Gil Troy: Struggling With Jewish Power

OP-EDS & REVIEWS

By Gil Troy, Shalom Hartman Institute, 4-25-12

Gil Troy, a Fellow of the Engaging Israel Project at Shalom Hartman Institute, talks about how, in the context of the current US presidential election, Jews in the US and in Israel must come to grips with power.

Audio: Why I am a Zionist – Interview with Prof. Gil Troy

Audio: Why I am a Zionist – Interview with Prof. Gil Troy

3/1/2011 9:58:00 AM

A7 Radio’s “Israel Hasbara Hour” with Josh Hasten

Listen Now! Download Mp3

Why I am a Zionist

Why I am a Zionist

www.giltroy.com

On today’s Israel Hasbara Hour, Josh interviews Professor Gil Troy, author of the book Why I am a Zionist, world-renowned history professor at McGill University in Montreal, author, and columnist.

Josh Hasten is the President of the Bar-Am Public Relations firm based in Jerusalem and the CAMERA organization’s 2009 Letter Writer of the Year. He is the founder of LettersForIsrael.com, a service which gives pro-Israel advocates the opportunity to improve their chances of getting their ideas published in the media. Josh hosts the Israel Hasbara Hour podcast live every Monday at 4:00 pm on Israel National Radio.

Quoted: Jihad on campus: inside and outside of classrooms, Gil Troy says

By Joanne Hill, Jewish Tribune, 3-1-11

There are “two different jihads” taking place on campus today, said Prof. Gil Troy: “the campus jihad,” which takes place outside of classroom hours, and “the academic jihad,” which takes place inside the classroom. To counter both, it is necessary to “get out of defensive mode” and insist on a return to traditional academic values.

“How do Zionists get a passing grade on campus? By bringing academia back to academic values. And if we do it right, we won’t just improve the situation for Jews and Zionists on campus, we’ll remind professors, administrators, students and parents about who we are and what our mission is…. Because there’s a broader issue on campus today: a lack of concern with quality of teaching (and) a lack of concern with the quality of the students’ interactions and feelings.

“There’s a paradox today: this is a Golden Age for Jews on campus…but we have to notice that it’s also a Golden Age for Israel-bashers on campus.”

Troy gave several suggestions for ways to create positive change.

“First, we have to rescue academia from all these corrupt academics…. When we talk about the content of the pro-Palestinian professor, we lose…. We’ll always lose the battle over academic freedom. But if we talk about educational malpractice, if we talk about hijacking the podium to advance your own personal political position, whether it be for the right or the left, whether it be pro-Palestinian or pro-Israeli, if we link it to a broader conversation about how to improve teaching quality…then we have a chance at succeeding and a chance at improving the university.”

Salim Mansur said the West cannot solve the problems of the Arab/Muslim world but must instead focus on fixing its own “desperate” situation. He warned that the separation of religion and politics in the West might be lost because too many intellectuals are “ready to surrender it to sharia (Islamic law).”

People of the West must remember their own “bloody” history as they view the “convulsion process” currently taking place in many Muslim countries and not indulge in polemics. The focus should, instead, be on principles that are exemplified by the affirmation of individual rights such as freedom of speech and the rejection of multiculturalism.

“We are a culture that affirms individual rights and the ultimate minority in the world is the individual. The minority of the world is not a Jew, it’s not a Hindu, it’s not a Confucian, it’s an individual. (When) we protect the rights of the individual, we protect the Jew, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, everyone, because we protect that person as an individual.”

“What are we teaching our students: to respect sharia? I am a Muslim and I have no respect for sharia…. Shariah is a legal construction of the 8th, 9th, 10th century. What has it got to do with Islam? It’s got to do with the thinking of 8th, 9th, 10th century men that puts the privilege of men over women, Muslim over non-Muslim, free person over slave. That’s 8th century thinking and it’s being upheld in the 21st century not simply by Iran…. Where are all the Jewish students and where is everybody else standing up? That’s the principle we need to fight for.”

Dr. Catherine Chatterley’s contribution to the panel was an academic look at the evolution of antisemitism and anti-Zionism.

“Today Israel is confronting a coordinated global strategy to weaken its connection to the West, including the Jewish diaspora. If speaking out in defence of Israel is made the equivalent of defending apartheid, then the hope is that Israel will eventually collapse in isolation or be coerced into negotiations that make it vulnerable to dismantlement or destruction. This is the larger context in which IAW must be understood if we are to see it clearly for the political program that it is.”

Press: Pastors take on modern Israel study program

Jewish Tribune, 3-2-11

The Department of Modern Israel Studies at Canada Christian College initiated a new certificate program for senior pastors who are actively engaged in leading congregations in the Greater Toronto Area.

