Please listen to this great discussion (click on the radio graphic above) with one of the most recognized and outspoken activists for Palestinian freedom & rights alive today.
Palestine … Without ZionismBy TLB Staff Writer: Ariyana Love
Born in Jerusalem in 1961, to a staunch Zionist family who was intricately involved in the founding of the Israeli state, Miko’s grandfather was a prominent leader who co-signed Israel’s “Declaration of Independence.” Miko’s father, General Matti Peled, fought as a young officer in the 1948 war and was a General in the war of 1967 when Israel conquered the West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights and the Sinai, creating a single, bi-national state, with exclusive rights for Jewish people.
In his book titled, “The General’s Son, Journey of an Israeli in Palestine” Miko shares how he came to the realization that the story he was raised on was a lie.
In 1997, a man desperate to end his own suffering and the suffering of his people, tragically killed Miko’s niece in a suicide bombing in Jerusalem. The gut wrenching reality was embraced by the Peled’s with enlightened courage and propelled him on a journey of self-discovery. A painful transformation was activated. Urged to re-examine the belief’s he was raised on, Miko morphed into a human rights activist for justice and truth, dedicated to exposing the false Israeli narrative, tearing down the separation barrier and transforming the apartheid system into a secular democracy, with equal right for all.
The General’s Son is a memoir, relating the history and development of the idea of Zionism, the state of Israel, the Israeli Palestinian conflict and the role his family played in it.
Miko believes that reducing Palestine to the West Bank and Gaza was the biggest mistake the Israeli state made, because Palestine is the entire country with the suffering of it’s people taking place everywhere.
For Palestinians, the 1948 war was an exodus, with 774,000 Natives expelled from their homes and land and another 15,000 massacred.
The Natives remember it as “Al Nakba,” which is an Arabic word meaning, “The Catastrophe,” or “The Cataclysm.”
To this day, Al Nakba continues for Palestine, with 67 years of slow, systematic ethnic cleansing and genocide. The Native Palestinians currently live on just 12% of their original land. But the real scandal here is that it’s been funded with our tax dollars! US aid to Israel is the number one source of financial support for the Israeli occupation. AIPAC, the Jewish/Zionist lobby, has been the most influential lobby in America, guiding policies in favor of Israeli “security,” which is really state terrorism and to the complete detriment of America’s security. Another central reason for the continuation of war crimes in Palestine is the fact that 97% of the world media has been systematically bought up by Zionist corporations. So, if you ever wonder who is behind the mass media mind control programming and the dumbing down of the American society in general, there’s the answer. I dare you to prove me wrong.
“You know very well, and the stupid Americans know equally well, that we control their government, irrespective of who sits in the White House. You see, I know it and you know it that no American president can be in a position to challenge us even if we do the unthinkable. What can they (Americans) do to us? We control congress, we control the media, we control show biz, and we control everything in America. In America you can criticize God, but you can’t criticize Israel…” – Israeli spokeswoman, Tzipora MenacheIs there any logical reason why a Palestinian child cannot live like a Jewish child
Child Rights International Network (CRIN) published in its first 2015 report, that some 700 Palestinian minor children are arrested per year and face “ill-treatment” by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF).
Subject to torture, forced confessions, sexual assault, solitary confinement, underage minor children (some as young as 8) are held as political prisoners in Israeli detention centers for months on end and without due process.
When they are charged, it’s for the offense of stone throwing and confessions are forced under torture. About half of these minor children are taken during targeted night raids of their family’s home.
Many of the testimonies by these children revealed that soldiers went into their rooms, “aggressively woke them up, and shackled their hands and feet while they were still in bed.”
It’s shameful, unjustifiable and happens on our watch and our dime!
In the 1967 war, Israel took the rest of Palestine, West Bank and Gaza, crossing Palestine off the map completely, creating a single Jewish state over the entire country.
