Born in 1961 in Jerusalem and to a father who served as a prominent general in the Israeli army during the Six-Day-War, Miko Peled is a Peace activist and an advocate for Palestinians’ rights. The author of “The General’s Son, Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” has openly criticized the apartheid Israeli regime everywhere in his speeches and called for coming down of the Separation Wall and establishing a democracy in the Palestinian land.
In an interview with IransView, Peled said he supported the Palestinian resistance and argued that contrary to what the media tries to depict, “Palestinians were always willing to compromise” and “[their resistance] has been mostly non violent resistance, even they were always attacked with violence by Israel.”
When asked how he as an Israeli began to learn about the facts on the Palestinian issue and became a peace activist he said “It begins at home.” Peled explained that advocating for the rights of Palestinians and criticizing the Israeli regime has been rooted in the family. In 1948, his mother refused to live in a house that belonged to an exiled Palestinian family as it was “the house of another mother”. His father too, was a proponent of complete withdrawal from the Occupied Territories. “My father, after he retired from the Israeli army as a general in 1968 became an advocate for Palestinians. He said Israel must allow the Palestinians to establish a state in the West Bank and Gaza with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Peled noted.
But he recalled that it was after the death of her niece in the 1997 Ben Yehuda Street suicide attack in Jerusalem that he decided to get involved in the issue. Peled said that sister held the Israeli regime responsible of the death of her daughter. “The two young men who did this terrible thing, took their own lives and the life of my daughter and other innocent people with them, because we, the Israelis brought them to such despair and hopelessness. When we take away people’s land and destroy their homes, and put their fathers in prison and kill their younger brothers and sisters in their schools, when we deny them a future and hope, this is what happens. I hold the Israeli government responsible for my daughter’s death,” he quoted her sister Nurit.
Excerpts from the interview follow:
- On the effectiveness of the peace initiatives during the last six decades and the role of the US and Britain
The US and Britain are complicit in the crimes against Palestine. The peace efforts failed because they were not peace efforts, they were efforts to bring the Palestinians to surrender, and they would not.
No peace efforts will succeed as long as Israel is part of the effort, because Israel and Zionism are opposed to peace. Zionism claims that Palestine is the Land of Israel, that it belongs to the Jewish people and no one else. So they cannot and will not compromise. Peace can only come without a Jewish state, but a democracy with equal rights that respects human rights and civil rights of all people who live in Palestine/Israel. I hope to see a transformation of the Zionist state to a democracy, without violence, like apartheid fell in South Africa.
- On Iran’s leader proposal for the Palestine - Israel issue that calls for a referendum in which all of current and former residents of Palestine including Jews, Muslims and Christians will take part and decide for their own fate and future
I agree, it is the idea that all must be equal and all must enjoy respect for human rights and civil rights and decide as a democracy. I think it actually means turning Israel into a democracy and I agree. This will only work when Zionism, like apartheid is removed from power.
- On the two-state solution
I don’t think it was a good idea and I don’t think it ever had a chance to succeed. You cannot have a Jewish state in an Arab country (Palestine), with half of the people not Jewish unless it is a brutal regime with racist laws, like Israel.
I think the two-state solution was possible for a short time and as expected, it was killed by Israel. Israel wants all the land with no Palestinians and Israel will never compromise. That is why it failed. You cannot have an agreement if one side will not agree.
-On the activities to raise awareness on the Palestinian issue and how they help the resistance
Hundreds of university campuses in the US hold events like “Palestine Week” etc., and thousands of students take part. This is very effective resistance and many Jewish Americans take part and support this as well.
Then, there is also the BDS movement that calls for boycott divestment and sanctions against Israel.
All of these are excellent forms of resistance and I support them completely. I think they will be successful in bringing justice and peace to Palestine.
- His message to the Iranian people
I know that Iranian people are suffering because of the sanctions and because of the threat of an Israeli attack. This is a terrible thing and I can only hope it will end soon. Israel and the US are wrong about Iran.
I don’t believe that Israel will never attack Iran, because Israeli the government wants to keep the threat alive. Israel is using the “Iranian threat” as a smoke screen so people will not talk about Israeli crimes in Palestine.
I wish Iranian people well. If I had the chance I would gladly visit Iran, I know it is a beautiful country with a rich history and culture and I would love to see it.