Thursday, September 10, 2015

Israeli-American peace activist to speak at Michigan Tech, Northern Michigan universities Sept. 16, 17

HOUGHTON -- Miko Peled, an Israeli-American peace activist and author, will be in Michigan's Upper Peninsula for two events -- one at Michigan Tech and one at Northern Michigan University in Marquette.

Peled will present "Freedom and Justice: The Keys to Peace in Palestine/Israel" at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17, at the Great Lakes Research Center, Room 202 on Michigan Tech's campus. 

(Inset photo: Miko Peled. Photo courtesy Michigan Tech University)
On Wednesday, Sept. 16, Peled will have a conversation titled "Settler colonialism in the 'promised lands': Similarities and differences between the U.S. and Israeli treatment of Indigenous peoples" with Martin Reinhardt, Northern Michigan University professor of Native American Studies. The conversation will take place at 7 p.m. in Mead Auditorium-West Science Building on the Northern Michigan University campus.

Miko’s father, Matti Peled, was one of the key Israeli generals in the 1967 six-day war, when Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza. His grandfather was one of the founders of the state of Israel. In 1997 tragedy struck his family as Miko's beloved niece Smadar was killed by a suicide bomber in Jerusalem. That tragedy propelled Miko onto a journey of discovery. It pushed him to re-examine many of the beliefs he had grown up with, and it transformed him into a courageous and visionary activist in the struggle for human rights and a lasting peace in Palestine/Israel.

Miko Peled writes about his journey in his book The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine. He relates how his father had questioned his own role in Israel's domination of Palestine and became "a general turned man of peace." Miko tells how he fulfilled his own dream of becoming a professional martial artist and teacher and how he dedicates time to travel from California back to the country he calls Palestine/Israel and to work for peace with the help of Palestinian friends and like-minded Israelis seeking change.

Martin Reinhardt is a mixed ancestry Anishinaabe Ojibway citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. His is an associate professor of Native American Studies at Northern Michigan University, where his current research focuses on revitalizing the relationship between humans and Indigenous plants and animals of the Great Lakes Region. As a staunch advocate of the rights of Indigenous peoples, Martin has conducted extensive research on American Indian treaties and is a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the State of Michigan regarding the attempted sale of treaty-ceded territory to Graymont Mining Corporation.

(Inset photo: Martin Reinhardt. File photo courtesy Martin Reinhardt)

For more information about these events contact Miguel Levy at

These events are sponsored by Michigan Tech's Center for Diversity and Inclusion and departments of Humanities, Social Sciences and Physics; the Michigan Tech Indigenous Issues Discussion Group; and Northern Michigan University's Center for Native American Studies.

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