The study program, which was held in Israel, proved to be intensive as it concentrated on the geopolitical environment, the sociology of Israeli society, human rights in the state of Israel, the law, the economy and the religious life and political process in the modern state.

The program was led by the dean of the Modern Israel Studies department, Dr. Frank Dimant (also CEO of B’nai Brith Canada), and included outstanding guest lecturers: Prof. Gil Troy (Hebrew University); Prof. Ofer Gat (Ariel University); Prof. Talia Einhorn (Ariel); Prof. Alexander Bligh (Ariel); Dr. Gabriel Barkai (Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Bar Ilan University); Alan Baker director, Institute for Contemporary affairs, Jerusalem Center for Public affairs; Prof. Shlomo Maital (Technion); Dr. Robert Rozett (Hebrew University) and Prof.Gidi Shimoni (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), as well as Dr. Avi Dinstein (Hebrew University of Jerusalem). Canada Christian College President Dr. Charles McVety, a major leader in the Canadian Evangelical movement, accompanied the group.

Follow-up lectures will take place in Canada and church groups will be featuring programs relating to understanding modern Israel and its position in the world. Both the Institute for international affairs of B’nai Brith Canada and the B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem were instrumental in helping to coordinate this study course.

Press: United Church to reassess Mideast policies

By Jenny Hazan, Canadian Jewish News, March 1, 2011

JERUSALEM — Senior leaders of the United Church of Canada spent two weeks touring Israel and the Palestinian territories late last month to reassess the church’s official stance on the region and update its policy positions.

Congress CEO Bernie Farber (kneeling front) poses with members the United Church of Canada while in Israel last month. From left are church members Loraine Shepherd, Jordan Cantwell Kunda; UCC’s Immediate Past Moderator David Guiliano; UCC General Secretary Nora Sanders; Tom Davies, UCC Moderator Mardi Tindal, Chris Fergusson, Barbara Jean White and Bruce Gregerson.

The objective of the Feb. 17 to 28 mission, participant Bruce Gregersen said, was “to listen and try to understand the reality of the situation with a central concern about what we might offer as a Canadian church to contribute toward reconciliation.

“A key part of this exploration will include the effectiveness of our past policies and actions and exploration of future policies as a contribution toward ending the occupation of Palestinian territories begun in 1967,” according to Rev. Gregersen, lead staff of the church’s theology and inter-church interfaith committee and former interfaith officer specializing in Jewish and Muslim relations.

The church’s current policy on “Israel-Palestine,” instituted at the its 40th General Council meeting in Kelowna, B.C., in August 2009, weighs heavily on the pro-Palestinian side.

Policy items include: “[Support for] the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza…; the withdrawal of Israeli military forces to pre-1967 borders and ending all forms of violence by the Israeli government upon the Palestinian people…; recognition that east Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip constitute an integral part of the territory occupied in 1967 and Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem must be dismantled…; and an end to the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory.”

According to mission leader Rev. David Giuliano, a past church moderator, the United Church of Canada’s alignment with the Palestinian cause is attributable, at least in part, to the fact that it’s natural for the church to partner with Christians abroad.

“Most of the people we’ve partnered with on projects have been Palestinian, by virtue of their Christianity,” said Rev. Giuliano, who is from Windsor, Ont. “A lot of people feel we’re critical of Israel, and sometimes we’re accused of not visiting the people we should.”

The mission’s aim was to bring balance to the church’s relations in the region, and the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) planned three days of the group’s 12-day itinerary in Israel.

“Until now, [church members] have heard literally one story,” said Bernie Farber, Congress CEO, who went on the mission. “Their trips were planned by Palestinian Christians. We wanted them to see Israel both through Israeli eyes and through Canadian Jewish eyes.”

Congress took the mission on tours of the Supreme Court, the Knesset, the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum, Jerusalem’s Old City and Maale Adumim in the West Bank. It also arranged briefings with officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and meetings with Likud MK Yudi Edelstein, Palestinian Jerusalem Post journalist Khaled Abu Toameh, McGill University history professor Gil Troy, the director of the American Jewish Committee’s department for interreligious affairs, David Rosen, Ha’aretz editor Aluf Benn and former senior Arab Affairs adviser to the mayor of Jerusalem, Avi Melamed.

“We challenged their notions and gave them another way to look at the [Israeli-Palestinian] narrative,” Farber said. “And in the end, I think we succeeded in getting them to understand that not one narrative necessarily rules. This is not a country of black and white. It’s full of grey, and I think they got that. We’re thankful to have had the opportunity to show them a side that I believe they would not have been able to see if we didn’t provide it.”

Farber said the church’s policies are reflective of the information its members have received. “I believe that these are honest folks who want to do the right thing, but really require information. This is exactly the kind of work we [at the CJC] should be doing… making a difference where it matters most.”

