For Noa Tishby, it has become a mission to educate and engage with the rampant antisemitism and anti-Zionist corners of Twitter and other social media platforms.
On Wednesday, October 13, Tishby shared her expertise with Tidewater’s Jewish community as the first speaker in the 11th annual Israel Today series presented by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Jewish Community Relations Council, Simon Family JCC, Embassy of Israel & Community Partners, and the Simon Family JCC’s Lee and Bernard Jaffe Family Book Festival.
In her new book, Israel, A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth, as well as in her talk, Tishby emphasizes that most people who take an anti-Israel stance do not understand the historical context in which the state was founded. And, more importantly, much of the anti-Israel “facts” floating around online are simply antisemitic troupes brought into the digital space, and supported by a small contingent of young Hollywood with great reach, and greater misunderstanding of the truth.
Tishby has used her own star power to become a firebrand on Twitter, prompting years of hard work and research that culminated in her new book.
Tishby’s frank style of writing and interacting with the moderator Laura Gross, UJFT’s president, makes it clear how she has garnered a space for herself as the unofficial spokesperson for Israel online. She says she continues to put the work into stopping dangerous myths, because “Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East, so putting aside everything else, we must make clear what lies are being told.”
When will Tisbhy no longer need to defend Israel? That depends on when the festering of hate ends on the internet, she says.
To watch the recording of Noa Tisbhy’s Israel Today event, or to learn more about upcoming events, visit JewishVA.org/IsraelToday.
Elka Mednick is assistant director, Jewish Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. She may be reached at EMednick@ujft.org.