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    Gilad Atzmon's New Book: The Wandering Who? A Study Of Jewish Identity Politics

    Jewish identity is tied up with some of the most difficult and contentious issues of today. The purpose in this book is to open many of these issues up for discussion. Since Israel defines itself openly 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.

     You can now order the book on  or

    To read articles and reviews click here.



    "A transformative story told with unflinching integrity that all (especially Jews) who care about real peace, as well as their own identity, should not only read, but reflect upon and discuss widely." Professor Richard Falk
     United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Palestine

    "Fascinating and provocative" Professor John J. Mearsheimer 

    “Gilad’s book constitutes an excellent critique of Identity Politics in general and Jewish Identity Politics in particular from a humanistic perspective. These hysterical attacks upon Gilad only reveal the weaknesses, insecurities, double-standards and hidden agendas of those who attack him. Gilad’s humanism and plea for humanism shine through every page of this book—obviously influenced by his Jazz. A Love Supreme!” Professor Francis A. Boyle

    "Atzmon addresses in The Wandering Who?  important issues that deserve careful consideration by everyone—Jews, Palestinians and others—who are concerned with the interrelated topics of Zionism, the Jewish state, Palestinian oppression and Jews." Professor Norton Mezvinsky ( Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, May 2012)

    "Atzmon’s insight into the organism created by the Zionist movement is explosive." Professor William A. Cook

    “Like the ancient prophets Atzmon exposes Jews. At the same time, Atzmon believes that the Bible, from which the prophets spring, is bogus….Atzmon provides no hiding place for Jews anywhere.”  (Future of the Prophetic, Marc H. Ellis pg’ 332)...“Atzmon performs the prophetic for our time. Like the biblical prophets he does not acknowledge, Atzmon believes we are at the end of Jewish history, a history, like the prophets, he no longer believe exists or, if it does, is not worthy of being carried forward. Irony of ironies, he witnesses to the continuity of both” (pg’ 334)...“Like Moses, though with a twist, Atzmon is constrained from entering the land….Atzmon refuses to return until the Promised Land is liberated from the modern-day Israelites. In short, Atzmon’s homeland is occupied by Jews” (pg’ 336) ...“ Instead of King of the Jews. Perhaps Atzmon should be recognized as the prophet of old, At least in his self description and his outreach, this is the way he appears” (pg’ 332)

    "A superb and necessary book that demystifies some "undeniable truths" about Jewish identity -
    Gauden Sarasola, El Pais


    "I see in Atzmon writings a number of memes that are seeping into the common discourse.  A meme is a persuasive idea that spreads in a population like a useful gene spreads in a population. Some of those memes include:
    -The now well-established fact that Jews are not a racial group but an ideological religious belief that spread many centuries ago among people of diverse background (this meme came from studies of the Khazars and others by authors like Arthur Koestler, Kevin Alan Brooks, Shlomo Sand, and now Atzmon)
    -The idea of a conflict between chauvinistic nationalism and universal humanism.
    -The weird mix of religious heritage/belief with tribal notions in Jewish political discourse
    -The distorted recruitment of archaeological and other studies to support the political ideology of a connection between Jews of today and Israelites of the bible
    -The recruitment of the ideology of suffering as a quasi-religious belief that is no longer subject to normal historical examinations (and in fact shielded from such historical examination via laws)." Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh

    "Atzmon’s essential contribution to solidarity with Palestine is to help non-Jews realize that they are not always in the wrong when conflicts with Jewish organizations arise." Jean Bricmont

    Gilad's "The Wandering Who" entertains, pushes and irritates us. His painful journey through what it means to be Jewish, what the consequences are of carrying that realization around, and his ultimate acceptance of who he is makes me awfully glad I was raised a Methodist. Not to be missed and not to be put down for later, his book is one of the best reads of 2012." 