The CJC’s efforts seemed to have had an impact. “The opportunity to hear more specifically from the Israeli perspective has been a good one,” Rev. Giuliano said. “The CJC has done a tremendous job getting us access to the [right] people and to the perspective that Israelis want us to hear. At times I feel they think we didn’t get that, and so we are grateful to them for assisting with that.”

This new information stands to play a role in the adjustment of the church’s policies, the assignment that was given the mission at the General Council meeting last August.

“We were asked to prepare a new policy paper on the [church’s] relationship with this area and how we might shift the direction of that,” Rev. Giuliano said.

He pointed to a few different areas where the mission may recommend policy adjustments.

The first is settlements: “We are quite concerned about issues related to the occupation and settlements, and what a barrier that is to peace in the region, but after visiting Maale Adumim, we see what a challenge [the dismantling of settlements] would present for the return to pre-’67 borders.”

The visit to the Knesset also proved revealing, he said. “We met someone from the Palestinian government and someone from the Knesset, and it’s just amazing to us how radically the narratives differ. It’s hard to believe they’re talking about the same place and events.”

Seeing the Supreme Court brought another revision in their thinking, Farber said. “I think seeing how the Israeli justice system works is quite impressive to people. Any citizen of Israel can petition the Supreme Court, and I think that’s a real eye-opener.”

After seeing Yad Vashem, Rev. Giuliano said he realized that “it is profoundly important for Israel to have security and a sense of safety. That’s a dominant theme we have experienced with our Israeli hosts and friends.”

Established in 1925 through the union of Congregational, Methodist  and Presbyterian churches, the United Church is the largest Protestant congregation in Canada, claiming almost 600,000 official members among three million who identified themselves on the 2001 Canadian census as affiliated with the church.

The church is involved in social justice projects throughout the world, from supporting international peace movements to combating poverty and hunger. Their support of the Palestinians is one such project.

“We have an interest in what little we can do to support the peace process and human rights issues that are arising in Israel and Palestine,” Rev. Giuliano said. “We feel compelled to be a part of it. Our faith is lived in real time in the real world, and this is a part of that.”

Farber said he admires the church’s global involvement.

“They believe they have a responsibility to their fellow Christians, to understand what’s going on here and help where they can. These are good things, as long as they approach with a sense of honesty, morality and justice,” he said. “I think they have done that. I believe they are trying to understand the issues from both sides and make an honest attempt to see what goes on here.

“They have a moral and ethical responsibility to report back to their church what they see, and they are going to be hard-pressed to just tell one story now.”

Farber added that CJC played an instrumental role in convincing the church to vote down the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) bill against Israel at the General Council meeting in 2009.

Rev. Giuliano noted, however, that the church’s decision on a boycott of Israel may not be final. “We have not arrived at any final conclusions about that. We need to give it some thought,” he said. “There are groups, both here and in Canada, that are pushing the United Church to support that work.”

The church’s task force’s recommendation on this and other issues of church policy pertaining to Israel and the Palestinians will appear in a report to be released in September, ahead of the United Church’s 41st General Council meeting in August 2012, in Ottawa. The report will be available online at the church’s website.

Until then, the church hasn’t drawn any final conclusions. “We have a number of [Palestinian] partners in this part of the world who we’ve been supporting and working with for a long time. It’s not like we will suddenly stop doing that,” Rev. Giuliano said. “At this point, we’re in the information-gathering stage, so I can’t say a lot about where this might lead us. In general, we’re hoping for the best for this region. We believe there can’t be peace for anyone until there’s peace for everyone.”

Farber said he would like to get involved in more such trips to Israel in the future, perhaps with Canadian labour leaders, who he said have also demonstrated strongly biased pro-Palestinian beliefs. “This trip [with the United Church] may have opened up a whole new door for us,” he said.

Advocates for Civil Liberties Hold First Forum: Jews Fight Back

by Fern Sidman, INN NY Correspondent, Israel National News, 2-20-11

[Photo : from left,Dr. Gil Troy, professor of history at McGill University, 3rd from left, Dr. Phyllis Chesler, op-ed contributor for Israel National News, 4th from left, Dr. Catherine Chatterley, founder director of the Canadian Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism.]

Advocates For Civil Liberties (ACL), a new organization of attorneys, professionals and concerned citizens dedicated to spotlighting anti-Israel propaganda on university campuses across North America, held its first event last week.

The day-long symposium that drew over 400 people, entitled “When Middle East Politics Invade Campus,” was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Toronto.

