What Does a Jew Want?: On Binationalism and Other Specters

Udi Aloni (Author) Slavoj Zizek (With)
& 2 more


In the hopes of promoting justice, peace, and solidarity for and with the Palestinian people, Udi Aloni joins with Slavoj Zizek, Alain Badiou, and Judith Butler to confront the core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Their bold question: Will a new generation of Israelis and Palestinians dare to walk together toward a joint Israel-Palestine? Through a collage of meditation, interview, diary, and essay, Aloni and his interlocutors present a personal, intellectual, and altogether provocative account rich with the insights of philosophy and critical theory. They ultimately foresee the emergence of a binational Israeli-Palestinian state, incorporating the work of Walter Benjamin, Edward Said, and Jewish theology to recast the conflict in secular theological terms.

Product Details

Columbia University Press
Publish Date
September 27, 2011
6.0 X 0.6 X 9.0 inches | 1.05 pounds

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About the Author

Udi Aloni is an Israeli/American writer and filmmaker whose work explores the discourse between art, theory, and action. His art projects have been presented in leading museums and galleries, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and his films Kashmir: Journey to Freedom (2009), Forgiveness (2006), and Local Angel (2003) have been screened at the Berlin International Film Festival, among other prominent venues. This book was published shortly after the murder of his dear friend, Juliano Mer Khamis, director of The Freedom Theater in Jenin Refugee Camp, where Aloni helped him run the Cinema Department.


A provocative and beautiful portfolio of reflections on Israel-Palestine, written by an Israeli artist/intellectual of the first order.--Juilia Reinhard Lupton, University of California, Irvine
Udi Aloni has written a remarkable series of love letters to what his country could be, challenging his fellow Jews to escape from all of our ghettos, whether physical or psychological. Aloni's political courage is contagious and reading him is a libratory experience.--Naomi Klein, social activist and author of The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
Aloni's secular theology is definitely one of the most fascinating innovations of our time. So, if you want to dwell in your blessed secular ignorance, then do not read this book--at your own risk!--Slavoj Žižek
Udi Aloni provides us with a measure of the distance between our capacity for understanding and the terrors we choose instead. His art is trembling the underground, indeed. Boundless admiration.--Tony Kushner
This is an extremely inspiring and politically important volume. It will interest students and scholars in the fields of literary studies, religious studies, philosophy, political theory, and cultural studies, as well as the general educated public. The psychoanalytically informed and politically engaged readings of myths and stories from the Bible are especially convincing and truly innovative.--Katrin Pahl, Johns Hopkins University