(11 July 2014)
Miko Peled is awesome. I should just start off making that clear. Miko is the grandson of Avraham Katznelson, one of Israel’s “founding fathers,” a powerful Zionist political figure who stood among the signatories of Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948. He is the son of Mattityahu Peled, an Israeli military officer who fought in the 1948 war and later served as a general in the war of 1967, before losing faith in what he realized was an oppressive, racist state and becoming a peace activist (Mattityahu is, for this reason, often referred to as “Abu Salam,” or “Father of Peace,” by many Palestinians today).
Peled follows in his father’s footsteps, but pushes his progenitor’s legacy even further. The Jewish Israeli has devoted his life to challenging the racist ethnostate of Israel—the very same institution that privileges him so greatly, and from which he could potentially benefit, were his moral code, principles, and sense of justice not so strong. Peled has become one of Israel’s leading peace activists, a constant voice of sanity in a country full of racist madness.
In his interview with Abby Martin of Russia Today on the 8th, a discussion of Israel’s ongoing bloody bombardment of Gaza, Peled, however, takes his level of, excuse my language, badassery to the next level. I’ve included a transcript of the conversation below.
Ever since this case of these three young men that were kidnapped came out, the Israeli army has been marching up and down the West Bank like Roman legions, destroying absolutely everything in their path—destroying homes, arresting people, beating people, killing people.
The situation outside of the West Bank and the rest of the country, in Palestinian communities, is very frightening. Palestinians are afraid to walk in the streets, they’re afraid to go to work, they’re afraid to go to store, and I’m talking about Palestinians inside Israel, Israeli citizens, because there is this insane atmosphere of hatred, that is being fomented from the top, of course.
And they’re using, as they always do, this as an excuse to attack more, and in terms of their own thinking, they’re gaining political points, thinking what it’s going to be, how it’s going to show, the next time they go to the polls.
Abby Martin than reads Netanyahu’s ridiculous, war-mongering two 30 June tweets
Vengeance for the blood of a small child, Satan has not yet created. Neither has vengeance for the blood of 3 pure youths who were on their>
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) June 30, 2014
way home to their parents who will not see them anymore. Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay. May the memories of the 3 boys be blessed.
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) June 30, 2014
(In case the tweets are later deleted, they read:
– Vengeance for the blood of a small child, Satan has not yet created. Neither has vengeance for the blood of 3 pure youths who were on their>
– way home to their parents who will not see them anymore. Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay. May the memories of the 3 boys be blessed.)
At 2:32, Martin asks, “Miko, do you think this sort of inflammatory rhetoric on behalf of government officials [is] fueling the attacks against Palestinians we’re seeing now?” Peled responds “Oh absolutely.”
First of all, it’s cynical of Netanyahu to use that because he is responsible for the death of so many children. It’s interesting, everyone is shocked by this particular death of this boy who was kidnapped and burned by the people who did this. I don’t know, what do they think happens when Israel drops bombs from the air, on civilians? They burn children and kill them all the time. But it’s interesting that suddenly the press and the world has taken an interest in this particular thing, as though it’s unique, and Netanyahu thought to apologize for this, and so forth. He is responsible, he and his generals are responsible, for so many dead children, and burnt civilians, and so much destruction. It’s cynical, it’s sad, it’s tragic.
And I think it’s important to realize that Israel is giving the Palestinians only two options: to surrender completely or to resist, and obviously resistance is what they’re doing right now.
Martin then points out the disgusting farce that
it is very tragic, it’s horrifying, it is amazing how the Western media is finally paying attention when it’s an American teen who was beaten, but even then, you see all the framing: his “alleged” beating, his “apparent” beating, even though we have video of the beating, I don’t know why it’s “alleged” or “apparent”.
She continues, noting how a large number of comments on the IOF Facebook page explicitly call for genocide. She cites the horrific screenshot in this tweet from Rania Khalek:
At 4:19 Martin asks Peled “Do you think this sort of commentary is an aberration or indicative of a larger sentiment?” And, raising a very, very important point, vis-à-vis the racist, Islamophobic, double-standards of the West, she asks “how do you think the media would be treating these kinds of threats if they were Palestinians writing about Israelis?”
Peled doesn’t address the latter question here, but we all know the answer: The Palestinians would be arrested. Zionists, as members of an oppressor, colonialist group, have the privilege of freedom of hate speech; Palestinians, as members of an oppressed, colonized group, do not share such a luxury.
It should also be mentioned that many of the Zionists calling for Palestinian genocide are not just Israelis, but Americans.
In the US, Zionists Americans can write, and say, stuff like this all the time, with no worry of prosecution. If a Palestinian wrote the opposite anonymously on the internet, however, the SWAT team would ostensibly track their IP address and show up at their door within minutes.
Once again, Zionists, as members of an oppressor, colonialist group, have the privilege of freedom of hate speech; Palestinians, as members of an oppressed, colonized group, do not share such a luxury.
Peled echoes some of the comments he made on Democracy Now earlier that same day:
I think if [an Israeli] wanted to be recognized as a voice of peace, [they] would condemn, completely condemn, all Israeli violence towards the Palestinians. Ever since these three boys went missing, the Israeli military has gone completely mad. The Israeli soldiers have been marching through Palestinian towns and villages like Roman legions, destroying everything in their path, destroying homes, beating children, arresting, torturing. Countless have been killed, of innocent civilians have been killed. This has been complete madness. And if these parents were really interested in calming things down, they would tell Netanyahu to pull back his troops, to stop bombing Gaza, to relieve the people of Gaza of this brutal and inexcusable siege. People living 45 minutes from me, and they don’t have—they can’t have water fit for drinking or the most basic medicines, not to mention any way to deal with the horrific attacks that they’re subjected to right now. So, if anybody is really interested in calming things down, this is where they need to point the finger. This is who they need to be talking to.
Just yesterday, I happened to be at the grave of one of the boys killed on the 15th of May, Nadim Nuwara. And to listen to his father, Siam, speak at the gravesite of this 17-year-old boy, all he asks for is justice. All he asks for is justice, you know? And to compare that, to juxtapose that with the madness going on in the streets here in Israel and the madness that the Israeli military has been subjecting the Palestinians is just unbelievable.
On RT, nevertheless, it seems as though Peled felt he had more freedom to express explicitly anti-Zionist views (or at least more time in which to do so). Such views are absolutely unthinkable and unmentionable in the Western corporate media, so it is most refreshing to read them here.