Conference coordinator Meryle Kates explained that the ACL has been established to advocate for civil liberties protection in Canada, particularly in university settings:

“The ACL seeks to collaborate with academic officials to devise appropriate, enforceable ground rules for campus political activities. Increasingly, demonstrations such as, but not limited to, the upcoming “Israeli Apartheid Week” on campus, create a hostile atmosphere, and one that stifles the genuine exchange of views on sensitive Middle East issues.”

Israeli “Apartheid” Week

“The only way to disprove a lie is to establish the facts,” declared Judge Hadassa Ben Itto as she delivered the opening remarks of the conference via video feed from Jerusalem. Judge Itto is best known for her scholarly monograph entitled “The Lie That Wouldn’t Die, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” (2005), on the text that has been used for a century to demonize Jews and delegitimize Israel.

“In 1964, the Protocols were finally declared ‘the hoax of the century, yet both the Jewish people and Israel are now targets of haters who still insist that there is a Jewish conspiracy to dominate the world”, she observed.

“The organizers of Israeli Apartheid Week prove that they know nothing about Israel. Professors at some universities are guilty of presenting distorted information about Israel along with one-sided bias and slanderous rhetoric. Boycotts of academics and the assault on the free marketplace of ideas are replicas of the public square where public opinion is dictating policy today.”

Adding that she personally witnessed “real apartheid” in South Africa years ago, she condemned the concept of an Israeli Apartheid Week as “outrageous” and called for responsible educators to set the record straight.

Campus Harrassment

Students at York University in Toronto are no strangers to the acrimony that is engendered during Israeli Apartheid Week as their campus has previously morphed into a hotbed of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hatred during past events of this kind. Five appeared at the event.

Sara Akrami, an Iranian second year political science student at York said, “Clubs are established at York with the sole purpose of creating discord and promoting anti-Israel violence and the administration takes no action against them.” Ms. Akrami noted that the November 2010 appearance of British parliamentarian George Galloway was opposed by a majority of the students at York. Galloway is a highly polemical figure who achieved notoriety as a rabid hater of the Jewish state.

Josee Chiasson, a fourth year student at York completing an honors BA in psychology, has assumed the role of president of Christians United for Israel (CUFI).

“I knew nothing of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during my first year at college. It was only when I visited Israel and witnessed the truth firsthand, did I begin to understand that the insidious rhetoric of the organizers of Israeli Apartheid Week simply did not hold true.”

Ms. Chiasson said, “Hitler promised world peace if only the Jews were eradicated and so did Galloway. He said that if Israel makes peace with the Palestinians then there would be world peace and we know that that is a complete falsehood.” She exhorted students and faculty alike to, “challenge the radical beliefs that are rampant on our campuses” as she spoke of “students who have been targeted for abuse and threats” by vehemently anti-Israel organizations on campus.

Michael Payton, a cognitive science major at York, sociology major Afroza Mohammed and Noah Kochman told of students being subjected to verbal invective and physical assaults by members of the Muslim Student Association and other anti-Israel groups. Mr. Kochman, a member of the Canadian Association of Jewish Students, spoke of the violent outbursts of Palestinian student groups that led to the cancellation of an address scheduled to be delivered by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Concordia University in Montreal as far back as 2002. “Pro-Israel student demonstrators were trapped in their own space, unable to move, because of the overt aggression of the demonstrators who resorted to violence.”

Academic Boycotts

Andrew Roberts, noted British author, historian, lecturer and founding member of the Friends of Israel Initiative,  spoke of the aims of that relatively new organization.

Established in August of 2010 to challenge the British boycott of Israeli academia, Mr. Roberts said that among the goals of the Friends of Israel Initiative were to “counter the growing efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel and its right to live in peace within safe and defensible borders. The Initiative arises out of a sense of deep concern about the unprecedented campaign of delegitimization against Israel waged by enemies of the Jewish state, and perversely, supported by numerous international institutions.” Among the founding members of the Friends of Israeli Initiative is John Bolton, former US ambassador to the United Nations.

Jihad on Campus

Professor Richard Cravatts of Boston University and author of a forthcoming book entitled, “Genocidal Liberalism: The University’s Jihad Against Israel”, which documents the web of Islamist influence on the university campus, spoke of “brand hijacking” in terms of Israel’s global image. “Those who would re-write the history of Israel and the narrative of the Palestinians in the Middle East have hijacked Israel’s branding”, he said, adding that we live in a “world turned upside down in its relationship to the interpretation of the reality in the Middle East.”

“We ignore the fact that Arabs in the territories would receive the death penalty for selling an apartment to a Jew, but we never raise our voices when Israel is roundly condemned for building 1300 apartments in East Jerusalem; a right that any other nation takes for granted.”

