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43 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes the truth causes discomfort
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...
Published on 30 Dec 2011 by Claude

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58 of 112 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A book that must be exposed for what it is
In the very beginning of this book, Gilad Atzmon tells us about his grandfather, a former prominent commander in the Irgun who had, Atzmon admits, "a tremendous influence over me in my early days". Atzmon's grandfather hated "anything not Jewish", but "more than anything, though, my grandfather hated Jewish leftists....as a follower of right wing revisionist Zionist Zeev...
Published on 24 Oct 2011 by Deborah H. Maccoby


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43 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes the truth causes discomfort, 30 Dec 2011
By 
Claude (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Wandering Who?: A Study of Jewish Identity Politics (Paperback)
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.

'Project Israel' was set up as a secular state, supposedly decrying religion,
yet the justification for it's existence is purely biblical !

Without the religious connection there would be absolutely no justification for the 'Jewish State's existence.
How's that for a paradox ?

So the question of just what is meant by 'Jewish' and 'Jewish identity' lays at the heart of the project and consequently is surely a legitimate subject for investigation ?

Also, the roots of the elitist and chauvinistic aspects of zionism lay in classical Jewish theology (talmudic law) so to pretend that the two subjects are quite distinct is dishonest.
Further, to claim to be 'anti-zionist' and then to seek to attack (either verbally or otherwise) someone who seeks to understand 'Jewish identity' is somewhat illogical and indeed absurd ?

Gilad is not the first, and I'm sure he won't be the last to attempt to get to the bottom of this conundrum.
Famous predecessors include Karl Marx who wrote extensively on this subject in 1843.
Marx didn't have many positive things to say, and in attempting to get to the bottom of this thorny question of identity, Marx never once used the word 'zionist' because of course the political movement called zionism hadn't yet been invented.
His musings were aimed fairly and squarely at 'The Jewish Question' and 'Jewish identity'.
One of his famous conclusions was that 'Jewish Internationalism' was 'the Internationalism of the financier' and that as such, lay at the heart of oppression everywhere.
But I'm wandering (though I am not Jewish, much less 'who-ish')

I apologise in advance for my rather poor sense of humour !
One mustn't joke about such subjects, or so it would seem.

Gilad is very clearly on something of a rocky journey toward understanding.
Understanding the central themes that shaped his life growing up in the newly formed Israeli state and seeking to legitimise it's conception (or not), and just like the story of 'the King's new clothes', on seeking he finds that there is curiously little justifiable substance underpinning the whole project.
Jewish identity is, it seems, surprisingly elusive, yet 'Jewish Identity' is the justification for the creation of the Israeli (Jewish) state.

All rather curious when one considers the devastating impact that the creation of 'the Jewish state' (with it's accompanying creed of 'chosen-ness' and the expulsion of the indigenous Palestinians) has had (and continues to have) on the Middle East.

If you like 'thinking outside the box' you will surely enjoy this book ?

An absorbing journey, intelligently articulated.
Not a book for the rigid thinker.
To anyone who finds this book interesting I would also recommend 'Jewish History, Jewish Religion' written by Israel Shahak, a wonderfully warm, intelligent man who sadly is no longer with us.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book is a remarkable story., 3 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Wandering Who?: A Study of Jewish Identity Politics (Paperback)
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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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brave and insightful, 31 May 2012
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This review is from: The Wandering Who?: A Study of Jewish Identity Politics (Paperback)
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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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intertesting Research, 1 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Wandering Who?: A Study of Jewish Identity Politics (Paperback)
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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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth hurts, 8 Aug 2013
This review is from: The Wandering Who?: A Study of Jewish Identity Politics (Paperback)
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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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read, 26 Dec 2011
This review is from: The Wandering Who?: A Study of Jewish Identity Politics (Paperback)
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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An expression of humanity amidst a deeply polarizing subject, 7 April 2014
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This review is from: The Wandering Who?: A Study of Jewish Identity Politics (Paperback)
I am grateful for the perspectives shared in this book. It serves an antidote to polarized perceptions of Jews and of those of Jewish association such as to address the mentality of Jewish influence within particular configurations of Jewish identities.

Jewishness is an identification that is neither one race nor religion, but uses both, that has become associated with a particular form of coercive and suggestive influence, for it sets itself apart and cannot be criticized or held accountable for its actions without resulting in vilification, invalidating exclusion and threat of retaliation.

Just as military actions disguised within civilian appearances necessarily involve their civilian population in war so does what is perceived as Jewish or Zionist coercion tend to cast a shadow over all 'Jews' - and any such 'anti-Jewish' expression is then used by the war mentality as a way of controlling and directing perception, as a grievance and an outrage. The use of Holocaust-guilt as a 'Holy' justification of self-specialness is central to the mentality that works both behind the scenes and through the roles of victim and avenger.

