Friday, May 20, 2016

No Black Bantustans, no Indian reservations, no Jewish state

GUEST: Miko Peled, son of the famous Israeli General Matti Peled and the grandson of a signer of the Israeli declaration of independence, talks about his book, The General's Son, that describes why American Jews have become critical of the policies of the Israeli government.

Eli and I were struck by this interview. Miko Peled pushed us into new territory, both by simplifying the conflict and then stating the obvious, that Israel as a Jewish state must eventually fall. 

According to Miko, there hasn't been this sea change in the opinions of the Israeli public. The racism and violence of the Jewish state has been very obvious from the start. Nor has the goal of expelling Palestinians from their land changed much since 1948. Israel is determined to have all the land, and the only change he sees in his country's rhetoric is that there is much less talk about "peace." 

His discussion of his father followed the progression of the book. The famous Israeli General Matti Peled had at first been presented as a peacemaker ahead of his time. Later in the book, however, he sees his father's vision as limited by Zionism. Matti advocated for showing respect and tolerance to Palestinians within a strictly Jewish state. His son goes far beyond this to envision a future state where all ethnic groups and religions are afforded equal rights. It is the one state solution like South Africa. No Black Bantustans, no Indian reservations, and no Jewish state.

Miko Peled pushed our thinking, and that is why his voice is so important for the American people to hear. Both Eli and I have worked for Palestinian rights for years, and yet this interview changed our perceptions of the conflict. 

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