- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Bronfman Jewish Educ Ctr (January 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1552346471
- ISBN-13: 978-1552346471
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,533,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Why I am a Zionist: Israel Jewish Identity and the Challenges of Today
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"Direct, forthright...there is a no more informative, exciting, impassioned and inspiring voice today on Israel's behalf than Troy's..." -- Mordechai Ben-Dat, Canadian Jewish News, 3rd January 2002
It is an intellectual argument from history. Troy has keen understanding about the Jews present and predicament of Jewish future -- Martin Peretz, Editor-in-Chief and Chairman , "The New Republic"
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Top customer reviews
In the course of this he also traces the background to the Arab- Israeli conflict and shows how Israel's efforts at peace have met rejection time and time again.
This is an accurate telling of the story and a sound work which anyone interested in Israel, the Jewish people, the Middle East conflict - can learn from.
That is why I was so happy when a colleague of mine at work showed me a copy of "Why I am a Zionist."
Troy's focus is the Zionism that can re-unite the Jewish people around universal causes and provide the spiritual anchor in our modern world. More than that, the book also provides a comprehensive guide to the history of Israel, and the important place it has always had in Jewish and world history, in a language that can be understood even by my 10 year old son.
I would definitely recommend anyone who is truly intersted in discovering what Zionism and Israel is really all about, wether Jewish or not, to buy this book and listen to what the author is saying.
Universities around the world have become cauldrons of the most uncompromising hatred of Israel and the Jewish people, with the feverish participation of some radical pro-Palestinian Jews. The media around the world does its best to paint the beleaguered nation of Israel as an aggressor and human rights abuser. They use the most sophisticated as well as the most blunt propaganda tricks, while showing not the slightest compassion or sympathy for the six million Jews of Israel threatened with genocide, and targeted for so long by sustained murder and terror.
Those of us who identify as Zionist and who love Israel are being put through difficult times, in a world where Zionism and support for Israel is not politically correct. In fact it is fashionable and PC to express venomous hatred for Israel and Zionism, and woe to anyone who suggests that this prejudice against Zionism and Israel might just have some connection to Antisemitism.
Gil Troy presents here a must read for anyone interested in the topic of Zionism and Israel. He presents a factual and rational defense of Israel and the Zionist cause, and go's further than this too. He explains why beyond opposing anti-Zionism, and Israel-hatred, young people and Jews in general should grab back Zionism as a positive identification and something that can unite the Jewish people and save them from so many of the problems we have today.
The author begins by boldly affirming "I am Zionist because I am a Jew and without recognizing a national component in Judaism, I cannot explain it's unique character".
Troy explains how Zionism provides Jews with an identity and how pride in being a Jew, a Greek, an Italian or Irish person can provide people with the time tested and essential anchors in a world overdosing with consumerism, materialism and glorification of the here and now only.
He explains that Zionism is no more 'racist' than any other nationalism, be it America, South Africa, Irish, Polish or Greek.
He explains that he is a Zionist because Jews never forget their attachment to their attachment to their ancient homeland, the Land of Israel and Jerusalem.
He explains how Zionism can unite rather than divide Jews by giving us a sense of belonging regardless of religious observance, beliefs or differences in lifestyles or material circumstances.
At the same time Zionism can serve as a model for positive engagement with the world , by giving us an understanding and respect for the identity of others, based in a healthy pride in our own.
The author urges us to accentuate the positive in Zionism as central to our Jewish identity: the miracle of Israel remaining the only;y democracy in the Middle East at a time when it's existence is threatened by it's neighbors in the region and the dangers and hardships are many. It also means focusing on Jewish identity and culture in Israel, on the home turf of the Jewish people. The author promotes the birthright program which has brought thousands of young Jews from around the world to explore the warmth and excitement, the wonder and vibrancy that is Israel.
Troy urges Jews around the world to visit Israel, engage in correspondence with Israelis, access Israeli websites, explore Israeli arts and culture, which can give a fuller and deeper understanding of a society under stress but which is still, living, learning, earning and growing.
We must familiarize ourselves with the massive humanitarian work done by Israel in places ravaged by disaster and war, such as Haiti, Rwanda and Bosnia and it's welcoming of refugees from the Sudan and Vietnam at different times in it's history.
Before 1973, when Arab economic pressure forced most African states to cut ties with Israel, Israel maintained an ambitious program of aid and assistance, education and training throughout Africa, as well as providing an inspiration for growth and development of a new state.
The author does not neglect to combat the propaganda against Israel and Zionism. The canard that accuses Israel of being a colonial presence and labels Zionism as 'colonialism' labels every Israeli as a 'settler', an 'interloper' a 'colonizer' a 'Western imperialist' even if he or she can trace his ancestry back two thousand years to the Second Temple period,since there has always been a Jewish presence in the Land of Israel since before this time. While simultaneously this mythology awards any Arab, even if his family only moved to the Holy Land during the time of the British mandate, as many Arabs did, as an 'indigenous native'.
It ignores centuries of continuous settlement and engagement with the land by the Jewish people.
He exposes the hypocrisy of international condemnation of Israel, by people who's world view singles out only Israel for opprobrium while ignoring horrific atrocities and genocide in Sudan, Rwanda, Congo, Sri Lanka, Kurdistan, Chechnya and Tibet to name a few countries ravaged by humanitarian disasters.
The author traces Israel's 4 000 year history with particular emphasis on the Palestinian Terror War of 2000-2005 against the Israeli people, and focuses on such atrocities by terror networks such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Popular Resistance Committees as homicide bombing (usually targeting youth and children), shooting,s bombings lynchings and stabbings of Israeli men, women and children, that took around two thousand lives, including those of 123 children.
But he stresses how Israeli society weathered this attack in the same way that the British stood firm during the 1940 Nazi blitz of Britain, and the Russian people survived the World War II siege of Leningrad.
You can get a more detailed picture of the Israeli experience of terror by reading Israel: Life in the Shadow of Terror.
Though Zionism is not today politically correct and does not grab the attention of many young Jews the way feminism grabs the passions of many young women, Gay Liberation grabs the passions of many young men, and Black Liberation or Black Power ideologies fire up so many young African Americans. But is did so once and remains the National Liberation Movement of the Jewish people.
Gil Tory urges us to reclaim Zionism as the vibrant , progressive ideology it really is , both for Jews at home and in the diaspora.
As regards the far left Diaspora Jews that take a lead in dehumanizing and trying to harm the Jewish State and Israeli people, these must be rejected, in my opinion, as may nations (particularity the Jews throughout history) have had treasonous elements, that for one reason or another refuse to empathize with their own people.