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The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine [Kindle Edition]

Miko Peled , Alice Walker
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)

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Kindle Price: $9.99
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Book Description

In 1997, a tragedy struck the family of Israeli-American Miko Peled: His beloved niece Smadar was killed by a suicide bomber in Jerusalem. That tragedy propelled Peled onto a journey of discovery. It pushed him to re-examine many of the beliefs he had grown up with, as the son and grandson of leading figures in Israel's political-military elite, and transformed him into a courageous and visionary activist in the struggle for human rights and a hopeful, lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Esteemed African-American author Alice Walker has contributed a very moving and thoughtful Foreword to The General's Son.
The journey that Peled traces in this groundbreaking memoir echoed the trajectory taken 40 years earlier by his father, renowned Israeli general Matti Peled. In The General's Son, Miko Peled tells us about growing up in Jerusalem in the heart of the group that ruled the then-young country, Israel. He takes us with him through his service in the country's military and his subsequent global travels... and then, after his niece's killing, back into the heart of Israel's conflict with the Palestinians. The book provides a compelling and intimate window into the fears that haunt both peoples-- but also into the real courage of all those who, like Miko Peled, have been pursuing a steadfast grassroots struggle for equality for all the residents of the Holy Land.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
193 of 211 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Israel Upside Down June 11, 2012
Miko Peled has written a perfect book for people, including Israelis, who have always heard that the Israeli government can do no wrong. The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine is partly an account of the author's father's life. His father, Matti Peled, was an Israeli general, war hero, military governor of the Gaza strip, member of Parliament, professor, and columnist who turned against the occupation of Palestine.

Largely, however, the book is an account of Miko Peled's own life, and the evolution of his thinking about Israel. This autobiographical narrative, by a very likable and moral author, takes us step by step from unquestioning Zionism to condemnation of Israeli war crimes. For those who would condemn the morality of this intellectual journey, there are two obvious responses. First, read it.

Second, the false accusations of hating Israel that often result from any sensible proposal to protect Israel from its government cannot easily apply here, by the accusers' own logic, because the author dutifully performed his Israeli military service, and his father killed a huge number of people in the name of Israel.

Such shallow prejudices have no place in this book, which respectfully and non-confrontationally persuades the reader gradually, through the course of a self-questioning life's story, that much of what is commonly assumed about Israel is in fact the reverse of reality. The Peled family's military history is of less interest as superficial immunity from false accusations, than as a starting place for an argument that runs its course from the necessity of brutalizing Palestinians all the way through to the necessity of Israelis and Palestinians living together as friends and family.
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88 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting story of courage and common humanity May 1, 2012
This book is indispensable for anyone who wants to understand the current realities in Israel and Palestine. It's also a pleasure to read, following both Miko and his father through two highly unconventional lives that dared to explore the reality around them rather than deferring to the sensibilites of their times.

Each man began as a true believer in a Zionist state surrounded by bloodthirsty enemies. Both found, to their surprise, that they were, in fact, surrounded by kind and fascinating people steeped in centuries of culture who welcomed them as long as they came with good will and respect rather than weapons and contempt.

General Matti Peled's life took place largely at the center of the nascent state of Israel, as a revered general, commander, scholar, and politician. The candid portrayal of his experiences in the highest halls of power before, during, and after the 1967 war blow wide open the mainstream understanding of that conflict as a desperate war of pre-emptive defense. But his most intriguing adventures involved clandestine meetings with Palestinian leaders at a time when such things were utterly unheard of.

Miko's life, from his beginnings in Jerusalem through his days in the Israeli army, his martial arts training all over the world, and the tragedies that have touched his family, also make for deeply compelling reading. But again, the most affecting and fascinating parts come when he begins to overcome his fears and explore modern Palestine on his own, unarmed. To his shock, he finds that the Palestinians are engaging in heroic, but largely unsung, non-violent resistance, and the only people who threaten him there are Israeli soldiers.
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74 of 80 people found the following review helpful
"The General's Son" is first and foremost a very courageous and extremely generous book. It is very courageous because of the entirely predictable, vituperative response Miko Peled knew it would elicit. It is extremely generous because it was written despite the terrible loss he suffered when his beloved niece Smadar was murdered in a suicide-bombing in Jerusalem. Very few people, even fewer families would be able use such a tragedy to positive rather than vindictive ends. But the Peled family is not just any family. Deeply committed to the State of Israel and to the Zionist ideal, the Peled family, anchored by a very strong, highly ethical, matriarch, propelled to fame by one of Israel's founding heroes, is the archetype of the thinking, humanist patriot.

Until his niece's murder, Miko Peled had kept a distance from Israeli affairs, focusing instead on his passion/profession and on his growing family. Trying to understand the tragedy that befell his family, Miko Peled decided to try to get to know the "enemy". This book recounts his journey from perpetrator (during his years in the IDF) to bystander and then from victim to upstander. Even the most devoted student of Israel and Palestine will learn and gain insights from this book. Whatever your background, reading the book will at times be painful. More often, however, you will find yourself inspired and moved.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, Informative, Moving August 29, 2012
By John
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This intelligent, informative and moving memoir is well worth a quick and easy read. It tells the story of the Israeli author's personal and political transformation. Miko Peled, from a prominent Zionist family, the son of a prominent Israeli general, becomes a critic of the Israeli occupation and a supporter of the Palestinian victims. Highly recommended for both specialists and the general public alike. A book that is worth encouraging others to read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing book well worth reading - if you have an open mind. Firmly...
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. Read more
Published 4 hours ago by SoulSong
5.0 out of 5 stars (Kliché-alert) A Must Read!
This is a volume that anyone who has an interest in a deeper understading of the Israeli-palestinian conflict should read. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Claus Bundgaard Rasmussen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good balance report.
Published 2 days ago by Stanley
4.0 out of 5 stars but other than that it speeks truth to horrible policies of a people...
This book about the son of a highly placed Israili General who later sees the error in the very Zionist policies he previously defended is one that everyone should read. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read book to undertand the terrible suffering of palestinias
I loved this book, Miko Peled is my hero, cant beleive he is so brave to say all he has said in this book, I have read many books on this subject and this is by far the most... Read more
Published 6 days ago by William Brutton
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
lovely book. Miko Peled is very brave.
Published 6 days ago by EMMA LOUISE MCABOY
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Well done Miko Peled.
Published 10 days ago by Karen Owings-Jibril
5.0 out of 5 stars A visionary masterpiece.
Living proof that the ancient spirit of the prophets is still with us in this modern age. May his vision prevail.
Published 10 days ago by E. Hawk
1.0 out of 5 stars No, thank you
Too one-sided and not deep enough for the subject, shame (better spend time reading books about the subject by expert Historians)
Published 12 days ago by Tom
4.0 out of 5 stars An Insiders View
This offers an insider's insight into the historical foundations of Israel and also the changes in Israel society which are making the two state solution untenable. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Peter Lee
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