Activist in action—Gil Troy talks to Community

by | Jan 10, 2014 | What’s Happening

Wednesday, Jan. 29, 7 pm

Regular audience members of the Community Relations Council’s Israel Today Forum say they often get the “news before the ‘news’” by listening to the speaker series’ featured guests.

Whether that’s learning about Israel’s underpublicized medical and social assistance during global natural disasters (Will Recant, March, 2012), or understanding complicated tribal and ancestral relationships in Syria (David Makovsky, April, 2013), the community is afforded the opportunity to hear experts and get firsthand information that helps broaden the scope of understanding about Israel.

With Gil Troy, attendees of the free event at the Sandler Family Campus again will have the advantage of gaining deeper insight into issues relevant to Israel; Troy’s topic is Zionism—the whys and hows of supporting Israel as a Jewish homeland.

Troy doesn’t just speak about Zionism—he demonstratively defines it. Frequently cited as one of the world’s most prominent activists fighting against the delegitimization of Israel, Troy currently is engaged in a grassroots effort that is reinforcing that designation.

Through a social media campaign, his regular, weekly column in The Jerusalem Post, and additional media coverage and appearances, on Dec. 23, Troy initiated a movement he dubbed, “Troycott.” A play on the word, boycott, Troy is using Troycott to bring attention to and protest the decision—based on a small percentage of voting members—of the American Studies Association to boycott Israeli academic institutions.

On his Troycott Facebook page, Troy writes, “Let’s get 828 ‘likes’ to repudiate the ASA Israel boycott voted in by only 827 of its 5,000 members— then learn about Zionism as a counter ‘Troycott.’”

The page surpassed the goal of 828 within a few days of the original post; the numbers of “Likes” continues to increase, as does the attention to the campaign. In keeping with Troy’s dedication to Zionist education, he invites those who like the page to view links he provides to texts and study questions that he hopes will facilitate thoughtful and substantive conversations about Zionism.

In addition to his efforts with Troycott, and his upcoming discussion about Zionism in Tidewater, Troy teaches history at McGill University and is a Research Fellow in the Shalom Hartman Institute’s Engaging Israel Program. He is the author of eight books, including the bestselling Why I Am a Zionist: Israel, Jewish Identity, and the Challenges of Today, and the new, highly acclaimed, Moynihan’s Moment: America’s Fight Against Zionism as Racism, as well as books about Ronald Reagan and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The Israel Today Forum is free and open to the community, with RSVP requested; email or call 757.965.6107. For more information, visit

by Laine Mednick Rutherford