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The Wandering Who?: A Study of Jewish Identity Politics [Paperback]

Gilad Atzmon
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
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Book Description

30 Sep 2011
An investigation of Jewish identity politics and contemporary Jewish ideology using both popular culture and scholarly texts. Jewish identity is tied up with some of the most difficult and contentious issues of today. The purpose in this book is to open up many of these issues for discussion. Since Israel defines itself as the Jewish State, we should ask what the notions of Judaism, Jewishness, Jewish culture and Jewish ideology stand for. Gilad examines the tribal aspects embedded in Jewish secular discourse, both Zionist and anti Zionist; the holocaust religion; the meaning of history and time within the Jewish political discourse; the anti-Gentile ideologies entangled within different forms of secular Jewish political discourse and even within the Jewish left. He questions what it is that leads Diaspora Jews to identify themselves with Israel and affiliate with its politics. The devastating state of our world affairs raises an immediate demand for a conceptual shift in our intellectual and philosophical attitude towards politics, identity politics and history.

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The Wandering Who?: A Study of Jewish Identity Politics + The Invention of the Jewish People + The Invention of the Land of Israel: From Holy Land to Homeland
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Product details

  • Paperback: 215 pages
  • Publisher: Zero Books (30 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846948754
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846948756
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 90,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


It is a scholarly and truly monumental work, deeply profound and, of course, controversial. --(Alan Hart, British Journalist and covert diplomat in Middle East, ITN's News at 10, BBC's Panorama)

A seriously funny writer and the wittiest musician since Ronnie Scott. We're lucky Gilad Atzmon is around. --(Robert Wyatt, musician and founding member of Soft Machine)

About the Author

Atzmon is a world-acclaimed jazz saxophonist and composer, a member of the Blockheads and fronts the Orient House Ensemble. He has published numerous political and cultural essays. See:

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book is a remarkable story. 3 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent story of a voyage of discovery by a man who realised he was on the wrong route and on the wrong boat which was manned by the wrong crew. It says a lot about the state of Israel. I liked it a lot.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE WANDERING WHO, by Gilad Atzmon 3 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very courageous and honest book, well written and easy to read considering the seriousness of the subject.

The book provided me with a lot of new and useful information. I would have given it the full 5-Stars had the author touched on the subject of the mafia of the financial institutions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intertesting Research 1 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author shows how 955 of todays Jews are, in fact, Ashkenazi Khazar tribe pagans, from eastern Turkey, who converted en masse to Talmudism a thousand years ago.

Their ancestors never set foot in ancient Palestine. The Palestinians are the jews of biblical Judea, who converted to islam in 700 AD, to avoid taxes and are the true indigenous people of Palestine.

During its long history, many tribes and peoples inhabited ancient Judea and Samaria and Palestine. One such tribe, the Israelites, may indeed also have briefly also lived there, but for a few hundred years only. Imagine all the previous inhabitants were to arrive and make the same claims the converted zionist pagans do today?

Todays jews follow the Talmud, a collection of man-made laws and traditions , which deviates from Moses 10 Commandments. A good book
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37 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes the truth causes discomfort 30 Dec 2011
By Claude
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A truly wonderful book.
A courageous book from a man who's sense of wanting to lay bare 'the truth' as he sees it comes way ahead of any attempts at self promotion.
Concise, clear, and easy to read.
Gilad utilises a very readable style when articulating his ideas.
The book joins the dots and exposes, among other things, the many and various strands of zionist thought for what they are. A con and a fraud.
He also seeks to illustrate that many of the more pernicious among them actually pretend, on the surface, to oppose zionism.
A rather hollow pretense ?
Of course the Alan Dershowitz's (and fellow travellers) of this world will howl with indignation accusing Gilad of being anti-semitic, a self-hating Jew etc., etc., but hey, what's new ?
These people have been attempting to close down the Palestine debate for decades with just this sort of ploy, and it's wearing a bit thin.
The nonsense that one can somehow completely separate 'Jewish' and 'zionist' is pure fantasy land.
Have these people not noticed that Israel is (and always has been) defined as 'the Jewish state' ?
It was set up in the name of the Jewish people, and has been nurtured and maintained ever since by the various Jewish communities and their allies, around the world.
'Jewish' and 'zionist' ARE inextricably intertwined.
I agree that they are not quite the same thing, but there is enormous overlap and since the whole project of Israel was created in the name of 'Jewish', the idea that Gilad (or anyone else for that matter) should wish to explore just what is meant by 'Jewish' seems like a both logical, and necessary project to me.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth hurts 8 Aug 2013
By Zero
It was expected that the neocon sympathisers and Zionists would try to discredit this book but it's a shame to see the weak liberals jump on the bandwagon. The people who dislike this book are fairweather friends for Palestine, they have no real commitment or courage to fight for the cause. They're the same type of people condemn George Galloway for his academic boycott of Israel and dislike the BDS movement in general. They're the same type of people who talk about two state solutions which de facto support the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, rather than one state solutions that allow the Palestinians to return to the land that is rightfully theirs. The liberals who dislike this book are weak on Zionism and weak on Israel. Gilad Atzmon is not weak on Israel or Zionism, he's a strong voice for truth and justice - and sometimes the truth hurts.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brave and insightful 31 May 2012
By ang
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One wonders why a book of this nature should excite such hostility as it honestly unpicks a contemporary issue and contextualizes it with intellectual and emotional power. Why questioning such an issue should ever be labelled as anti-Semitic betrays a lack of reason, and an inability to face reality, as everything we do needs to be examined with this kind of care if we are to understand something about how it came to be so, beyond the propaganda we are all saturated by in our daily lives.

Well written, heartfelt and with answers to the problem - a book everyone should read: after all, Atzmon says his piece in the name of peace!
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read 26 Dec 2011
I found it a very informative book, a true eye opener. It should be read by anyone who is interested in Middle Eastern affairs.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a Read 11 Jun 2012
By aya
I had to read this for a school project but I find it quite good, it is definitely worth the read.
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