Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.
A new Facebook campaign by McGill University American History professor Gil Troy, called “Troycott,” has garnered more than 1,100 “likes” in three days, topping the 827 votes of American Studies Association (ASA) members for a boycott of Israel.
Troy, who is also an iEngage Project Fellow with the Shalom Hartman Institute, told JNS.org that he was “particularly offended and contemptuous” of the recent ASA boycott and launched the Facebook page to try to top the ASA vote.
“I am contemptuous because I know how small, marginal, doctrinaire and extreme the subdiscipline of American Studies—which was the idea behind the ‘Troycott.’ I wanted to see if one lowly academic, with a label very much emphasizing the personal nature of my mission, could gather more ‘likes’ than the entire ASA number of votes to boycott—and it worked,” Troy said.
Troy believes the best way to combat the ASA boycott is through education and dialogue such as through programs like the iEngage Project, which emphasizes study and teaching rather than attacking.
“The best way to respond to an anti-intellectual boycott is with a constructive commitment to learning about the topic the boycotters seek to boycott,” he said.
Dr. Troy also said he hopes to continue to grow the “Troycott” movement by encouraging students and parents to contact their universities to tell them they support withdrawing from the ASA, and to launch more pro-Israel campus initiatives.
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