Speech I gave for My Son’s HS Graduation Ceremony, Minute 33:35

I was honored that the school asked me to give the keynote speech. Not everyone liked it, some called it “Israel bashing,” others “liberal screed” “not appropriate for a graduation.” Others yet “Embarrassing and infuriating. ” But the person that matters the most, my son, approved as did many of the teachers parents and graduating seniors. So I’m quite pleased.  The speech starts at minute 33:35.



  1. Beautiful, Miko. And in front of a tough crowd.

    How is everything? Like is looking up for me, as my business has almost doubled this year. My trip to Palestine was really rough, with terrible weather, 9 Palestinians murdered, questioning about my heritage, etc. I felt like I’d descended into hell. On the positive side, your brother-in-law introduced me to a lot of Israeli NGOs, and I wrote two grant proposals worth $4M total. Still waiting for the outcome. How’s the book coming?



    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Sincere thank you dear Miko and best wishes to your family and son’s graduation. Amazing and very eloquent speech.

    In Solidarity for Justice and Peace, Ali Mallah ==== Date: Sat, 7 Jun 2014 19:18:10 +0000 To: alimallah@hotmail.com

  3. As usual, Miko Peled, your remarks are simply wonderful. Thank you so much for standing up for what is right – and urging the students to do so likewise. As a high school teacher for 30 years, my central effort was to help the kids do exactly what you suggested. As a secular Jew, I am so proud of what do to try to bring justice to Palestinians.

    Robert Tripp
    Reston, VA

  4. Dear Miko, I am sure your son has every reason to be very proud of you; I am also a karate student, 3rd Dan in Shorinryu, and I am also a teacher: for me, you embody the spirit of Bushido, as well as the best traditions of Judaism. Keep on, many of us around the world admire your courage, and how you uncompromisingly stand for your principles!

  5. I was a parent attending my only child’s graduation in Coronado and I would have booed and walked out if I could have. I found your speech to be disgusting. I ‘m glad you think that Whitney Houston and Jimmy Hendrix were such great representations of Black people. Two drug addicts that died because of drugs. I guess the graduating students can aspire to be like them. You are a blabbering idiot that should have stayed a karate instructor instead of filling the minds of our youth with your America bashing.

  6. Miko, this is one of the very best graduation speeches I have ever heard, and certainly one of the best challenges to young people who are about to embark on a new life and new careers. Your courage continues to amaze me, and I continue to applaud you for your steadfast commitment to making the world wake up and become a better place for all. Thank you seems inadequate but it comes from a grateful heart.

  7. Miko.

    Kudos!! A brilliant, timely and much needed graduation speech that is bound to go viral. As for your critics, they only demonstrate that the truth hurts. “None is so blind as he who will not see,”

  8. Miko, would you make the transcript of this wonderful speech available on your website? I know a number of people who do not have regular access to a computer who would love to read it. It’s a keeper. Thanks!

  9. Thanks Miko. I’ll pass it on to the folks at the Cazenovia Forum. FYI, two letters to the editor of the local Cazenovia Republican mention you as a possible speaker. One was by me, and the other by someone in support of bringing you here. You, of course, know how frustrating it is when people aren’t exposed to the truths – we’re trying to change that. In gratitude for the efforts you make and the people you are reaching. You are a very effective speaker. Pat Carmeli

    Date: Sat, 7 Jun 2014 19:18:05 +0000 To: patcarmeli@hotmail.com

  10. Dear Miko, I am so very proud to be your friend…..we MUST meet, you MUST come to our next festival! Warm regards and……..we are keeping up the fight! Janine Euvrard What Cinema Can Do http://www.whatcancinemado.com 8 Passage de la Tour de Vanves 75014 Paris, France Tel. +33 1 43 27 19 43

    Le 7 juin 2014 à 21:18, Miko Peled a écrit :

    > >

  11. Salam alaikum and shalom Miko!

    You’re awesome and may God support you and give you the strength to carry on your message of hope in this tumultuous world!

    Can’t wait for you to return to Minnesota!


  12. I find it hypocritical that you essentially trashed Coronado in your speech yet you continue to live there and benefit from it and its schools. If you’re as sincere about the plight of all the downtrodden groups you mentioned then why don’t you leave Coronado and live with the Native Americans, the Palestinians, illegal immigrant populations, etc and help them from within? Instead you stay in lily white Coronado and make speeches and write/sell books.

  13. Hi there. Movie starts fine but when trying to advance to the eye minute mark I’m given an error message. Is there a YouTube address by chance?


  14. I was there and did; just to be sure I checked the video – starting at 35:10 you mention Coronado and say it two more times after that. Then, referring to the students, you say – “…In Israel, I grew up much like you, privileged and unaware….”. So yes, you did speak about Coronado and the students who live there, and compared them and their city to what you experienced in Israel. So I ask again, besides selling books, making speeches and living in Coronado, what are you doing to ease the plight of those you care about?

  15. Dear Mr Peled,
    the future of not only the Palestinians, but also of Israel itself depends on principled
    humanitarians like you, your sister and your father.
    You come from a privileged background, but seem to empathise with disadvantaged people irrespective of colour or creed.
    I hope your son carries on the family tradition.
    Well done.