Miko’s father, General Peled, was a war hero turned peacemaker, who after the 1967 war saw the need for the Palestinian people to have their own state. As a member of the Israeli High Command, he tried to influence an electoral process to this effect. He brought intelligence reports proving the local leadership was willing and interested. He warned if Israel did not give an autonomous state for the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, then Israel would become an occupation force; there would be resistance and no chance for peace. He said it would affect the moral fiber of the nation and eventually Israel would become a bi-national state. With bulldozers already destroying Palestinian towns and villages Israeli soldiers were forcing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to leave their homes in the West Bank. A massive building project began immediately, just like Israel had done in 1948. Having the largest underground water supply in the region, Israel issued the order that all the water in the West Bank now belonged to Israel. Nothing was done by mistake.
Unfortunately, General Peled could not influence a peaceful resolution. Instead, a bi-national state, with exclusive rights for Jewish people was created and everything General Peled had predicted, came true. After retiring from the army, he spent the rest of his life dedicated to the achievement of Israeli and Palestinian peace. Going against the Israeli narrative, he exposed that the 1967 war was not the result of an “external threat” to Israel, but in fact the war was started by Israel, in order to expand it’s territory.
In his memoir, Miko dispels the myth that being Jewish has anything to do with a nationality. Raised on the Zionist ideal of a Jewish state, Miko understands how hard it is for many Jewish people and Palestinians alike, to let go of the dream of having a state that is exclusively “our own.” He insists that Israel/Palestine is one state.
In his public speeches, Miko dares to say what others still choose to deny, debunking myths that Jews around the world hold onto with blind loyalty. In order to steal the land of Palestine and ethnically cleanse the population already living there, a deceptive narrative had to be created to justify these actions. And the Israeli narrative is a powerful one, appealing directly to gut emotions, using the holocaust card and cries of anti-Semitism to silence inquiry, criticism and discourse. For example, Israeli’s and Zionist Jews around the world, celebrate Al Nakba as Israel’s “Independence Day.” They deny altogether that ethnic cleansing took place. Now, how on Earth could ethnic cleansing be equated with independence? That is a real question.
Facts on the ground speak for themselves; with multi-billions of US tax dollars invested in Jews only infrastructure, Jewish only highways dissect the landscape and connect to a maze of unlawful settlements. The continued construction of an illegal 3-story high Apartheid wall spans the hillside from a distance of 520 km, cutting deep into the West Bank.
Once completed, the Zionist State would succeed in annexing the Palestinians from 46% of the West Bank! Leaving the Palestinians with just 12% of their remaining lands, which they are currently residing as political prisoners with virtually no rights within the Israeli state system. More than half of the Native population living within the Palestinian territory is an internally displaced refugee. A great injustice has been done to this precious and historic civilization and it must be made right.
Before the Zionist state was created in 1948, Palestine knew peace. Jews, Muslims and Christians lived harmoniously with each other for thousands of years. A holy land, infamously known as a “land for all people.” Palestine enjoyed a thriving, rich economy based on agriculture and trade. Jerusalem was a bustling city in the Middle East, with movies theaters, courthouses and a train station. Palestine also had an internationally licensed airport called, Al Lod. In 1948, the railroad was confiscated for Jews only use and the Al Lod was also confiscated and transformed into Ben Gorion airport. Palestine never had an army, to this very day.
Over 100 checkpoints control the daily movement of Palestinian lives and all this has totally destroyed the possibility of a Palestinian state. There is no West Bank, there is no possibility and there never was a possibility for a “two-state solution” because Israel doesn’t want it. In Miko’s words: “there is no scenario in which the state of Israel will allow the creation of a Palestinian state, or recognize Palestinian rights.” Just like the apartheid Regime of S. Africa could not recognize the rights of black people, it’s also impossible for the Israeli society to embrace Palestinian rights. This is why we need to reframe the solution to this struggle in our own minds, purge ourselves of the Israeli state narrative and refresh it with historic reality.
The West Bank and Gaza strip were captured in 1967, leaving 22% of the pre 1948 Palestine. Upon signing the Oslo agreements, the Palestinians agreed to settle for this 22% of land and recognize Israel within the Green Line boarders. This was a historic sacrifice for peace, lead by Yaser Arafat.
However by 1993, there was no more possibility to create a Palestinian state because there was no more West Bank. It was already fully integrated into the Israeli state. Miko says the Oslo Agreement was never about peace. Oslo was an attempt by Israel to bring the Palestinians to surrender. And because the Palestinians would not surrender, there is no peace.
