Israeli War Hero's Son Challenges His Nation's Policies Toward Palestinians

Posted Oct. 14, 2015

MP3 Interview with Miko Peled, an Israeli peace activist and author of “The General’s Son”, conducted by Scott Harris


Miko Peled took a circuitous route to becoming a Middle East peace activist. He grew up in Israel, the son of Matti Peled, a war hero who served in the Jewish state’s war of independence in 1948 – and who served as a general in 1967, when Israel annexed Gaza, the West Bank, the Golan Heights and Sinai Peninsula. Peled’s grandfather was Avraham Katsnelson, a Zionist leader and signer on Israel’s Declaration of Independence. Miko’s current activism can be traced to his father’s transformation, from a general during the Six-Day War, to becoming a scholar in the Arabic language and literature at Tel Aviv University. Gen. Peled later became a passionate peace activist and an advocate of negotiation with the then-outlawed Palestinian Liberation Organization. As a member of the Israeli Knesset or parliament, he campaigned for an Israeli withdrawal from all the Occupied Territories he had earlier helped conquer as a general.

A family tragedy resulting from political violence in Israel would become a catalyst in Miko’s own transformation. A 1997 Palestinian suicide bomb attack that took the life of his 13-year-old niece, Smadar, became Miko’s moment of political awakening. His 2012 book, “The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” is a memoir of his family and personal history, recounting his service with the Israeli Special Forces, emigration to the U.S., leading to his rejection of Zionism and advocating instead for a one-state solution. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Miko Peled, who talks about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict from the unique perspective of the son of an Israeli war hero – and army veteran turned peace activist.

For more Miko Peled’s articles and blog, visit Visit “The General’s Son,” website at

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