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Gil Troy
An American historian specializing in the American presidency, I have taught at McGill University in Canada since 1990. I have written eight books on American history, including books on the history of American presidential campaigning, First Couples from the Trumans through the Clintons, Reagan and the 1980s, Why Moderates Make the Best Presidents, and a biography of Hillary Clinton.

My next book, on Clinton and the 1990s, explores the history of the Clinton presidency in context, trying to understand the link between Clinton's tenure and the extraordinary cultural, political, technological, social, ideological and demographic changes during that decade. I have appeared as a political and historical commentator on most major TV networks in the United States and Canada, and my work has been published in most major newspapers, including nine essays during the 2012 campaign for the New York Times' popular "Campaign Stops." For the 2012 campaign, I edited and updated the classic encyclopedia "A History of American President Elections," originally edited by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. and Fred Israel, and last year I was a talking head on National Geographic's popular 80s documentary mini-series.

I am also a regular columnist for the Jerusalem Post and have written two books on Zionism, "Why I am A Zionist: Israel, Jewish Identity and the Challenges of Today" and, my most recent book, "Moynihan's Moment: America's Fight against Zionism-as-Racism," exploring the origins of the movement to delegitimize Israel, and the heroic stand for democracy and decency Pat Moynihan took in the UN in 1975 (before he became New York's Senator).

Entries by Gil Troy

Yom Hashoah Blues

(5) Comments | Posted April 16, 2015 | 12:11 PM

It is easy to despair this Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. For too many, "Never Again" has become "Hopefully Soon," even "Inshallah Tomorrow" -- profaning religion to serve evil. Of course, not all Muslims are genocidal anti-Semites but too many Islamists are proudly, unabashedly so, along with too many Palestinian...

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Ban the Killer Bees -- Bibi, Barack and Boehner -- From Your Seder!

(1) Comments | Posted April 3, 2015 | 8:47 AM

As we gather for seder, the Jewish people are reeling, from the three killed boys, the Gaza War, the divisive Israeli election, and the rising anti-Semitism. With emotions rubbed raw by the hijinks of Bibi Netanyahu, John Boehner, and Barack Obama -- how's that for non-partisanship -- many American Jews...

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The Sliming of Israel, AIPAC, and Obama

(2) Comments | Posted March 4, 2015 | 2:56 PM

American-Israel relations have turned bizarre. In 2013, Barack Obama offended Bibi Netanyahu by NOT addressing the Knesset; in 2015, Netanyahu offended Obama by actually addressing the Congress. This latest Bibi-Barack Brouhaha isn't really about protocols and partisanship. It's about poisonous personal chemistry between America's president and Israel's prime...

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To My Daughter, on Completing Officer Training

(0) Comments | Posted February 26, 2015 | 11:37 AM

Dear L.,

You really surprised and impressed us. Enlisting was enough of a stretch for an immigrant-by-parental-choice with American college aspirations. But with your characteristic zeal and skill, you just finished officer training school. Last Tuesday, watching you march in your crisp army fatigues and get pinned, was surrealistic. Never...

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Wanted: 'Third Way' New Ideas Countering Israel's Stale Politics

(1) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 11:33 AM

Bibi Netanyahu's "Bibi-sitter" ads got one thing right. This election feels juvenile. Apparently, I missed the memo, but it seems that politicians and reporters have agreed to make Israeli politics an idea-free zone. Focusing on the timbre of the opposition leader's voice, the gap between the settlers' leader's front teeth,...

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Don't Let the Left Lapse in Defending Democracy (or the Right)

(1) Comments | Posted December 22, 2014 | 5:00 AM

Liberals have been busy lately lecturing about right-wing threats to Israeli democracy. What happens when some liberals stumble, forgetting that liberty must be preserved for all, even if the "wrong" people exercise power or publish newspapers? I offer today an Et tu Brute, echoing Julius Caesar's legendary protest against betrayal,...

