Peled, Mattityahu ("Matti") (1923–1995)

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Israeli soldier, politician, peace activist. Mattityahu ("Matti") Peled was born in Haifa in 1923. He served as a platoon commander in the Palmach. After studying law in London, he returned in 1948 to serve in the Arab-Israel War. Peled served for twenty years as a career officer in the Israel Defense Forces, retiring in 1969. He then completed his doctoral degree and was appointed as lecturer at Tel Aviv University. Peled joined the Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace in the mid-1970s, becoming deeply involved in the creation of a dialogue with Palestinian leaders, including Issam Sartawi, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) representative in Paris. In 1983 and 1984, in defiance of Israeli law, he met several times with Yasir Arafat in Tunis and Geneva. Peled was elected to the Knesset in 1986 on the Progressive List of Peace, an Arab-Jewish party, serving one term. He died of cancer in March 1995.