    Greta Berlin - Co-Founder, the Free Gaza movement

    “Gilad Atzmon decided to open Pandora’s Box, and ignite a debate that has been frustratingly dormant for too long. His experiences are most authentic, views are hard-hitting, and, at times, provocative. It must be read and discussed.”  Ramzy Baroud,  Palestine Chronicle

    "Gilad Atzmon’s book, The Wandering Who? is as witty and thought provoking as its title.  But it is also an important book, presenting conclusions about Jews, Jewishness and Judaism which some will find shocking but which are essential to an understanding of Jewish identity politics and the role they play on the world stage." Karl Sabbagh

    "A pioneering work that deserves to be read and Gilad Atzmon is brave to write this book!" Dr. Samir Abed-Rabbo

    “Gilad's escape from spiritual claustrophobia towards a free and open humanitarianism is fearless” Robert Wyatt

    "It is excellent from beginning to end.  very well-organized and well-articulated arguments." David Rovics

    “In his inimitable deadpan style, Atzmon identifies the abscess in the Jewish wisdom tooth – exilic tribalism – and pulls it out. Ouch!” Eric Walberg, Al Aharam Weekly

    "It shows a sincerity and courage that is lacking in many Jewish intellectuals." Jonathan Moadab

    “It is more than an academic exercise. It is a revelation!” Lauren Booth, Press TV

    “The Wandering Who is a philosophical masterpiece that liberates us from the zionist superstitions that enslave us. It should be required reading for anyone seeking to understand the human condition in our irrational times.” Greg Felton

    "It is an exhilarating read, from the atemporality of immoral action to the temporality of morals, from Jewish suffering to supremacy and expansionism to the categorical imperative, and from guilt feelings to responsibility." Dr Anthony Löwstedt

    "A brilliant analysis that makes what appear to be contradictions in Jewish identity based political behavior not only comprehensible but predictable." Jeff Blankfort

     "Atzmon has the courage - so profoundly lacking among Western intellectuals" Professor James Petras

    “Having known Gilad for 25 years, I read the book in English, I heard it in Hebrew and reflected on it in Arabic. Gilad Atzmon is astonishingly courageous” Dr. Makram Khoury-Machool

    "In many ways, Atzmon’s book is a cri de couer addressed to Jews, specifically, but to humanity, generally, to grow up! To reach beyond tribalism and the politics of fear and vengeance." Gary Corseri

    "Like a surgeon's knife cutting through crap to the kernel of truth! Courageous and exhilarating!"  Inge Etzbach 

    "Gilad Atzmon reflects on his transforming journey from an IDF “Israeli”, a racist tribalist, self-ghettoized Zionist, with exclusionist mentality, who was greatly influenced as a child by his “veteran Zionist terrorist” grandfather, into simply a Universalist and Humanist." Nahida Izzat, Uprooted Palestinians

    “A fascinating achievement” Dr Oren Ben Dor

    “Gilad Atzmon is someone who encompasses what it means to be an intellectual.” Kim Petersen, Dissident Voice

    “Gilad Atzmon is the Moses of our time, calling all of us out of the Egypt of our boneheaded nationalisms and racialisms and exceptionalisms and chosen-people-isms toward some form of humanistic universalism.”  Dr. Kevin Barrett

     "Perhaps only a musician could have written this sensitive, perceptive lament over how so many Jews, believing themselves to be doing 'what is good for the Jews,' have managed to carve the heart out of the Palestinian nation and make this tragedy look like the natural order of things." Kathleen  Christison

    “Gilad's The Wandering Who? would have been a welcome delight to Albert Einstein just as it will be the irritating nemesis for Abe Foxman ideologues.” Dr. Paul Balles 

    “A book that will shake up a few people….” Gordon Duff

    “Engaging, provocative and persuasive.’ Jeff Gates

    “When you finish reading this book, you may likely as well see a different face in the mirror.” Professor Garrison Fewell

     “The Wandering Who deconstructs the unique political identity that shapes the reality of the Jewish Nation and the crimes committed in its name. As a non-Jew, I found it illuminating!” Sameh Habeeb, Palestine Telegraph


    "Gilad Atzmon probes the dilemmas Zionism has created for its adherents" Neil Berry, Arab News

    "It is a very moving account that should be read by everyone." Silvia Cattori

    “The Last Jewish Prophet”  Professor William T. Hathaway

    "Atzmon is an iconoclast.” Dr.  Paul Larudee

    "A brilliant, courageous study as well as critical reflection on Jewish ethnocentrism" Rainlore's World of Music