  16. Mike:

    Are you even remotely aware of what a fool you looked like at the Coronado graduation ceremony? It’s difficult to believe than anyone could be that full of themselves.

    But putting aside your ego for a moment as well as how you ruined graduation for so many kids and their families I have to ask about these reparations you speak of. Do you expect people of mixed race to pay full or half price? What about the people who came to this country after slavery was long gone, which accounts by far the largest majority of Americans.

    Let mew close by saying your bloated ego does more to inflame racial tensions than improve things. But then you already knew that, didn’t you?

    1. I was not at the graduation, but having seen Miko’s speech and seen him on other occasions, I find your gratuitous comments on him disgusting and BS. As an American Jew, I am so glad that he has had the guts to tell the truth about Israel – even more so these days, given the latest Israeli assault on Gaza. He is in no way “full of himself” or egotistical….

      Bob Tripp
      Reston, VA

  17. Miko, The world needs more people like you. I have read your book and am looking forward to your next one. The speech you gave moved me to tears and applause. You touched on so many important issues that are so close to my heart. I hope one day I could meet you in person, it would truly be an honor. You will surely inspire many others to be activists and stand up for the oppressed everywhere. Pay no attention to the negativity, you are making more of an impact in the world than most people, and although your father wasnt too outwardly emotional, I can only guess he would be so proud of you. Peace and love to you, always!

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  19. Hi Miko, Israeli, South African, Canadian, American living in San Francisco. How can I help?
    Ian J

    PS My father was stationed in Cairo during the war as a part of the South African Army. He tells of visiting Jerusalem with a Jewish woman who was also in Cairo and visiting her family there. I think this may have been your mother as her name rings a bell.\

  20. Miko we are a global entrepreneur group. I was considering going to gaza in June to mentor entrepreneurs organized by Mercy Corp a non profit group based in Portland Oregon but couldn’t go due to scheduling conflict. Tie Oregon is part of Tie Global. We actually have a small chapter in Jerusalem. I watched your you tube video. I’m gonna get your book. I’m speechless after I finished watching your video. I’m of Indian descent and organized oppression cuts through the core of my being. What’s happening in gaza and West Bank is oppression. I can’t believe that the world has accepted this. Would love for you to come to Portland and enlighten our city

  21. Motek shel Miko: From an American Jew (of your generation) who lived in Israel for 2.5 years, and lost her Zionism while there during the Yom Kippur War…THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU ARE DOING. I have some insights (and possible solutions) as to why it is so hard to get Jews to listen to you, having to do with PTSD and trauma psychology, if you are interested. In the meantime, I thank, support and bless you in your work.

  22. Since Israel is a biblical term or word, or if you like, form of identity, and it is not legitimate or real for that matter, you, technically are not an Israeli, just a person who was born in Palestine and due to some superiority complex defined yourself as an Israeli, ergo Palestine already existed as a state and a reality, and Israel was and is nothing more than a fiction of religious or secular history. So I believe this problem is solved. Long live Palestine!
    Now, all the Palestinians have to do is win a war. I mean, they had so many Arab states behind them, so many freedom fighters, so many wars, and so much virulent anti Israeli sentiment in their favor, why can’t they win just one bloody war and get those fascist apartheid Jews under their just and righteous boots? Why can’t they just declare themselves as Palestine? I mean, Miko, really, the entire world is behind the Palestinians, the UN, Europe, the Arab hegemony, even the US under Obama, just let them declare themselves!
    I believe it is your duty to join the Palestinian cause by duty not just by words.You are obviously a very courageous man, join us in our battle, carry our flag, walk the talk!

  23. Even i’m not anymore a follower of religion, raised in a catholic family reminds me the “lesson” of John 8:34. People like you made this possible. It’s a giant step – only giants can make such a thing – for the peace on that region and, consequently, for the rest of the world. My best.

  24. Its hilarious when the other reader mentions “inflating racial tensions”, its easy to say that when you’re from a privileged background and live in a box. For the rest of us racial tension is a way of life.
    Miko you’re one of the most inspirational speakers of our times.
    Follow this link for the video cut of this speech only.

  25. I think some individuals feel its your fault what’s happening in Ferguson, Missouri, instead they should only look in the mirror.

    Your peace is oppression my peace is oppressed…
    Your peace is more opportunities my peace is being harassed by police or invading armies with superior fire power…
    Your peace means my submission to your control…
    Your peace creates a bubble of discontent that is waiting to burst…
    The result is Gaza or Ferguson or Ukraine or Iraq or Egypt or Syria..or .. or … or…

    I don’t think you know the meaning of the word.

    Or I can use words you understand.
    The return to the ‘status quo’ is unsustainable, people need to know they can contribute to society and will be given the opportunities to do so without being submitted to discrimination.

    So NO, not your peace thank you very much…
    I much rather have peace Miko Peled’s style.

  26. Interesting to read the comments of the few right wing know-nothings.

    All the best to you, Miko, and may you be blessed for your work. You are a brave, principled, dedicated man. You have suffered a lot, the loss of your sister’s little daughter, and family and friends over the years.

    The world looks forward to your sons and daughter taking your place one day.

    Warmest best wishes to you and all your family.

  27. Brilliant speech Miko. It’s in high contrast with the typically saccharine and asinine graduation speeches. Glad to hear you kept it real.

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