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The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine Paperback – June 1, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 235 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A fascinating story that provides much food for thought."--Uri Avnery, Former Member of Knesset and veteran peace activist --This text refers to the Digital edition.

About the Author

Miko Peled is an Israeli peace activist who spends his time between Jerusalem and San Diego, CA. Born into a strongly Zionist family in Jerusalem, as a young man he witnessed the transformation of his well-known father, Gen. Matti Peled, from a leader in Israel's military to a courageous peace activist. Later, he followed a somewhat similar path of his own, as traced in The General's SonThe General's Son has been translated into numerous other languages, and Peled has lectured around the world in his campaign to promote justice, democracy, and equal rights for Palestinians and Israelis.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Just World Books; 5/16/12 edition (June 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193598215X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935982159
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (235 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
"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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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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