Warning of the existential threat that Israel faces from the burgeoning Muslim Brotherhood, Eliot Chadoff, a political and military analyst and lecturer on the history of the Middle East said, “There is an all out assault on Israel taking place” and reminded his audience of the parallel between the recent revolution in Egypt and the Iranian revolution that took place in 1979. “It was students, intellectuals and shopkeepers that led the revolution against the Shah of Iran,” he said, but the teachings of the Muslim Brotherhood were predicated upon a Nazi-like ideology.

“The campuses have become increasingly and aggressively anti-Israel and pro-Islam”, declared Dr. Phyllis Chesler, prolific author, emerita professor of psychology and women’s studies at CUNY and a foremost expert on gender and religious apartheid in the Muslim world.

“Pro-Israel students are verbally humiliated and physically attacked. Professors in Middle East Studies teach students only one point of view — the pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel point of view”, she said, adding that “this has been the case at York University, Concordia University and the University of California at San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Berkeley and Irvine.”

On apartheid in the Middle East, Dr. Chesler said, “Israel is not an apartheid nation. Islam is the world’s largest practitioner of both religious and gender apartheid. Muslims have persecuted, murdered, and forcibly converted the entire Middle East, India, parts of Africa, Asia and now Europe.”

Dr. Chesler outlined her work on the phenomenon of “honor killings” of Muslim women throughout the world that was published in 2009 and 2010 in the Middle East Quarterly. “Islamic gender apartheid is a human rights violation and cannot be justified in the name of cultural relativism, tolerance, anti-racism, diversity or political correctness” .

“We are facing two jihads”, said Dr. Gil Troy, professor of history at McGill University in Montreal and author of the book, “Why I am A Zionist.”

“As we’ve discussed today, there is the jihad on campus and a jihad in the classroom, in our textbooks and emanating from our professors,” he said. Exhorting students and parents to become more involved in the sphere of academia, Professor Troy said, “We are living in a golden age for Jews on campus, but we must raise the standards of teaching and rescue academia from corrupt academics and fight educational malpractice.”

Attacking multiculturalism, Salim Mansur, professor of political science at the University of Western Ontario said, “The right of Israel to remain a safe and secure state must be defended against the ideology of multiculturalists”, adding that “multiculturalism is a big, odious, disgusting lie. China, Japan and the Arab nations are not practicing multiculturalism so why are we?”

Dr. Catherine Chatterley of the Canadian Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism spoke of the historical basis of Israeli Apartheid Week saying, “The ideology behind Israeli Apartheid Week is not a new one. The former Soviet Union was a leading proponent of this anti-Zionist philosophy. This was the ideology that declared that Zionism is tantamount to imperialism, racism, discrimination and organically linked to the repression of the human being.”

“The concept is part of a global, political strategy to dismantle the Jewish state. The week began as a Canadian invention and now takes place in over 55 cities worldwide. She added that the organizers of Israeli Apartheid Week are making concerted efforts to build alliances with the disenfranchised in general, thus furthering their anti-Zionist distortions.

Impetus for founding ACL came from Canadian professionals, including Lorne Saltman, an attorney with the firm Cassels Brock & Blackwell, LLP, Stephen Posen of Minden Gross, LLP, and Robert Grant of FusionPro UK.  Jonathan Kay, a managing editor at Canada’s National Post newspaper and a columnist on the newspaper’s op-ed page, acted as forum moderator.

(IsraelNationalNews.com)

Gil Troy Quoted in “Suspected Israeli Neo-Nazi Arrested After Extradition”

Source: AOL, 1-4-11

A non-Jewish Israeli immigrant from Russia suspected of leading a neo-Nazi youth gang was arrested here after he was extradited from Kyrgystan to Israel.

Israeli officials say Dmitri Bogotich, 24, headed a gang that assaulted the homeless, foreign workers, drug addicts and religious Jews. Eight members of the gang, between the ages of 17 and 20, were sent to prison for sentences ranging from one year to seven years for the assaults.

The gang filmed both their assaults and themselves giving a Nazi salute, posting the clips on YouTube and a neo-Nazi website called Format 18. In one incident, members of the group attacked a drug addict in Tel Aviv, forced him to get on his knees and beg for forgiveness. In another incident, they broke a beer bottle over the head of a foreign worker.

Dmitri Bogotich is a violent gang leader with neo-Nazi ideologies.

Oded Balilty, AP
Israeli Dmitri Bogotich, 24, pauses during a court session Tuesday in the town of Ramleh after he entered Israel following deportation from Kyrgyzstan. Israeli police say he is a violent gang leader with neo-Nazi sympathies.

Bogotich fled to Russia in 2007, after police first questioned him in connection to the case. A few weeks ago, officials of Interpol arrested him after he arrived at the airport near the capital of Kyrgystan. Israeli police detectives accompanied him on his flight back to Israel.

