Gil Troy, Zionism in Israel Today

by | Jan 24, 2014 | What’s Happening

Wednesday, Jan. 29, 7 pm

The Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater had astute foresight in inviting Gil Troy to be the second speaker in this year’s Israel Today Forum. While the organization had no way of knowing that Troy would create a grass-roots, social media-driven “Troycott” (in response to a boycott of Israeli educators by their American educator peers) just before speaking in Virginia Beach, the organization was aware that the Zionist fight to combat delegitimization of Israel is ongoing-and Troy is one of that battle’s most prominent warriors.

“The CRC is constantly striving to fulfill its mission to motivate, educate, and advocate around issues important to the Jewish people, namely Israel,” says Megan Zuckerman, CRC chair. “Bringing Gil Troy to our community at a time when the American Studies Association has declared a boycott on Israel’s universities and academic institutions is timely and fitting.

“Professor Troy will educate us on how to be better Zionist advocates, thus motivating those around us, Jews and non-Jews alike. The anti-Israel attacks have not grown weaker over the last seven decades. For many of us, our connection to Israel is one that comes from deep within our souls and hearts. Despite personal convictions, it is our duty as Jews to continue to be educated on the importance of Israel in order for us to be better advocates,” Zuckerman says.

While educational, Troy’s discussion won’t be stiff or academic.

“This is not just some academic theorizing, this is about realizing our power, as citizens lucky to be living in a democracy, to improve the world, not just by defending Israel, but by celebrating Israel—and the shared values linking America and Israel.”

Troy will speak about his most recently published book, Moynihan’s Moment: America’s Fight Against Zionism as Racism, and the ongoing effort to have Israel treated fairly in the world’s eyes.

“Daniel Patrick Moynihan was a genuine American hero, an adviser to both Democrats and Republicans, on both domestic and foreign issues,” Troy says.

“In 1975, with no strong ties to Israel from before, he saw the attack on Israel at the UN as an assault on democracy and decency. Refusing to stand by, he stood up—he also warned that this attack on Zionism would not go away. Nearly 40 years later, his warnings have proved true.”

While a large part of his discussion will center on Moynihan’s Moment, Troy will also talk about today’s events.

“Current events are always on the agenda when we talk about Zionism and Israel,” he says.

“Israel is in a strategic part of the world, and many important issues play out there. Having said that, I will be emphasizing, the real news—a story of Israel and Zionism that is not just about headlines, not just about problems, but is also about inspiration and dreaming and the extraordinary story of a people surviving, reviving and thriving.

“The poetry of daily life in Israel is to me, the real headline, and the everyday miracles we see in the Jewish state are truly compelling current events.”

All Israel Today events are free and open to the community. For more information on Israel Today, upcoming events and other CRC initiatives, visit RSVP to Liz Henderson at or 965-6107.

by Laine Mednick Rutherford