بإنسانيته ليتجاوز الرتب والمقامات والامتيازات التي لو أتيح لأي منّا أن يحصل عليها لدافع عنها بكل استماتة، فهو رجل مبادئ على طول الخط، لم يكن يقبل بازدواجية المعايير، فلقد رمى مفاتيح السلطة والجاه في بحر الحقيقة وقام باختراقه سباحةً ضد تيار أمة كاملة، حتى فقد امتيازاته وجاهه وأهله ومعارفه في سبيل الإيمان المطلق بضرورة تتبع الحقيقة، فهو فعلاً بطل حقيقي، ولقد قال سيدنا عليّ كرم الله وجهه (لا تستوحشوا طريق الحق لقلة سالكيه) وماتي بيليد أحكم قبضته على مقولة سيدنا علي حتى غدى (أبو سلام) وهو القائل (إن عمل المرء يجب أن تحدده المبادئ، والقدرة على المساهمة، أو تحدده اهتمامات المرء في الحياة) والذي نادى بكل قوة بضرورة اتمام اتفاق سلمي حقيقي مع الفلسطينيين حتى ينهي الصراع الدموي الجارف بين الاسرائيليين والفلسطينيين، حيث رأى أن ما تمارسه إسرائيل ضد الشعب الفلسطيني هو إرهاب وهذا الإرهاب الاسرائيلي يحتم وجود إرهاب مضاد (مقاومة) حيث قال (الإرهاب شيء مريع، ولكن الحقيقة تقول إن أي أمة صغيرة تخضع لقوة أكبر منها سيكون الإرهاب الوسيلة الوحيدة المتاحة إليها)
إن الفكر المتبلور لدى ميكو بيليد هو نتاج حالة اجتماعية أسرية أفرزت شخص سليم الفكر، وهذا هو النجاح الحقيقي لأي مجتمع أسري صغير، ليس بالضرورة النجاح على الصعيد الأكاديمي أو المادي فقط، ولكن أن يُنتج هذا المجتمع الأسري شخص سوي فكرياً قادر أن يُعمل عقله في الحقائق وأن يحللها لاستنباط الحقائق السليمة، بل ويتمسك باستنتاجاته هو ذلك النجاح الأسري الحقيقي.
حقاً .... لقد كانت رحلتي في هذا الكتاب هي رحلة سعادة حقيقية، أظهرت لي أنه يوجد في المجتمع الاسرائيلي دعاة سلام، دعاة لنبذ العنف، ومطالبين بحقهم على الحياه على هذه الأرض كتف بكتف مع الفلسطينيين، فلقد كسر هذا الكتاب الصورة النمطية التي تشكلت لديّ من خلال التباعد والتجافي الاجتماعي ما بيننا وبين الإسرائيليين، وعلمني الكتاب أن أرى الأمور بعيون خصومي، فرأيت أن المجتمع الاسرائيلي خلق حالة فكرية تتعلق بأن الفلسطيني همجي يريد القتل ولا أمر آخر غير القتل، ومن خلاله صلت لاستنتاج أن عمليات القتل والتصفية الحالية التي تشهدها مناطق الضفة هي نابعة من مبدأ الخوف، فبالرغم من تحصين الجندي الاسرائيلي، وتكثيف التدريبات العسكرية إلا أن كامل هذه المنظومة تنهار عند المواجهة مع الفلسطيني وجها لوجه، وينتقل الصراع من جندي وأعزل إلى صراع البقاء فإنه إن لم يقتله سيقوم الفلسطيني بقتله، هذه المفاهيم الشاذة هي التي تُسوَّق في المجتمع الاسرائيلي.
نحن نعيش مع الاحتلال قضايا خلافية كثيرة، تتمثل في ح�� الأرض والوجود والبقاء والامتداد العرقي والديمغرافي، إلا أننا نتشارك في حالة الخوف، وعدم الثقة، والتضليل السياسي من القيادات، والتلاعب السياسي والإقليمي بهذه الشعوب من الأطراف الخارجية لمنافع هذه الجهات، والأهم أن الشعب الاسرائيلي يرى أنه يضحي والشعب الفلسطيني يرى أنه يضحي أيضاً، وبين هذا وذك يقول الشاعر الاسرائيلي حاييم ناحمان (لم يخترع الشيطان بعد طريقة للانتقام لدم طفل صغير) وكم يتوافق هذا البيت مع الحالة الفلسطينية والحالة الاسرائيلية (مع تحفظي حول قدرة الشيطان)
أما فيما يخص نشاط الترجمة، فإنني أشكر الأستاذ محمود الحرثاني على جهد الترجمة المبدع في المضمون والمحتوى، فنحن لننشئ أفراد في المجتمع تتوافق مع ميكو بيليد فنحن بحاجة إلى خلق الحالة الفكرية التي نشأ فيها ميكو ومن قبلها ماتي حتى نصل لمرحلة الإنسانية المتحررة من الشوفينية التي تسعى لرؤية كافة الأمور من كافة الجهات من نفس المسافة، وهذه الأعمال الأدبية هي الاختراقات التي نحتاج للنشيء جيلاً إنساني يؤمن بإنسانيته قبل أن يؤمن بقوميته وإثنيته وعرقه، فالله هو رب العالمين وليس رب المسلمين فقط، فالإنسانية هي المظلة التي تجمعنا مع الأسيوي والأفريقي واللاتيني والأوروبي.
وأؤكد على مقاله المترجم بأننا بحاجة لخلق حالة فكرية للإنسان تتطور به ليصبح شخصية تركيبية حتى تتمكن شخصيته من تحليل وتبسيط الأمور، ولا نريد أشخاص سطحيين بسيطين يروا الصغائر كبائر فيُعقِّدوا كل شيء، ويُعزوا فشلهم في التبسيط والتحليل لحل المشاكل إلى القوى الغيبية ونظريات المؤامرة، هذه الحالة الفكرية التي يوجدها هذا الكتاب تسمح بتقبل فتح خطوط التواصل مع جميع الناشطين والأحرار في العالم، وهذا من أهم مقومات الانتصار في المعركة مع إسرائيل وتفكيك الصهيونية، وعلينا أن نؤمن أن القوى الناعمة لها تأثيرات مهولة لو تم استثمارها في القضايا العادلة، وكما قال ماتي بيليد للدكتور عصام السرطاوي (أي إنسان لا يعتقد أن الواقع يمكن تغييره فهو يجرد نفسه من القدرات العظيمة التي منحتها الطبيعة للإنسان) وقضية الشعب الفلسطيني هي من أهم القضايا العادلة.
و لأجل هذه القضية العادلة يجب علينا ألا نسمح بعواطف مثل الخوف أو الانتقام أن تحول دون التفكير السليم
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