Resistance is an internationally recognized human right according to the 4th Geneva Convention, which states; “A militarily occupied people have a ‘duty’ to defend themselves.” So, why are Palestinians treated with such brute force by the Zionist state? Is it because the Israeli education system mind control brainwashes its Jewish population from an early age, to hate and want to kill Palestinians?
Nurit Peled-Elhanan points out in her book, “Palestine in Israeli School Books,” how Palestinians are marginalized and demonized by Israeli textbooks.
Are Zionist Jews threatened by thousand-year-old olive trees that were tenderly cared for at the hand of generations of farming families of Palestine? Is this why they must uproot thousands of them each year, creating economic hardship for these families? Does their jealousy stem from the fact that every stone, mountain, spring, avenue and landmark in Palestine has a traditional Arabic name? Or, do Israeli’s hate Palestinians because they resist with heroic bravery, acquainted with the reward of sacrifice and imbibed with life’s greater values and wisdom?
Although all these reasons may be true, Palestinians pose the greatest threat to the Zionist state because the Israeli state does not have legal legitimacy to this day. Israel exists on brute force alone and runs from international law and UN Resolution 194, “Right of Return.” The additional 4,766,670 Palestinian refugees living outside of Palestine have an internationally recognized right to return to their homeland. This is the most powerful right the Palestinian people possess. There is also the question of retribution for the outstanding loss and suffering that’s been inflicted on the Native population. If there is to be a sanctuary, Israel must give up the idea of Jewish dominion over all the land and it’s resources.
Miko asks the simple question to Israeli’s, worldwide Jewry and the international community: “What kind of a state do we really want to see?” An apartheid state with half the population isolated and confined to intolerable Bantustans, ghettos and “military zones,” without access to proper nutrition, medical care, clean water and humiliated, shot at and killed every day?
Or, will Israel/Palestine transform itself into a secular democracy for the 5.9 million Israeli’s and the 6.1 million Palestinians between the river and the sea?
Jerusalem is now a segregated city, so Israeli’s don’t meet Palestinians. Jerusalem served as Palestine’s capitol for thousands of years. It was confiscated by the Zionist state in the 1967 war and is used today as Israel’s capitol. The Palestinians still inhabiting East Jerusalem are subject to home demolitions, illegal evictions and forced to accept a “third-class, Israeli citizenship.”
The Israeli government just issued 20,000 housing demolition orders for Palestinian residence in E. Jerusalem.
Israel has recruiting offices all over the world, enticing Jews to immigrate to Palestine. When a Jewish family’s makes an Aliyah, the Zionist state gives them Israeli citizenship. Often times, a 24 hour eviction notice will be given to a Palestinian family in E. Jerusalem, so the newly arrived Jewish family from Brooklyn, NY, or where ever else they are recruited from, can now inhabit a home that belonged to a Palestinian family for generations. The newly arrived Israeli citizen is given 20,000 USD per person initially and then paid about 3800 USD per couple every month and an additional 1000 USD per month, for each child they produce. Again, it’s US tax dollars funding this!
Being right wing radical Jews, illegal settlers have no qualms taking Palestinian lives and living in illegal settlements within the Palestinian Territory. After all, it is their G-d given right because “the Bible says so.”
Settler violence is rampant and unchecked. Allowed to carry guns and backed by IOF, they continue claiming lands by simply seizing it with brute mob force. They terrorize the local population, raid villages, poison wells, uproot olive trees, kidnap children and run them over in their vehicles. It’s not uncommon to see adult settlers throwing stones at Palestinian children on their way to school. It would be fair if these international settlers were returned to where they came from, when Palestinian Right of Return is finally honored.
Bethlehem City is just on the other side of the separation wall, 3 km South of Jerusalem. Bethlehem is part of the Palestinian territories, known as Area “A.” The majority of Israeli’s live their entire lives without ever entering the Palestinian territories and psychological warfare is used to keep the Israeli Jews segregated from their neighbors.
Miko describes an epiphany, when meeting Palestinians for the first time as equals in San Diego. The chapter begins with the line: “My journey into Palestine began in San Diego, I was 39 years old.” He had never before met Palestinians on equal ground, because there is no equal ground within the Israeli state.