An Israeli police spokesman said he was taken directly to police headquarters, handcuffed and with shackles on his legs. The spokesman said he cooperated with investigators and confessed to some of the allegations against him. He admitted to being a member of the gang but not its leader.

“He’s a young guy who’s freaked out about his arrest,” said Yashar Yaakobi, his lawyer from the public defender’s office. “He claims he was young and bored and got caught up with the wrong people.”

Yaakobi also said that Bogotich apologized to investigators and said that he did not have any genuine admiration for Hitler and that he got involved because he was bored.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AOL News that Bogotich is lying.

“He can say whatever he wants, but we know who he is and exactly what he did,” he said. “We invested a lot of resources since he fled the country, and we succeeded in getting him back.”

Police officials said the arrest showed that the Israeli police can function effectively.

“The Israeli police will reach anywhere in the world in order to nab the criminals,” Central District police commander Bentzi Sau said. “The citizens have someone they can count on, and the criminals have something to fear.”

The pictures of Bogotich and the other members of the group giving the Nazi salute were broadcast on Israeli television when the members of the gang were first arrested. They raised questions about how a neo-Nazi group could flourish in Israel. Rosenfeld told AOL News that there is no neo-Nazi movement in Israel.

“There are only individuals, and as soon as we find out about them, we do whatever we need to stop them,” he said.

Some Israeli analysts say they fear that the news of Bogotich’s arrest could encourage negative sentiments against Russian immigrants here. More than 1 million Russian-speaking immigrants moved to Israel in the 1990s. According to Israeli law, anyone with one Jewish grandparent is eligible for Israeli citizenship.

“There is a notion that the Russians are pagans who came here to exploit the goodness of the state,” Gil Troy, a fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute, told AOL News. “This arrest could feed into those feelings.”

Gil Troy Quoted in “Maple Leaf Madness – Chabad Confronts Anti-Israel Activism on Canada’s College Campuses”

Lubavitch.com, 11-15-2010

Dr. Gil Troy, a history professor at McGill University in Montreal and author of Why I am a Zionist told Lubavitch.com that a lot is riding on the countersteps to the toxic propgaganda. “At university campuses in Canada and in the U.S., many future leaders are being educated in poisoned environments, where Israel is portrayed as the bad guy.”

Chabad’s response is less about shouting down and in-your-face protests than about teaching students to connect with their own heritage, and understand the Jewish claim to the land….

Prof. Troy promotes advocacy in his literature, but he also values Chabad’s approach. “Studies show that if you have a strong connection to Judaism, you will have a strong connection to Israel.” Chabad, he explains, “creates a spiritual conversation and a cultural conversation, getting the issue away from politics,” which helps achieve the ultimate goal: supporting the Jewish homeland.

“You can’t do Jewish without embracing Israel.”

Gil Troy Quoted in Time: “Israel: A Belly Dance Video and the Spectre of De-legitimization”

By Karl Vic, Time, 10-8-10

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a weekly Cabinet meeting in September

Jim Hollander / AFP / Getty Images

Israel’s latest mortification, now playing on YouTube, features a Palestinian woman, captive, blindfolded and standing stock still in modest Islamic dress while an Israeli soldier undulates against her, trilling his fingers like the belly dancer he pretends to be as he grins at the friend who holds the camera. This follows the infamous Facebook posting of a female soldier beaming beside blindfolded and bound Palestinian men — her prisoners — in the photo album “IDF — The best time of my life.” That came on the heels of a YouTube video of an Israel Defense Force patrol dancing to Kesha’s “Tik Tok” on the streets of Hebron, a West Bank city where the military mission is to protect a handful of Israeli settlers who choose to live in a hostile mostly-Palestinian city.

The dance video at least has charm. But lest there be any confusion about how the world sees these things, the algorithm is about nothing if not context. And the page’s first two “suggestions” for related fare are “Shocking video! Israeli army committing crimes…” and “Israel Soldiers shoots arrested Palestinian.” Originally posted by an Israeli, the Hebron dance line lives on under the title, “It’s easy to laugh at the occupation when you’re the repressor (and a douche bag).”(See pictures of settlements in Israel.)

The hits just keep on coming, and with a relentlessness that lends subtle but persistent urgency to the effort to keep alive the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Even if the sides navigate the obstacle posed by the end of Israel’s moratorium on West Bank settlement construction, the odds of negotiating a solution to the conflict will remain remote. But the alternative is seeing Israel’s international standing corroded one Web post at a time.(See pictures of 60 years of Israel.)

Israelis themselves debate the fairness of this. Some, such as the former Hebron sergeant Yehuda Shaul, say social media simply showcase the moral calluses Israel has built up over the 43 years it has sent young people to occupy Palestinian territory conquered in the 1967 war.(See pictures of heartbreak in the Middle East.)

