Israeli-American peace activist Miko Peled is on the road again. Tomorrow (June 17) he’ll be sharing his message of strong support for Palestinian rights and an egalitarian, one-state outcome in historic Palestine with people in Bern, Switzerland.
On Monday, he’ll be in Zurich. On Wednesday (June 21), he’ll be in Milan, on the 22nd in Biella (Italy) and on the 24th, in Heidelberg, Germany.
Peled’s current European speaking tour has been arranged to coincide with the publication of his great memoir The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine in German, translated by Michael Schiffmann. (Click on the cover-image there to find more details.) The book has also recently become available in a lovely Swedish edition, translated by Kjersti Rekve.
Peled will also be speaking in London soon: at the big “Palestine Expo” being held there July 8-9.
On one of his most recent international trips, Peled was back “home” in Palestine/Israel in late May– where on May 26 he was arrested for 23 hours by the Israeli forces after he participated in a nonviolent public action in Nabi Saleh, in the southern West Bank, in support of the 1,500 of the thousands of Palestinian prisoners who were then in the fifth week of their punishing hunger strike.
We were delighted to see, earlier this week, that Electronic Intifada published an excellent description by Peled of what had happened in Nabi Saleh– and what he was trying to achieve through his solidarity action there.
On that page on the EI website, there is also this very vivid, 15-minute video that Nabi Saleh film-maker Bilal Tamimi made of the demonstration that day in the village– including some very moving moments when a girl activist and then a woman activist from the village try to save Peled from his captors.
In his EI article, Peled wrote:
Israelis, even dedicated, well-meaning ones, do far too little and we use far too little of our privilege to challenge and combat the injustice meted out against Palestinians. Most Israeli activists won’t even call for refusal to serve in the Israeli army because they consider that too radical.
No one likes to be arrested, particularly when it involves a night or two in jail, sharing a smoke-filled room with no ventilation and no company save cockroaches and two-bit criminals who hate activists even more than they hate Arabs.
If we are to play a role in the overthrow of injustice, and if we are to one day see an end to the oppression of more than half of the people with whom we live, then we must use our privilege and act to end the normalcy and the oppression.
Peled also wrote another piece for Electronic Intifada , reporting on his activities during his trip to Palestine/Israel. This one, titled “Rejoicing in Ethnic Cleansing”, was about the “Jerusalem Day” activities the Israeli authorities organize every year in late May, to celebrate what they describe as the “unification” of Jerusalem.
This was another great piece of reporting and analysis. It starts this way:
With the Jerusalem Day festivities finally out of the way, Palestinians can breathe a sigh of relief.
This year, commemorating the 1967 Israeli conquest of East Jerusalem, the “day” included a week of activities and saw the Israeli cabinet’s weekly meeting held in the “Western Wall tunnels,” beneath the al-Aqsa mosque compound.
“Here King Solomon built the First Temple,” was how Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened the 28 May meeting, glossing over the fact that there is no evidence that a King Solomon ever existed outside the biblical story.
When he left Israel a few days after his release from jail (with charges still pending), Peled was held at the Tel Aviv airport for a few hours. His offense? He was wearing a t-shirt supportive of the Palestinian resistance movement…
By the way, you can hear Peled describe and reflect upon many of these same incidents in a marvelous, hour-long conversation that he held recently with prominent Washington DC pastor the Rev. Graylan Hagler, the audio of which was broadcast this past Wednesday on WPFW’s “What’s At Stake”. It is a little hard to find the MP3 of this show– but well worth the trouble of doing so, since Rev Hagler,a spiritual mentor for many mid-Atlantic Black Lives Matter activists and a staunch supporter of Palestine, and Miko Peled, do a lot to explore all the commonalities between settler colonialism in the United States and in Palestine.
To find this great audio, go to WPFW’s general “archive” web-page, then in the middle dropdown menu that’s up near the top, click on “What’s At Stake”… and scroll down there to the June 14 edition. (It really is worth the bother!)
We at Just World Educational are delighted to work with Miko Peled on so many of his projects! He is currently near the end of his next book project: authoring a breakthrough study of the case of the “Holy Land Five”: Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five, which will be released by Just World Books next February.
Last Fall, we were pleased to publish here on the JWE blog three great “teasers” from that work. You can find them here.
Thanks for all you do to help build a more just world, Miko Peled!