    “Like all truth tellers of any merit Atzmon can expect the wrath of the powers that be and their minions as a reward for what he is exposing.   People like Atzmon will have played a vital role in saving us from ourselves if indeed we do manage to survive.  Love and respect to my brother Gilad Atzmon.” Ken O’Keefe

    “The magical and yet extremely subtle gift that Gilad Atzmon offers through his personal journeys in The Wandering Who? is the wisdom of disillusionment.” Shahram Vahdany, MWC News

     “Atzmon's writing respects no sacred cows. His wit is biting, his insight and logic compelling.” Richard A. Siegel

    “Sometimes a brash, abrasive provocateur is what is required as a catalyst for genuine debate.” Sunny Singh

    "This is a very perceptive and instructive book"  Roy Ratcliffe

    "I commend this book to anyone interested in Palestine/Israel, the Middle East in general, or Jewish identity issues." Sheldon Richman

    "The most accurate assessment to date on Jewish identity and political drive" Today's Jewsih Heroes





    Collin Bell: Sometimes the truth causes discomfort -a book review

    A truly wonderful book.
    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.
    'Project Israel' was set up as a secular state after all, 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 'the Jewish people' is at the heart of the whole subject.
    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'.
    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.
    Gilad is very clearly on a journey toward understanding.
    Understanding the central themes that shaped his life growing up in the newly formed Israeli state, and just like the story of 'the King's new clothes', on enquiring he finds that there is curiously little substance to the whole thing.
    Jewish identity is, it seems, remarkably elusive.
    All rather curious when one considers the impact that the creation of 'the Jewish state' (with it's accompanying creed of 'chosen-ness') has had (and continues to have) on the world stage.
    If you like 'thinking outside the box' you will surely find this book interesting.
    An absorbing journey, intelligently articulated.
    Not a book for the rigid thinker.


    Gilad Atzmon's New Book: The Wandering Who? A Study Of Jewish  Identity Politics  or


    Silvia Cattori Interviews Gilad Atzmon

    Gilad Atzmon talks about his latest book “The Wandering Who?

    Gilad Atzmon somehow manages to express his thoughts, ignoring any recognised taboos or restrictions. His style is innovative, fresh, and consistently well informed. We have read with great interest his latest book “The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity” (*). It is a very moving account that should be read by many.



    Silvia Cattori: “The Wandering who?” — What stands behind this provocative title?

    Gilad Atzmon: “The Wandering Who?” attempts to search for a deeper understanding of Jewish culture and Jewish identity politics. It is there to tackle some issues most of us prefer to avoid. Three years ago Israeli historian Shlomo Sand published his ground breaking work on Jewish history, thus dismantling the phantasmal Jewish historical narrative.

    In my book, I attempt to take Sand’s quest one step further and elaborate on the problematic Jewish attitude towards history, the past , and temporality in general. Five years ago American academics Mearsheimer and Walt published an invaluable study on the Israeli Lobby in the United States [1]. I again try to pick up their research where they left off. I try to explain why lobbying is inherent to Jewish politics and culture.

    Two decades ago, Israel Shahak published his crucially important study of the Talmud, and in my work, I want to extend his study, and grasp the deeply racist and anti-gentile attitude that is intrinsic to any form of Jewish secular identity politics, be it Zionism, Jewish socialism and even Jewish anti Zionism. In “The Wandering Who?” I try to shake every common perception of Jewish identity politics.

    Silvia Cattori: “The Wandering Who?” is a very impressive testimony. It can not be ignored, including by your opponents. I think it can safely be said that no one before you has explained so frankly some of the thorniest aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Your analysis is important for anyone seeking to understand what certain groups want to hide, and why. It should lead people that are deliberately kept in the dark and in a state of confusion, to see things more clearly. This includes, of course, the so-called ‘progressive’ circles.

    Gilad Atzmon: Thanks so much for your support and compliments.

    Silvia Cattori: However, you are stepping into a minefield. One may also wonder whether you are exposing your thoughts and perspectives because, as an ex-Israeli, you feel shame.

