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The Wandering Who?: A Study of Jewish Identity Politics Paperback – 30 Sep 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 215 pages
  • Publisher: Zero Books (30 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846948754
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846948756
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 1.3 x 21.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 218,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

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: www.gilad.co.uk www.myspace.com/giladatzmon www.jazzaproductions.squarespace.com

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Claude on 30 Dec. 2011
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A very interesting book.
Courageous, concise and clear.
It is surprisingly easy to read given the gravitas of it's subject.

Gilad, it seems, loves deconstructing ideas, especially accepted orthodox ones.
'We are what we choose to be' is just one of his interesting observations.
The book joins the dots and exposes, among other things, the many and various strands of zionist thought for what they are.
Essentially 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 pre tense ?

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 example) for decades with just this sort of ploy, and I have to say the ploy is wearing a bit thin.

The idea that one can somehow neatly separate 'Jewish' and 'zionist' is pure fantasy.
Have people not noticed that Israel is (and always has been) routinely defined by Jews (and others) as 'the Jewish state' ?
Israel was created in May 1948 by Jews, 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 both a logical, and indeed necessary project to me.
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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful By ang on 31 May 2012
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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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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Stuart on 3 Sept. 2013
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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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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Regula Stöcki on 1 Jan. 2014
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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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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Anna Strong on 26 Dec. 2011
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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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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Hingston on 24 Nov. 2011
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I thought I had already reviewed this book, but apparently my review got stuck in the ether. This book has important things to say. Furthermore, it has quite a few epiphanic moments where ideas and facts come together in bright flashes.

It also suffers, in my view, from two failings in Mr. Atzmon's writing style, one of which can be forgiven by the fact that he didn't begin to live in an English-speaking country until he was in his twenties. That is, his English is sometimes awkward, even occasionally very awkward; more often than awkward, it is a wild mixture of high and low styles, academic jargon, slang, and puns. It's an exuberant style, to be sure, but sophomoric. The other failing, which shows up in the first, is his frequent resorting to Big Name intellectuals for support. Half of a university Philosophy syllabus gets mentioned -- the half that is most difficult to understand. I am a fairly well educated person (Yale & Univ of Chicago), and I actually studied much of the stuff that Atzmon refers to -- but I take no pleasure in it now. It's the sort of thing that is better absorbed and understood than quoted, where it may sound ostentatious or arrogant, or both. The mere mention of Heidegger causes me to fall into a trance. Fortunately, Heidegger isn't necessary to Atzmon's arguments. Unfortunately, he gets trotted out anyway. Same for lots of folks that one might well have done without -- Jacque Lacan, among them. But while these cameo appearances are irritations -- and suggest that Mr Atzmon may from time to time truly believe, as he sometimes says, that he is "just a jazz musician," and therefore in need of extra artillery -- they do not make this book valueless. Far from it.
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