Jewish Book Festival: David Baddiel and Sayed Kashua Jews Don’t Count and Track Changes
A lens into the complex identities of Jewish and Israeli society, comedian David Baddiel joins Arab-Israeli award-winning writer and satirist Sayed Kashua to explore both the humor and deep seriousness of minority identities.
Track Changes blurs fact and fiction in this compelling story of a nameless memoirist who returns from Illinois to visit his estranged and dying father in Israel, leaving his wife and three children behind. His welcome is lukewarm at best. Sitting by his father’s hospital bed, the memoirist begins to remember long-buried traumas, the root causes of his fallout with his family, the catalyst for his marriage and its recent dissolution, and his strained relationships with his children—all of which is strangely linked to a short story he published years ago about a young girl named Palestine. As he plunges deeper into his memory and recounts the history of his land and his love, the lines between truth and lies, fact and fiction become increasingly blurred.
In Jews Don’t Count, Baddiel deploys his unique combination of close reasoning, polemic, personal experience and jokes to argue that those who think of themselves as on the right side of history have often ignored the history of anti-Semitism. He outlines why and how, in a time of intensely heightened awareness of minorities, Jews don’t count as a real minority: and why they should.