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

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  670 ratings  ·  83 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 1st 2012 by Just World Books
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Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Noran Azmy
Jul 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 22, 2013 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Aseel Tell
Mar 15, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Jun 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Sleepless Dreamer
Jun 04, 2019 rated it liked it
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
Mohammed Morsi
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
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
Dec 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Belal Dabour
Mar 27, 2016 rated it liked it
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
Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
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.
Louis Spirito
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Review to come once I have a few days to let the book's words sink in. ...more
Duncan Falconer
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Noor Jaber
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 15, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
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
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
karen mandraccha
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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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

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