Former IDF soldier Gilad Atzmon is an Israeli-born British jazz saxophonist, writer, and devoted political artist. At this appearance at Brave New Books in Austin, Texas, Gilad plays some music with local jazz guitarist Trevor LaBonte and discusses Jewish identity politics, Israel, Zionism, the oppressiveness of political correctness, and the growing shift of consciousness.
San Antonio Express News: Jazz Musicians Stir Uproar
Audio & Video by Floyd Anderson
Gilad Atzmon is the author of 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.
"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
"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
"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'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."
"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"