“You need a peace deal because this is the reality,” says Shaul, who with other West Bank veterans founded a group called Breaking the Silence to show the Israeli public exactly what soldiers do in their name. The group started with a photography show, then published testimonies of soldiers troubled by the abuses they described as routine.

“Social media is a great tool because it doesn’t allow the system to control everything,” says Shaul. “More or less it’s like water: You can find a way to block it, but it’s going to find a way to get out.”(See pictures of life under Hamas in Gaza.)

Others acknowledge the bad behavior of individual soldiers in what proud Israelis still dub “the most moral army in the world.” But they worry about how much is made of individual disgraces. There are some concrete reasons that world sympathy has shifted steadily away from Israel — still the underdog in 1967, when it whipped three Arab armies in six days — and gathered behind the Palestinians. Reason one: the occupation itself.

But other reasons are not so concrete, some say. They are in the air, says McGill University history professor Gil Troy, wafting on currents detectable to the antenna that Jews have developed over thousands of years living with anti-Semitism.

“Israel is the only country whose very existence is still being debated,” he claims. Troy believes Israel is “the only country that still seems to be on probation.” Consider Pakistan, also founded in 1948. But when its chief nuclear scientist sells The Bomb to rogue states, as A.Q. Khan did more than once, “people don’t jump from criticizing that action to questioning why Pakistan was created in the first place,” Troy says.

Many in Israel and its supporters believe the country faces a systematic campaign of “de-legitimization,” accomplished when international support for the Jewish state is diminished to the point where its existence is up for grabs. Indeed fear of Israel’s declining international situation, particularly in the wake of last May’s flotilla fiasco, is taken for granted here as a major factor in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to pursue a final status agreement with the Palestinians, despite decades as a hawk.

The need to nurture U.S. support against Iran was only one reason Netanyahu came around to the Obama administration’s bid for talks, says Troy. “The second is this question of de-legitimization.” And though not all criticism of Israel amounts to opposition to its existence, he says, some “use these Facebook incidents, they use aberrations, they use the flotilla to say: ‘Aha. It’s no good. We should end it.” Meaning Israel, where the middle aged recall being taught as schoolchildren to chant, “The whole world is against us,” with a brave defiance that comes a less easily to adults.

Professor Gil Troy at Hadassah Convention: ‘Never Give Up on Israel!’

Sunday, July 25, 2010 Hadassah Convention Daily(pdf)

History professor Gil Troy brought a clear message to Hadassah delegates on Sunday: “Never give up on Israel!”

Noting that can be difficult to be a Zionist in America, Troy, a professor at McGill University and former Young Judaean, dealt with some tough issues in a forum, “I Love Israel, But…”

“If we don’t carve out safe spaces to ask the hard questions, then things will just fester,” said Troy at the session with Judy Shereck, chair, IZAIA Department and Jewish Education Department, and Shelley Sherman, coordinator, Young Judaea Division, presiding. “You are free to criticize but don’t delegitimize.”

Some of the questions explored by Troy and the audience included: Why does Jewish peoplehood matter? Why do Jews need a state? How should the Jewish state exercise power? How can a Jewish state also be democratic? What can a Jewish state offer the world?

Over and over, Troy stressed that a Jewish connection to Israel shouldn’t be conditional.“We need to sing a new song of Zion,” Troy said.

Don’t make the mistake of washing your hands of Israel when hearing a negative report, Troy said. “We need to normalize Israel. We want a Zionism that is struggling, dreaming about values, and dreaming about what we can give to the world.’

Troy stressed the importance of having a “big tent identity Zionism,” where many different forms of Zionism coexist and unite on key ideas but express themselves in different ways. “How lucky we are to have the State of Israel, which can harness our idealism and give us an opportunity to express our altruism,” he said.

“Sovereignty is all about taking the peoplehood idea and making it real and building something from it.”

Professor Gil Troy: March of the Living Speech

Speaking Engagement: April 26 @ 7:45PM

“The 1975 Zionism is Racism Resolution: American Anger and British Appeasement”: A Lecture at Beit Avi Chai

Apr 26 2010 7:45 PM
Venue: Beit Avi Chai
44 King George St.
Event URL:
Contact: 02-679-0587
Organization: Jewish Historical Society of England – Israel Branch
Cost: 20 NIS
Sponsors: Beit Avi Chai


The Jewish Historical Society of England – Israel Branch presents a talk with Prof. Gil Troy, who will lecture on “The 1975 Zionism is Racism Resolution: American Anger and British Appeasement”.

Beit Avi Chai, 44 King George St.
For more information: 02-679-0587 or 02-561-9431.