Jews have become associated with the exercise of financial, corporate, media and military power in ways that are sometimes brazenly out in the open and yet hidden; unreported or mis-reported in our media and our discourse. What one CANNOT openly speak of is an indicator to the action of fear in our minds, in our apparently free society.

Finding the way to articulate such matters in any way that embodies humanity rather than merely conditioned reaction is necessarily a process of responsibility within our own consciousness and this is where I feel a particular resonance with Gilad Atzmon, for without especially focussing on the 'problem' in the terms it sets, I feel a movement to re-evaluate what it is to be Human - as a consciousness responsibility and not as a fearfully directed mental construct that presumes itself conscious.

This movement addresses our mental constructs of self defining belief, as observation and direct responsibility - for there is no one REALLY standing outside what we are, as if controlling us as a separate consciousness. Though we can really experience it thus.

I lean into an awakening responsibility of wholeness of being, rather than persist in the 'methodologies' of a control mentality - no matter how disguised and accepted they are as social currency. So I felt to at least point to this particular dimension of opportunity here in this book - in this consideration - as a transformative participatory recognition of our own reflection - noting that what we can own, we are free to release to a new choosing.

One of the key observations that Gilad makes is the refusal to look within of those who seek to assert their identity but hold it as 'non negotiable' or not subject to the perspective of 'others'. Everything thus is reduced and splintered to war, for all is polarized as an asserted identity of victim/avenger and held in place by story that must replace truth to ensure perceived survival.

If we are becoming able to see this in our world, then I invite a willingness to pause and recognize it in ourselves.
If we refuse to see it also in ourself, then we join and reinforce the essential mentality of segregated assertion over the 'invalidated other'.

The nature of 'problems' often leads to the compulsion to 'do something'. Very often this works to disguise and suppress the symptoms while leaving the problem un-addressed at its root. This multiplies and propagates 'problem' in new disguises. Reaction re-enacts conditioning and hidden manipulations can prompt and guide such conditioning to realign to its foundation as a power unto itself in a world of fearful adversity. But such 'power' is a deceit that uses the one who uses it. Is this our true nature and foundation? Such freedom is tyranny - regardless of any promise it may seem to confer.

The conviction (and demand) that evil is without, is the mask of a separated self sense; of a segregated 'private' bounded consciousness. The unconscious (hidden) belief that evil is within, holds that mask forever facing out. Yet to look upon and abide the thing we hate and fear - without identifying in reaction, is to undo its seeming power and uncover a clear foundation.

We cannot experience and live the world without our identifications - our self defining beliefs. But we tend to all agree to forget this intimate fact and give all reality to a materialism of externally identified forces and thus hide or invalidate Consciousness itself for the play of power in victim and victimiser kept apart.

What Is real?
Is answered best in receptive appreciation, and witnessed by its fruits.

Gilad's book is not axe grinding, hateful, propagandistic, coercive or self-seeking. Not self-seeking excepting that anyone who loves creative play and exploration is inherently loving a world in which such joy is able to freely share itself. This is an enlightened self-interest. Give as you would yourself receive, for by our fruits are we known.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE WANDERING WHO, by Gilad Atzmon, 3 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Wandering Who?: A Study of Jewish Identity Politics (Paperback)
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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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a Read, 11 Jun 2012
This review is from: The Wandering Who?: A Study of Jewish Identity Politics (Paperback)
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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25 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Read, 11 Nov 2011
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This review is from: The Wandering Who?: A Study of Jewish Identity Politics (Paperback)
Gilad Atzmon slowly demolishes the Zionist myths that have fed the Israeli psyche to make it an oppressive occupier who has scant regard for the sanctity of life. In no way is this book anti-Semitic as some would like to claim. If you need to understand why Gilad wrote this book please visit his web page before purchasing. The amazing thing that I found when I read the book was that Gilad is so articulate and knows exactly what he wants to say and says it in the fewest words possible. The conclusion is an eye opener, although the dots are already there, Gilad expertly joins them up in the best way possible. "The Book of Esther" was the best chapter and this relates brilliantly to what the Lobby is doing for Israeli interests to the detriment of others . The issue of the "primacy of the ear" was an eye opener. A must read for anyone interested in finding out why the Israeli's are behaving the way they are and what the might do next.
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The Wandering Who?: A Study of Jewish Identity Politics
The Wandering Who?: A Study of Jewish Identity Politics by Gilad Atzmon (Paperback - 30 Sep 2011)
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