    Gilad Atzmon: That is a good point. I suppose that at a certain point in the past, it is true to say that I started to feel shame and guilt. However I realised many years ago that guilt only becomes a meaningful sensation once it is transformed into responsibility. Unlike some of the Jewish anti Zionists who cheerfully and righteously declare ‘not in my name’, I know very well that every Israeli crime is indeed committed in my name, in spite of the fact that I have not lived there for many years. I am very troubled by it.

    Silvia Cattori: Does this mean that the writing of “The Wandering Who?” was a way for you to settle your personal score with the "tribe"?

    Gilad Atzmon: To be more precise, it isn’t actually “the tribe” which I criticise but the racially oriented sense of ‘tribalism’ which stands at the core of every form of Jewish identity politics.

    Silvia Cattori: Would you say that this great overhaul was spurred by your desire to alert mankind to what you consider to be the real danger, i.e. the Jewish ideology?

    Gilad Atzmon: I am indeed primarily concerned with the ideology. I also argue that it isn’t just the Palestinians that are implicated. I am very alarmed by Jewish relentless lobbying and its destabilising power globally. The fact that the AJC (American Jewish Committee) advocates war against Iran is very worrying. But I am also monitoring the Jewish Left activism and I am very troubled by my findings.

    Silvia Cattori: Is the book an attempt to explain to your readers why it is so difficult to fight the Israeli policy?

    Gilad Atzmon: Fighting Israel for what it is — i.e. the Jewish State — simply means an open conflict with the strongest lobbying power on the land. On the one hand we are encountered by heavily funded Zionist institutions; but, on the other hand, we are chased by the so-called Jewish ‘progressive’ network that is primarily engaged in gate keeping the discourse. And, unlike the Zionists, who operate in the open, the Jewish anti Zionists work towards the same goals, but operate in clandestine settings.

    Silvia Cattori: You state that “Jewish power” should be put at the centre of the problem – and that, at the same time, the discourse of certain “anti Zionists”, that you regard as misleading, should be challenged. When you write : “Zionism is not a colonial movement with an interest in Palestine, as some scholars suggest. Zionism is actually a global movement that is fuelled by unique tribal solidarity of third category members…”, you call into question those who characterize Israel as mere ‘settler colonialism’. This is indeed a crucial point. What are your arguments for claiming that it is not simply a colonialist model?

    Gilad Atzmon: Indeed, I am disturbed by the lack of intellectual integrity and coherence within our discourse and beyond. It took me some time to grasp that years of Jewish (intellectual) hegemony within the Palestinian solidarity discourse has led to an absurd situation in which criticism of the Jewish state — is shaped primarily by Jewish sensitivities.

    Try, for instance, to imagine a situation in which our criticism of capitalism would be shaped in a deliberately over cautious manner — just to make sure that the rich are not offended. Likewise, try to imagine another equally absurd situation, in which our criticism of Nazi ideology would have take into consideration the delicate sensitivities of biological determinists and anti-Semites. It seems equally absurd that we are in such a situation where we have to tread carefully in what we say about Palestinian rights – so as not to offend Jewish people.

    And, yes, I say it openly: Zionism is not a colonial movement, and has never been one. Colonialism establishes a clear relationship between a mother-state and a settler-state — yet Zionism has never had a mother state. It is true that Israel exhibits some colonial symptoms, but this is where it starts and ends. Zionism is driven by spirit of Jewish supremacy and a phantasmal notion of ‘homecoming’.

    The misleading colonial paradigm was introduced by a few ‘progressive’ thinkers just to make sure that Marx is not left out of the discourse. At least intellectually, what we see here is no more than amusing.

    However, it is important to mention here, that the only noticeable colonial aspect within the Zionist reality is the relationships between the Israeli State and the settlements: the exchange there makes it clear who is the ‘mother’ and who is the ‘settler’.

    Click to read more ...


    William T. Hathaway: The Last Jewish Prophet


    The Wandering Who, Gilad AtzmonA review of Gilad Atzmon's new book, The Wandering Who?

    Gilad Atzmon, OpEdNews contributing writer, has just published a study of Jewish identity politics. The Wandering Who? chronicles his journey away from his Jewish identity, and by extension away from all exclusive identities, into an inclusive humanness. It's a painful journey, a brutally honest self exploration of these internalized tribal impulses. He emerges from the struggle deracinated but emancipated, freed of a destructive load of cultural baggage.