Overcoming his fears, Miko describes entering the Palestinian territories for the first time:
“Driving alone into the Palestinian towns in the Galilee or the West Bank in a car with license plates that identified me as Israeli, I imagined a terrorist lurking behind every curve of the winding road following the rolling hills. Heading towards the village of Bil’in for the first time, I silently questioned if I was crazy to trust “these people”? I was afraid but kept on driving until I found the village and was greeted by friends.”
When entering the Palestinian territory’s, including all cities, towns and villages, this is the sign that will greet you. It reads in Hebrew, Arabic and English: “This road leads to Area “A” under the Palestinian Authority. The entrance for Israeli citizens is forbidden, dangerous to your lives and is against the Israeli law.”
Israeli State Government actions go far beyond Apartheid. Israeli law is derived from Talmudic principles, which are the most evil, racist and sadistic teachings ever written. It is the fundamental practice of Zionism. This a complex subject and I won’t go into detail here, as that would require another article in itself. To fully understand the rogue behavior of the Zionist state, one has to invest a little time and research.
Anyone can see the Israeli state gives no credence to our international laws, with the blatant siege on Gaza, bi-annual weapons testing for the US and Israeli arms industry, land grabbing and slow genocide by occupation.
As a horrified audience witnessed Israeli war crimes in Gaza last summer, many more eyes were opened to the frightening policy the Zionist state has been inflicting for decades. 86% of deaths resulting from Israel’s targeted bombing of mostly Palestinian homes in Gaza this summer were civilians, according to the UN. 89 entire families were exterminated right in their own houses! Make no mistake about it this is genocide… on our watch and on our dime. To call it anything else is a lie.
I do believe that critical mass in cognitive awareness of Israeli war crimes was achieved after this summer and a historic shift has taken place. Millions of people of all nations around the world have entered this conflict on the side of Palestinian justice and Palestinian justice is playing a transformative role in world history because it challenges centuries of racism, colonialism and neo-capitalism.
Miko Peled delivers a powerful message and an international call for justice to be done. If the ancient land of Palestine is to once again be a united country, Zionism has to go. Are we going to wait until the Palestinian civilization is pushed into the sea? Or, into the Sinai desert before we raise our hands to make a difference?
Do we have an option to remove the Zionist state? Yes, absolutely, YES! But for this to happen, there needs to be an anti-Zionist movement. Removing Zionism and establishing democracy will allow Israeli’s and Palestinians to return to a nation of peace. The myths and fears have to be brushed away. We must support organizations that are making a tangible impact on the Israeli state, like Boycott Divestment & Sanctions (BDS), and SDSU Divest.
We must get behind courageous leaders and embrace the higher values of equal rights and justice for all. Involve yourself. Reach out to your community. Join and create anti-Zionist and anti-AIPAC movements. When enough people are involved in a Twitter Storm for example, it has the power to influence our leaders whom are all using Twitter. Use these Tweets to send a message to your Congressmen: #Zionismhastogo #ShutDownAIPAC #StopTheBlankCheck #un194 #RecognizePalestine #res428.
In the famous words of Nelson Mandela: “Our freedom is not complete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
Read Miko Peled’s Electronic Intifada Articles
“Jerusalem City, 1940”
“Jerusalem Railway Station, Built in 1890”
“Palestinian Coin, 1927”
“Palestine: Loss of Land”
“West Bank Map”
“Old City Jerusalem, 1900’s”
“Talbieh Quarter, Jerusalem”
“West Bank Checkpoints”
“Al Nakba Exodus, 1948 Refugee Camps”
“Raffa, Al Nakba 1948”
“Damour Massacre, 1976”
“Shabra & Shatila Massacre, 1982”
“Home Raid West Bank, Present”
“Israeli War Crimes in Gaza Summer 2014”
“Israeli Army Text Message to a Gaza Family, 2014”
“The 27 Martyrs of Abu Jamei Family”
“Internationally Banned Flechette Bombs, Gaza 2014”
“Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza, 2015”
“Gaza family living alone among the rubble, 2015”
“Gaza Survivor, 2015”