In his short Twitter biography, Miko Peled describes himself as an “Israeli writer and peace activist living in the US;” he also notes that he is the author of “The General’s Son, The Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.” As the title of his book so helpfully indicates, his main claim to fame is that he is a “general’s son,” the general being Matti Peled. The kind of “peace” Peled pursues is reflected in his Twitter profile picture, which is definitely worth a thousand words: a red hat sporting the slogan “MAKE ISRAEL PALESTINE AGAIN.”
It is thus hardly a surprise that Peled has been a popular speaker in activist circles that devote all their energies to ridding the world of its one tiny Jewish state. However, Peled stirred up a tempest in the teapot when he commented on the recently signed ten-year, $38 billion military aid deal between the US and Israel: “Then theyr surprised Jews have reputation 4being sleazy thieves. #apartheidisrael doesn’t need or deserve these $$.”
As noted in a comprehensive post on the ensuing controversy at Legal Insurrection: “That tweet, and Peled’s defense of it, led to [the] cancellation of a campus appearance at Princeton organized by the Princeton Committee for Palestine, which expressed its disgust on Facebook.”
Inevitably, Peled attributed the cancellation to “Zionist pressure.”
One could write a lengthy paper, if not a book, on why this cancellation doesn’t mean that anti-Israel activists have suddenly become aware of the anti-Semitism that infests their campaigns. As I’ve argued previously, “antisemitism is not a bug, but a feature of BDS,” (i.e. the movement that targets Israel with boycotts, divestments and sanctions).
In this context it is noteworthy that the Princeton Committee on Palestine claimed in its first condemnation of Peled’s tweets – which were rightly characterized as “anti-Semitic and hateful” – that they were “unaware – and unable to foresee – these tweets at the time of booking Miko Peled.”
Well, assuming that you check out a speaker before you book him, it seems to me that it was actually entirely foreseeable that Miko Peled holds the views he expressed on Twitter. I have to admit that I didn’t get far digging into Peled’s history, because just scrolling through some of his recent social media posts revealed such a wealth of odious views and associations that I’m afraid this will be a very long post.
First, it should be noted that endless variations of Peled’s argument that Israel’s policies should be blamed for anti-Jewish bigotry have long been a staple of anti-Israel activism and even of supposedly “progressive” “criticism” of Israel. I’ve repeatedly written about this and argued that people who like to blame Israel (and/or AIPAC) for anti-Jewish bigotry should obviously be equally eager to blame Muslim states and groups for bigotry against Muslims. They’re not, because they would (rightly) find this bigoted.
So what about Peled: he responded to the criticism against him in a public Facebook post [archived] where he insisted that Israel acted “like a sleazy petty thief” towards the US and that Israel’s “shameful and sleazy and underhanded” conduct “places a stain on all Jewish people unless they stand in clear opposition to the state of Israel and its sleazy politics.”
Since Peled apparently doesn’t understand why this is a textbook definition of bigotry, one could perhaps try to explain it to him by listing all the countries that call themselves Muslim or Islamic and that engage in all sorts of utterly shameful conduct, which – if we apply Peled’s logic – ‘places a stain on all Muslims unless they stand in clear opposition to the state of x.’ But for the sake of (relative) brevity, let’s just look at the example of Hamas – which, after all, calls itself “Islamic Resistance Movement” and claims to speak (and act) in the name of Islam and all truly righteous Muslims. Does Peled think the terror group’s genocidal anti-Semitic charter – not to mention the countless instances of truly shameful conduct – ‘place a stain on all Muslims unless they stand in clear opposition to Hamas’? Or, to be more modest: does Peled think Hamas ‘places a stain on all Palestinian Muslims unless they stand in clear opposition to Hamas’?
No, quite the contrary. Just a few days ago, Peled put up a Facebook post with an image of text explaining that “Hamas is not the problem;” the text is taken from an article he published on his website two years ago under the title “From The Holocaust To The Massacre In Gaza Through Ben-Gurion Airport.” Just by reading this one article on Peled’s website, the Princeton Committee on Palestine could have easily foreseen Peled’s recent “anti-Semitic and hateful” tweets, because people who equate Israel with Nazi Germany tend to share their anti-Semitism on social media.