    As the poet Allen Ginsberg said, "If you want to be a prophet, you have to tell your secrets." By being brave enough to expose himself in writing, Atzmon has become a prophet, and his prophecy, as I see it, is a completion of the Mosaic journey, but this time as a mass exodus from Jewishness and all other ethnic bondings that split humanity. After 40 centuries of wandering in the desert of chosenness and separation, Jews and Gentiles alike can finally enter the full humanness of one world family, a secular promised land free of divisive group identities.

    Jews have been at the forefront of every progressive movement for the past 160 years, and now it's Atzmon's turn. The atrocities of nationalism, both Jewish and non-Jewish, have forced him to the forefront of a movement to abolish all these tribal groupings, starting with his own.

    The Wandering Who? is a threat not only to Zionism, but to all religious, ethnic, national, and even gender identities to which people cling. It's a book of radical liberation and as such dangerous to every orthodoxy and structure of power that separates us into antagonistic camps. Atzmon is a true subversive. Much needed.


    Now the survival of our species demands that also Christians, Muslims, Americans, Britons, etc. break out of their group mentalities. We can't suddenly erase these categories, but we can relegate them to the background where they no longer determine our identity. Our sense of self can then be based on qualities that unite humanity rather than divide it.


    Thanks for showing the way, Gilad.


    You can now pre-order Gilad Atzmon's New Book on  or


    Soraya Boyd: courageous, fearless and creative

    ''Embarked upon an earnest journey of self enquiry.  Gilad's need to strike into the very heart of ethics lead him to venture forth in the manner of an artist: courageously,  fearlessly, and creatively. With all the lucid acuity of a forensic but compassionate mind, Gilad scrutinises the landscape of the sum total of his life's experience dissecting his knowledge and understanding with great precision. He does not mistake the map for the land. Gilad's achingly rigorous examination of Jewish identity and the perennial conflictual narrative of its religio-body-politic is searingly honest. There is no attempt to get away from anything however uncomfortable, rather to embrace it openly. A remarkable and thought-provoking work replete with profound insights, which will no doubt cause a great deal of discomfort among particular quarters and rightly so. Ought to be mandatory reading." Soraya Boyd, CEO, Facilitate Global

    You can now order Gilad Atzmon's New Book on  or



    Garrison Fewell on The Wandering Who

    Gilad Atzmon's book, "The Wandering Who?" is a must-read for anyone who has wondered if peace in the Middle East will ever be more than a remote possibility. If, like most people, you have felt frustrated that there appears to be no solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, or if you have perhaps considered that what we call the "Middle East Peace Process" is effectively little more than a political publicity campaign to sustain support for Israel at the expense of the Palestinians, then you need to read this book.

    There are many who find Atzmon's writings to be extremely controversial. Well, his ideas are supposed to be controversial.  While a serious war is being waged against indigenous Palestinians in the name of Zionism, supported by the United Sates and nations all across Europe, it would be counter productive to avoid controversy. In his attempt to come to terms with and illuminate the deeper underlying causes of this conflict, Atzmon has written a very articulate and insightful book on the nature of Jewish Nationalism, Jewish Identity Politics and what it means to be Jewish. However, it's not necessary to be Jewish to find this book most interesting. Atzmon's writing is self-reflective, intellectual, humorous and brash, while being filled with historical and multi-cultural references - just like the music that Gilad, the talented and successful jazz saxophonist, composes and performs.

    I lived in Israel and worked on a Kibbutz at the foothills of the Golan Heights in1972. Since that time, I have been intrigued by the strongly opposing viewpoints surrounding the Isreali - Palestinian war. In his book, "The Wandering Who?", Atzmon encourages the reader to be courageous enough to ask difficult questions while simultaneously reflecting on our own narrow viewpoints. He writes, " If we want to fight Jerusalem, we may have to first confront Jerusalem within. We may have to stand in front of the mirror, look around us, and look for empathy within oursleves.. in case there is any left."  

    Gilad Atzmon succeeds in asking difficult and challenging questions, and when you finish reading this book, you may likely as well see a different face in the mirror.

    Garrison Fewell
    Professor, Berklee College of Music, Boston, Mass.

    The wandering who- Gilad Atzmon

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