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on 25 March 2014
I found this book totally compelling, as Miko Peled, the son of one of Israel's most important generals in the Israeli army, takes one on a fascinating, albeit harrowing journey into the real situation in the Middle- East.
Being born in Jerusalem, Miko himself served in the Israeli army and exposed some uncomfortable facts.
Both he and his father were Peace Activists and formed very close friendships with many Palestinians. In face Miko, a Martial Arts teacher and master, set up a Martial Arts centre in The West Bank for the children there.
His endeavours were at times very dangerous and he risked his life on several occasions for his cause; that of creating a peaceful solution to the problems in Palestine.
Written from the heart, this book has to be read!
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on 26 October 2013
This book is very informative and cuts through all the garbage that surrounds the reporting of the plight of the palestinian people. Here is an ex-army Israeli, son of one of the most distinguished Israeli generals, talking about his own experiences and shining a merciless light on the apartheid that the State of Israel is imposing on its people. Wonderful read!!
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on 8 September 2014
Miko Peled has literally taken me on a journey that has opened my mind in more ways than one; from the moments when he begins to question the actions of the IDF all the way to the enlightenment that actually there isn't much difference between Palestinians and Israelis, the author recounts the misinformation of how Palestinians were seen to be a threat to Israelis and their very existence. The loss of his niece, Smadar, sets off a catalyst that paves the way for an unexpected journey. His sister's reaction to losing her daughter in a suicide bombing is tremendously moving, however, the most touching element within the book is the power that some of his Palestinian friends have of staying rooted to the path of reconciliation even when they had suffered the unthinkable loss of life at the hands of the IDF. How determined one must be, to be able to still talk about peace when they are on the verge of losing their own child is truly a power to be able to comprehend. The non-violent means of protests are an on-going process with the backdrop of a continued onslaught of oppression by the occupying forces against the people of Palestine. Miko Peled shows us the absurdity of the how the media presents the 'conflict' if that is what one chooses to see it as; in all essence it is a forced occupation upon a deliberately weakened population.
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on 28 June 2013
Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Peled tells you the story of how he started to question the behaviour of the Israeli government despite the fact that he was brought up in a family of a general and how bravely he has been pursuing his belief in raising awareness about Palestinian people who and what can save both Palestinian and Israelis.
Thank god for people like him and their determination in pursuing a very difficult struggle to save his countrymen (both Palestinian and Israelis).
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on 19 December 2012
"....the truth lays in the personal story not in the national narrative"
Miko Peled

The General's Son, melds Peled's personal story with the history of Israel and the Palestinian people. His vantage point is superb; a native Israeli Jew, born to into a prominent Zionist family and former member of the "elite" IDF, Red Berets, he is well versed in Israeli nationalism and above any charges of anti Semitism.

Tragically, his niece Smadar was killed in a Palestinian suicide attack in 1997 and we join his subsequent journey of discovery. His understanding develops, first through reconciliation groups in the USA and later through journeys into the West Bank and Gaza. He forms deep friendships with many Palestinians, learns that there is another side to the conflict, conquers his deeply inculcated fear of "the other" and finally becomes a full-blown peace activist.

There are many insights along the way, for example, his discovers an extensive and dignified NON-violent resistance movement in the occupied territories and that many of Israel's wars have been elective rather than a defensive necessity. It's interesting to note that Israelis are effectively prevented from entering Gaza and a large part of the West Bank (area A) so have virtually no knowledge or experience of their Palestinian neighbours despite sometimes living, literally, only meters apart.

Peled unpeels the historical background, without the tedious hair splitting detail that can make books on this conflict so impenetrable. We learn how much of the Israeli "national narrative" is based on distortion and myth and that there is truly another dimension to this conflict.

The sad uncomfortable truth he discovers is that Palestinians have been systematically dispossessed of their rights, land and dignity since the establishment of Israel and current Israeli laws and settlements in the occupied territories are simply a continuation of this process. Israel's occupation of territory gained in the 1967 war has turned it and it's forces into brutal oppressors of the native population - something that Miko' s father (The General, Matti Peled of the title) had presciently feared over 40 years ago.

If the book has weaknesses, it's perhaps that some third party anecdotes cannot really be verified, but most of the essential history is readily verifiable. It could also be argued that it largely sidesteps the issue of ingrained anti Semitism in much of the Arab world, but then again the focus of this book is squarely on the Palestinian /Israeli conflict rather than the wider Arab /Israeli conflict.

Finally, possible answers are only briefly explored and his desired solution (a single democratic state shared by Palestinian & Jews) may seem a little naïve to some, but many others will conclude that it is visionary.

This books purpose is to strip away many myths and illuminate the day-to-day and historical realities of the Israeli state and it's impact on both the Palestinian and Jewish people. Peled does this in a natural, engaging and highly readable fashion and I thoroughly recommend it generally - but especially to casual supporters of Israel.
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on 29 January 2014
Spells out the dual history on Israel / Palestine. Debunks the Israeli & Us propaganda and fingers Israelis as serial war criminals. The conclusion on one state with equality for all citizens is bound to be the inevitable conclusion as a (Jewish / religious state concept) is medieval at best. The project in its current for is essentially doomed
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on 22 July 2014
I imagine if we printed a couple of billion copies of this book and sat the whole world down for two days to read it, we would be able to achieve peace in the middle east the next day.

Two days is how long it takes to read this book, partly because it's short and partly because it is too interesting to put down.

The account of not just any Jewish Israeli, but a former Zionist and army soldier, son to one of the most iconic figures in the Israeli army, grandson to one of the founders of the state of Israel, and close family friend to possibly half a dozen of the most influential people in its history!

Extremely recommended to anyone living in this world and interested in its affairs, but an absolute must to middle-Easterns of all backgrounds, who are often told by the rest of the world some fabricated version of history, and then asked to defend themselves about it. It struck me as I was reading this book that I, who had previously thought myself better-read, was actually unable to give a coherent narrative of the history of Palestine over the past century. The book's references made me ashamed of my own ignorance.
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on 17 October 2013
As with so many other good books one wonders how it might be presented to the right audience. This book should be read by the people who perpetuate the inacceptable situation of Israel's occupation of Palestine, it should be read by the next generation on both sides, and it should be read by those who are so full of fear, hate or simply ignorance that they willingly accept the slaughter of their children. I can only imagine the courage it took the author to question his assumptions, and to face the consequences that lead to this book.
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on 18 October 2013
this is a marvellous book of immense courage in the face of adversity
having read Izzeldin Abulaish's I shall not hate,I wanted to read from the other side of the Israeli/Palestine divide.Both should be compulsive reading for anyone wishing to uinderstand the plight of the Palestinian people and the suffering the endure
It shows that the will for peace is there:the politician are keeping it hidden with violence and brutality.
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on 19 August 2014
A fine review of the direction that Israel is taking. It is of particular interest that a person with the direct experience that Miko Peled has ,is now willing to speak out against the actions of the Israeli Government and IDF. If read in conjunction with Shlomo Sands book 'The Invention Of The Jewish People' a clearer view of the appalling actions currently in progress can be made.
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