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How Buji Beats Bibi

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 3:38 PM

Like senior years in high school, election campaigns normally trigger mixed feelings of dread and excitement. Fear of the unknown and abject failure compete with dreams of glory. Two days into Israel's unsought, unnecessary, undesirable campaign, few Israelis' feelings are mixed. It's just dread. Few want Bibi back; most fear...

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On Jewish State: The Right Is Wrong, The Left's Not Right

(7) Comments | Posted December 4, 2014 | 3:03 PM

The old joke has a rabbi telling one congregant "you're right"; the congregant's rival, "you're right"; and his wife, who complains they both can't be right, "you're right, too." With right and left squabbling about a Jewish Nation law, the right is wrong; the left isn't right; and those who...

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I [Heart] Israel -- Creatively, Authentically

(0) Comments | Posted November 19, 2014 | 3:50 PM


Last week, an international graffiti gang "bombed" Netanya, Jerusalem, and other Israeli cities. Those edgy, hyper-colorful, spray-painted murals New Yorkers in the 1970s called "vandalism," beautified ugly concrete walls in schools and community centers. One "piece," as street artists call their...

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Celebrating Torah in a World That's Gone Bonkers

(0) Comments | Posted October 15, 2014 | 11:25 PM

As the 5775 Jewish holiday season winds downs, as those of us with delayed work projects gear up to catch up, this period feels like it is sputtering to a close rather than building to a spiritual climax.

It often seems that both Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah should be...

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Jewish Studies Scholars Shouldn't Whitewash Campus Israel Bashing

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2014 | 8:10 PM

A group of Jewish Studies professors recently signed a letter deploring a perceived threat to "the kind of spirited academic exchange that is the lifeblood of the university." What so infuriated these academics? Campus Israeli Apartheid Weeks? Epidemic anti-Israel bias in the classroom? The fear that many Jewish...

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The Israel Sermon Rabbis Should Dare to Deliver ...

(33) Comments | Posted October 2, 2014 | 12:07 PM

The New York Times on September 22, claims that rabbis have a hard time speaking to their congregants about Israel these days. Really? Is it that difficult to talk about Israel in the same multidimensional, sophisticated, loving yet critical way we talk about America? Here's one way to...

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We Won't Give Up on Nirim: A Bleeding Paradise

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 12:12 PM

On Tuesday morning, my cousin Adele Raemer who lives on Kibbutz Nirim along the Gaza Border, heard the all-too-familiar "Tzeva Adom," red alert, with the usual explosions following ten seconds later. This time, the booms were louder, more violent, as shrapnel from a Hamas mortar pelted her bedroom. The razor-sharp...

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Robin Williams as Comedian, Teacher and Inspiration

(0) Comments | Posted August 14, 2014 | 9:25 AM

Robin Williams's suicide has touched the national soul, a tribute to how intense and intimate each performance of his was, how broad his reach was, and how long his career was. Williams' manic energy and verbal fluency made him a star who shined brilliantly on television, in the movies, and...

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Idealism + Self-Interest = US Support for Israel

(10) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 6:10 AM

Stephen Walt's screed claiming "AIPAC is the Only Explanation for America's Morally Bankrupt Israel Policy," is one-sided, simplistic and extremist. In fact, Americans' ability to tell right from wrong and democrat from dictator best explains America's pro-Israel policy, which advances America's interests while expressing liberal values. Americans are...

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Obama: Lead, Don't Make the White House the Whine House!

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2014 | 11:30 AM

On August 1, President Barack Obama turned the White House into the Whine House. Thwarted in Gaza, the Ukraine, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere, Obama noted that the state of the world is "difficult ... it's not neat, and it's not smooth." He urged Americans "to have some humility about what...

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Confessions of an 'Uncritical' Israel 'Booster'

(2) Comments | Posted July 30, 2014 | 9:18 AM

Joseph Palermo's recent posting on the Gaza conflict called me "an uncritical booster of Israel." The redundancy is stylistically awkward - whoever heard of a critical booster? Palermo's rhetorical overkill is an obvious attempt to impeach my integrity and all other Israel supporters by association. Ultimately, the caricature...

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