Monday, October 31, 2016

Anti-Israel activist Miko Peled to speak in Ithaca, New York, on November 2 (Updated)

Miko Peled is a virulently anti-Israel activist. His Twitter slogan is "Make Israel Palestine Again." He accuses Israel of genocide against the Palestinians.

On Wednesday, November 2, he will be speaking in Ithaca, New York. His talk is sponsored by several groups that pride themselves on their devotion to peace: Ithaca Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), Citizens for Justice in Palestine, Episcopal Peace Fellowship's Palestine/Israel Network, Veterans for Peace, Ithaca Catholic Workers, and the Fellowship of Reconciliation. The Multicultural Resource Center is now also a sponsor of Peled's talk.

The advertising for Peled says this of him:
Miko Peled’s grandfather fought for Israel’s statehood and signed that country’s Declaration of Independence. His father was a noted General of the '67 War and Miko joined the Israeli Special Forces upon graduating high school but he quickly resigned. When his 13-year-old niece was killed in a suicide attack, Peled came to realize that “we are occupying another nation and that in order to save lives the right thing to do is to end the occupation and negotiate a just peace with our Palestinian partners. 
He is the author of The General’s Son and lectures widely (nearly 3 million hits on one of his youtube talks) advocating a non-violent solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict and stressing that this is a one-sided conflict with Israel as the aggressor
Aside from being the son of an Israel general, what else distinguishes Miko Peled? Antisemitism.

See this recent Tweet from him:

(To see the Tweet in its original location, go to: Sleazy Thieves). This tweet aroused a fair amount of criticism against Peled. (See note below for how JVP reacted to him).

On September 16,  Peled spoke in Syracuse, New York, at a talk sponsored by the Syracuse Peace Council. This is how he tweeted about that appearance:

Link to the original tweet, where you can listen to his entire talk: Syracuse Peace Council.

After Peled's original tweet, and the criticism he received, he posted a reply on Facebook (archived version -

Peled doesn't think individual Jews fit the antisemitic stereotype of money lenders and petty thieves - but he's happy to accuse Israel of being a "sleazy petty thief." Israel receives military aid from the United States because of "pressure and lobbying" and "mafia blackmail" - see his use of the language of conspiracy theories.

Yes, there are groups that lobby Congress and the President in support of aid for Israel (for example, AIPAC). These people do not belong to any "mafia" - we call them American citizens, who are free to lobby their government. J Street (whose politics I favor over AIPAC's) also lobbies the US government in support of a two-state solution. They give money to congressional and senate candidates with whom they agree. Again, this is part of the American democratic process. Neither group is a "mafia," and both act openly to push the policies they think the US should adopt.

Then Peled applies a purity test to Jews: "It is shameful and sleazy and underhanded and places a stain on all Jewish people unless they stand in clear opposition to the state of Israel and its sleazy politics." For him, "opposition" isn't merely criticism of the policies of the government of Israel, but opposition to Israel's existence as a state. And Jews who don't agree with Peled have a "stain" upon them unless we join his battle against Israel's existence.

It's interesting that he only singles out Jews who don't agree with him. What about people of other religion or nationalities? Do Americans who don't agree with him "place a stain" upon all Americans? What about evangelical Christians who support Israel, often from a more right-wing perspective than most American Jews?

Why are peace groups in Ithaca sponsoring a talk by a man like Miko Peled? What do they think of the language he uses to attack those who don't agree with him? Do they agree that Jews who don't oppose Israel "place a stain on all Jewish people"?

For shame.


William Jacobson, a professor of law at Cornell, has also just posted an entry to his blog about the event: He has more examples of Peled's anti-Israel and anti-Jewish remarks.


Note on JVP's original response to Peled's tweet:

After the publication of this tweet, Peled's talk to pro-Palestinians groups at Princeton and San Diego State University were cancelled. The head of Jewish Voice for Peace, Rebecca Vilkomerson "lauded this move," saying that "Princeton group did right thing cancelling @mikopeled talk b/c of tweets-no place 4 antisemitism in our movement." She quickly backpedaled, however, and Vilkomerson then said that she had "overreached" and "clearly made a mistake."

For more on JVP, see the linked article by David Schraub, a lawyer and PhD student at UC Berkeley, explaining the untenable position that JVP has placed itself in. As he says,
The problem is that their politics about anti-Semitism are predicated on the notion that "anti-Semitism" is, in nearly all cases, a hysterical charged lobbed in bad faith by evil Zionists wanted to suppress criticism of Israel. But, having spent years hammering this message home, they're somehow surprised to discover that when they call something anti-Semitic, they're subjected to the same treatment -- dismissed as "Zionists in the closet" (Peled's allies) or "turning priorities to suit Jewish interests" (Weir's backers). They want special dispensation as the "good Jews", and they don't get it. Instead, their "allies" treat them exactly the same as they treat every other Jew (and indeed, exactly as JVP says Jews -- other Jews, anyway -- should be treated) -- with derision, disdain, and dismissal anytime JVP tries to use its Jewish standing to challenge rather than validate their position.

1 comment:

  1. What a self-loathing psychopath. The fact that Jews are the ones spreading these lies is the most sickening thing.