Son of Israeli General: Israel a ‘terrorist state, apartheid regime
RELIGIONS NEWS AGENCY (REDNA) – Israeli activist and writer, Miko Peled, the grandson of a signatory to the Jewish state’s 1948 Declaration of Independence, has criticised Israel’s policies towards Palestine, asserting that “they cannot defeat the Palestinians.”
The author, whose father served as a General in the Six-Day War of 1967, spoke to Anadolu about his journey as an activist advocating for the rights of Palestinians, and evaluated the current conflict that started on 7 October.
“I came from a very prominent Zionist patriotic family … I grew up as a patriot, a strong supporter of my country, my state and, of course, Zionism,” said Peled, who was born in Jerusalem in 1961.
He was greatly influenced by his father’s ideas in the early years of his life and served in the military for a while, but later regretted it and left.
“My father, while still in uniform right after the war, said: ‘Look … we are here forever, our existence is no longer uncertain or in danger. We must allow the Palestinians to have their small state in a small part of Palestine’ … As soon as the war ended, they started building massive cities in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.”
‘According to Zionism, there is no such place as Palestine’
Emphasising that there is no place called Palestine in the fundamental philosophy of Zionism, Peled said: “According to Zionism, that is Israeli land, and those lands belong not to the Palestinians living there, but to all Jews in the world. If you have “a supremacist ideology”, that is, if you argue that one group has more rights than another, then you must use violence. You must have an apartheid regime for this racist ideology to be realised. That is the Israeli state,” he said.
Peled, pointing out that the Israel-Palestine issue did not start last month, but 75 years ago with the establishment of Israel, said:
Describing Israel as a “terrorist state,” Peled drew attention to the oppression that Palestinians have been experiencing for years.
“Palestinians are exposed to terrorism every day. You don’t know whether you will be beaten or killed while walking on the street, whether your children will be safe going to school, whether your house will be demolished, whether your brothers will be taken or abducted and disappeared by the Israeli army or Israeli intelligence,” he said.
‘I realised I lived in a kind of colony, a superficial, artificial reality’
The Israeli-American said he started questioning the existence of Israel after the death of a family member more than two decades ago.
“In 1997, my sister’s little daughter was killed in a suicide attack in Jerusalem. She was 13 years old. This was a tragedy that fundamentally shook a person; you know, after such an event, you cannot look at the world with the same eyes. This led me to examine the reality of what was taught to me, the existence of Israel,” he said.
He then embarked on a journey to Palestine to find answers.
‘Condemning a nation under oppression for resisting is the height of hypocrisy’
On Israel’s ongoing attacks in Gaza, which started after a cross border attack by Palestinian group, Hamas, Peled said: “Palestinians who have nothing to do with this event are paying a heavy price. Israel was humiliated, and now it extracts all its revenge and “anger from innocent people and civilians who have nothing to do with the attack.”
Israel’s air and ground attacks on the besieged enclave have, since, killed more than 14,000 people, most of them women and children.
Pointing out that, in Western media, there is a tendency to condemn Hamas in every comment on the conflict, Peled said: “It is absurd to condemn those who emerged to resist, people who have been under pressure for so long. This was expected. If “we want to eliminate resistance, then we must eliminate pressure. Resistance is always a reaction against oppression. The Palestinians’ response to greater violence that has been going on for more than 75 years has been mostly non-violent.”
“If there is something to condemn, it is to condemn the apartheid regime. It is necessary to condemn the violence, brutality that Palestinians face every day; the thousands of Palestinians being arrested and killed in the West Bank while we speak, the racism practiced by Israel against Palestinian citizens. It is necessary to condemn the Israeli doctors who signed the petition approving the bombing of hospitals in Gaza, the students who demand the expulsion of Palestinian Israeli citizens from university dormitories, and many more. But condemning a nation under oppression for resisting is the height of hypocrisy and meaningless.”
‘This is a war against peace and justice’
Peled said it is uncertain how the current conflict will unfold, but maintained: “Undoubtedly, one thing is clear, they cannot defeat the Palestinians. Whether you say Hamas or something else. It doesn’t matter what you call it. The Palestinians, regardless of which movement they belong to, will not be defeated.”
Arguing any support from the international community is extremely important for the freedom of Palestine, Peled said: “Israel represents everything we know is bad. Calling for support for Israel means more death, more destruction, more racism, and more innocent lives wasted. This “is a war against peace and justice. People now have to make a choice.”
Emphasising that, despite the heavy price paid by the Palestinians, they continue to struggle with all their might, Peled said he hopes the issue will advance.
“My hope is that this great change that I believe happened on 7 October will advance the Palestinian issue, primarily by garnering more support internationally, allowing Palestinians to demand what they truly deserve. I think Palestinians have always asked for very little and have become accustomed to receiving very little, but I think it is time to demand all of Palestine.”
Source: Middle East Monitor