But back to Peled’s views on Hamas. Just a few days ago, Peled warmly recommended “Hamas: A History From Within” as “a must read @AzzamTamimi” for anyone interested in “an education on #Palestine.” As the book’s title correctly indicates, Azzam Tamimi is a Hamas insider; his support for the terror organization and his explicit endorsement of Palestinian suicide bombings are well known, and on at least one occasion, Tamimi delivered a hate-convulsed rant at a rally for the annual Iranian-sponsored Quds Day, where he called for the eradication of the “cancer” that is Israel. It is fair to assume that Peled knows full well who Azzam Tamimi his: Tamimi endorsed Peled’s book and has interviewed him on his TV show, most recently in early August to mark the Arabic translation of Peled’s book. Unsurprisingly, there is also a meeting of minds between Tamimi and Peled when it comes to equating Israel with Nazi Germany.
So again: it can be easily foreseen that people who write about Israel, have a soft spot for Hamas, compare Israel to Nazi Germany, and get endorsed by an ardent Hamas supporter will sooner or later share anti-Semitic views or material on social media.
It can also be easily foreseen that such people will associate with other people who share anti-Semitic views or material on social media – or elsewhere, for that matter. Miko Peled is no exception to this rule.
For about a year, Miko Peled has been a regular contributor to the American Herald Tribune, where he uses his columns primarily to bash Israel, promote BDS, and excuse terrorism. If you’re lucky enough never to have heard of the American Herald Tribune (AHT), you might want to read this shocking article on the utterly deranged conspiracy theories peddled by AHT’s “editor in chief” Anthony Hall – who is, inexplicably, a professor at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. When asked for comment on Hall’s views, the Lethbridge Jewish community reportedly responded: “Mr. Hall’s statements and theories are so outlandish, venomous, and without substance, that we cannot even begin to dignify them with a response.”
Indeed, in one of his recent verbose AHT op-eds on the obvious topic “9/11 and the Zionist Question,” AHT’s editor in chief ponders the weighty question if Noam Chomsky is a “Disinfo Agent for Israel”, and he proceeds to mount an impassioned defense of the views of his fellow-AHT contributor – and fairly well-known anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist – Kevin Barrett. Barrett reportedly thinks that the “Holocaust controversy” is “a legitimate topic of historical debate;” similarly, Hall apparently once said that a book presenting the Holocaust as a myth causes a “very dramatic re-looking at what happened in Europe in World War 2.”
So once again: since Miko Peled has published for a year alongside such people, it wasn’t all that hard to foresee that he might one day post “anti-Semitic and hateful” tweets.
It is arguably also revealing how much anti-Semitism Peled attracts and tolerates from his Facebook “friends.” Two weeks ago, Peled linked to an article reporting that the fairly prominent Palestinian activist Iyad Burnat had shared anti-Semitic material; Peled added the comment: “Jews who support #Israel don’t mind the Nazi like methods of oppression, but they do mind that ppl like Iyad Burnat talk about it.”
As you can see either in the original post or this archived copy, the first comment posted in response claims that “Zionists spit on Holocaust victims by using them as human shields against justice;” at the time of this writing, the comment had ten “likes”; one of them by Miko Peled. The second comment posted in response said: “It’s very offensive for Nazis !!” At the time of this writing, this comment had four “likes” – one of them by Iyad Burnat. Scroll down a bit and you will encounter a lengthy incoherent rant: “Same skit… Nazi, is an inside chutzpah by the AshkeNAZI khazars, nazi being the last 4 letters of Ashkenazi. Nazi as an abbreviation for National Zionism and AshkeNAZI.., thus NOTHING to do with National Socialism “nazi” is a jew PROPAGANDA word, how insulting the use, the constant use of it is. And it is NO TECHNICALITY to keep using the term “nazi” instead of National Socialism, it is a gross ERROR or a deliberate attempt to associate this & other TRUTH valuing groups […]” At the time of this writing, this utterly vile comment had garnered just one “like” – from Iyad Burnat.
So Miko Peled has Facebook “friends” who respond to his comparisons of Israel with Nazi Germany by posting anti-Semitic comments – including the utterly obscene defense of the Nazis as a “TRUTH valuing” group; and Miko Peled likens Israel to Nazi German in order to defend a fellow-activist like Iyad Burnat, who really “likes” such comments…
But none of this should come as a shock given Peled’s own views and the people he associates with in the pursuit of his activism.
Note: At the time of writing, all referenced Facebook posts were shared publicly; I have screenshots and archived copies.