From Israel to the Middle East to U.S. Jews: A Look Back at the Decade That Was


The 2010s have been a decade of change. From American democracy to social media and even archaeology, the past 10 years have seen us revise our assumptions about the progress of history. Haaretz asked 10 writers focused on 10 different fields to sum up these past 10 years and write about what this decade was.

For Israelis, the last decade has actually been one of relative stability. The shekel made Israelis richer, and the country's TV shows and films went international. Despite the constant sense of political upheaval, one man dominated Israeli politics, overtaking David Ben-Gurion to become Israel’s longest-serving prime minister. For Israelis, this has undoubtedly been the decade of Netanyahu, Anshel Pfeffer writes. For Palestinians, the political optimism of the Obama presidency faded and gave place to a Trumpian era in which “God and the Bible” were now the driving force behind the policies deciding their fate, as Zaha Hassan writes.

Within Israeli society, the non-Orthodox movements that are held so dear by world Jewry fought an uphill battle against the Orthodox religious establishment. Meanwhile, in the U.S., American Jews witnessed a decade that saw anti-Semitism become mainstream and normalized again, as ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt writes.

Perhaps more than anything, this was the decade in which the omnipresent divide between the Jewish people living in Israel and those living in the Diaspora reached new and perhaps unfixable heights. As Chemi Shalev writes, the 2010s were the decade in which Netanyahu’s brawls with Obama and his bromance with Trump accelerated a split started and maintained by the occupation.

A decade in review:

The Decade That Devoured the Ties Between Israel and U.S. Jews | Chemi Shalev

Netanyahu’s brawls with Obama and his bromance with Trump accelerated a split rendered inevitable – by the occupation. Read full story >

The Decade in Which All Israelis Became Netanyahu | Anshel Pfeffer

Israeli politics has long ceased to be about ideas or real principles. It is only about being the alternative to Bibi. Read full story >

The Decade When anti-Semitism Went Mainstream | Jonathan A. Greenblatt

To understand the rise in murderous attacks like those currently plaguing New York City, we must recognize one of the most disturbing trends of the last decade: the normalization of anti-Semitism. Read full story >

The Decade That Made Israelis Richer | Dafna Maor

It was the world’s second-strongest currency against the dollar. But the next decade may be tougher for investors. Read full story >

The Decade Israel’s Reform and Conservative Jews, an Uphill Battle With Some Reprieves | Judy Maltz

The non-Orthodox movements have experienced impressive growth in their number of congregations since 2010. However, the Chief Rabbinate’s grip on matters of religion and state is proving hard to loosen. Read full story >

The Decade Social Media Upended the Middle East | Alexander Griffing

From the Arab Spring to Trump’s Twitter feed: The decade social media went from a tool of freedom to one of oppression. Read full story >

The Decade Israeli TV Captured the World's Imagination. Will It Last? | Adrian Hennigan

Israel's television producers and stars have adopted the 'startup nation' mentality, becoming an internationally recognized ideas factory where being ahead of the curve is a vital part of its identity. Read full story >

The Decade the Bible Replaced International Law in Deciding Palestinians' Fate | Zaha Hassan

As multiple legal efforts bear fruit, 2020 could be the year that international law supplants the nationalist and religious policies of Netanyahu and Trump in determining the outcome of the conflict. Read full story >

The Decade ISIS Overtook Al-Qaida and Changed the Face of Radical Islam | Shaina Oppenheimer

The head rush from the Arab Spring protests turned to panic as ISIS took radical Islam where no terror group had gone before: Establishing a caliphate which, at its height, spanned the size of Britain. Read full story >

The Decade of Archaeological Discoveries That Changed How We Think About Ourselves | Ruth Schuster

From the earliest story art in Asia to the uncovering of the Pilgrimage Road in Jerusalem and burials with pets, the discoveries in the decade that was have shed new light on who we think we are. Read full story >

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