Donation: NIS 20.

JP Online: Strengthening Jewish Identity

Jewish Partnership Online, hosted by Gil Troy

March 18, 2010 / 3 Nissan 5770

Before he became the public face of Jewish Partnership Online (JP Online), Gil Troy was admittedly something of a skeptic.

But a family visit to Israel soon changed that. Since the Troys lived in Montreal, his children asked to visit Maayanot, a school in Beer Sheva that was twinned through Partnership 2000 (P2K) with their Canadian Jewish Day School.

“The reception the kids received was just lovely,” said Troy, a Professor of History at McGill University and The author of Why I Am a Zionist: Israel, Jewish Identity and the Challenges of Today.

Very soon after he saw even more evidence that P2K – a platform connecting some 550 communities around the world in 45 partnerships – does, indeed, build living bridges.

This was in 2004, when Beer Sheva endured a double bus bombing.  Very soon after, a delegation from Montreal arrived to show support. The mutuality, the genuine partnership between the people of both cities, pushed Troy over the edge and straight into the realm of unabashed P2K advocate.

“When we sit back and talk about where the Jewish Agency should be going and where the Jewish people should be going, it is this kind of mutuality and this kind of vision that we need to be working on,” said Troy. “I think with P2K, they really got it!”

Established in 1994 by the Jewish Agency, United Jewish Communities, and Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal, P2K has evolved over the past 15 from being a program that focuses on the needs of Israel to a program that focuses on the needs of the Jewish people, according to Andrea S. Arbel, director of the division of partnerships for the Jewish Agency.

“Today P2K strengthens Jewish identity and values on both sides of the ocean,” said Arbel.
And JP Online – four-minute videos posted on YouTube and the Jewish Agency website – is the perfect vehicle to showcase these values and the communities embodying them.

Troy, who is now based in Israel as a Shalom Hartman Research Fellow in Jerusalem, serves as the host for JP Online. Each segment begins with a Jewish value, such as “Jewish Peoplehood,” or “Loving the Land of Israel.” Then specific communities are featured.

“The thing about JP Online is we always emphasis the personal,” said Troy, such as the way Los Angeles and Tel Aviv work together through the arts and education.

Now in its third year, JP Online seeks to reflect back the work and goodwill done by the 300,000 people who are involved every year with P2K. And, as with everything in the age of YouTube, the possibility for exposure is limitless.

“My dream is that the excitement that this conversation generates will go beyond the P2K community so that people who are not already in on conversation will join us at the table,” said Troy.

Quoted in “Anti-Israel demo proceeds at Gay Pride parade”

Jewish Tribune, 8-19-09

Gil Troy, a professor of history at McGill University, weighed into the debate.

“Israel is the safest refuge in the Middle East for persecuted homosexuals, including Palestinians,” Troy wrote in a Montreal Gazette commentary. “Every year, Israel’s government actually grants some gay Palestinians legal residency to avoid Palestinian homophobic oppression. Israel is one of the few Middle Eastern countries to repeal its anti-sodomy law – from British Mandate days. Israel’s Equal Employment Opportunity Act now prohibits discrimination against employees based on their sexual orientation or marital status. Israel has even banned discrimination in its army.

“Israel’s tolerant, celebratory, live-and-let live, Mediterranean spirit, especially in Tel Aviv, disproves the caricature of the Jewish state as a dour, embattled garrison state or theocracy. Openly gay Israelis serve in parliament, others are popular celebrities. Out Magazine has deemed Tel Aviv ‘the gay capital of the Middle East.’ By contrast, throughout the Arab and Muslim world, including the Palestinian territories, gays are hunted down, blackmailed, imprisoned, tortured, and occasionally executed. Gay Palestinians are often treated as collaborators and have been maltreated in the most brutal ways.”

Gil Troy Quoted in Jerusalem Post “US decision to honor Robinson slammed”

Jerusalem Post, 8-6-09

Mary Robinson let the Durban...….Indeed, in an opinion piece published in Tuesday’s New York Post, Gil Troy, a professor at McGill University and a Jerusalem Post contributor, and Tevi Troy, a former senior White House aide under president George W. Bush, bluntly labeled the honor a “bad choice.”

“Robinson’s views are well out of the American foreign-policy mainstream,” they wrote, questioning what message Obama possibly could hope to send by awarding Robinson the high honor.

“If President Obama believed he could honor Robinson without harming himself politically, he’s taking for granted the votes of both American Jews and more traditionally hawkish moderate Democrats,” they wrote.

“Worse, it seems Obama doesn’t mind celebrating a symbol of Western weakness and appeasement of anti-Semitism at a time when the world’s dictators and terrorists are deciding what to think of him.”