Israeli Peace Activist Speech

08/09/13 Robert Lorei
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Today on True Talk we listen to a talk given by Miko Peled, an Israeli peace activist, author, and karate instructor. He has written the book, The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine, and he has traveled extensively, giving talks about his experiences to audiences across the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia.

Born and raised in Jerusalem in 1961, Peled grew up in a prominent Zionist family; his grandfather signed Israel’s Declaration of Independence. His father, Mattityahu Peled, fought in the 1948 war and served as a general in the war of 1967; later, after the Israeli cabinet ignored his investigation of a brutal 1967 Israeli war crime, he became a peace activist and leading proponent of an Israeli dialogue with the PLO. He condemned the Israeli military for illegally seizing the West Bank, Gaza, Sinai and the Golan Heights, calling the war a “cynical campaign of territorial expansion”. He was marginalized and shunned for his activism and call for a two-state solution. Miko Peled followed his father’s footsteps at first, joining Israel’s Special Forces after high school and earning the red beret, but he soon grew to regret his decision. He surrendered his status as soon as he earned it, becoming a medic, and finally, disgusted by the 1982 Lebanon invasion, he buried his service pin in the dirt. He then distanced himself from activism until 1997, becoming a sixth-degree black belt in karate and moving first to Japan, then to San Diego. He gave the following talk in Vancouver in February of this year. Listen to the show above.

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