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'Trump Will Make Palestine Great Again': The Most Combative, Uncomfortable Op-eds of 2018

From Pittsburgh to Khashoggi, settlements to Syria, Netanyahu's far-right friends and Assad's Western apologists, Palestinian 'saints' and Sikhs for Palestine: Here are 31 op-eds to ruin your holiday mood

Esther Solomon
Esther Solomon
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Handmade puppets of U.S. President Donald Trump made from old clothes to represent the past year and traditionally burned to welcoming the New Year. December 29, 2018
Handmade puppets of U.S. President Donald Trump made from old clothes to represent the past year and traditionally burned to welcoming the New Year. December 29, 2018Credit: AFP
Esther Solomon
Esther Solomon

When your beat is covering Israel, the Middle East and the concerns and controversies impacting Jewish communities around the world, it’s a given that the news - and how it can be parsed, contextualized and critiqued - never stops.

This year was no exception: from the shocking massacre of Jews at prayer in Pittsburgh, to the Khashoggi murder which threatened to upend Netanyahu’s 'New Middle East'; from resurgent hyper-nationalism and Holocaust revisionism in Europe, to the mainstreaming of evangelical fundamentalism in the U.S.; from an apparently endless pit of anti-Semitism in UK Labour to Farrakhan-washing in the Women’s March; from an Iran ‘liberated’ from the nuclear deal - and from U.S. forces in Syria; from months of protests, bloodshed and air strikes between Israel and Gaza to an ever-more embedded Israeli occupation, slashed U.S. humanitarian aid, injections of Qatari cash and an endlessly deferred Trump peace plan, and now the announcement of Israeli elections next April.

>> 2018 in review: This year's archaeological wondersThe stories that reshaped the Middle EastNine low points in Israel-Jewish Diaspora relations10 Jewish faces who made wavesThe most tremendous tweetsThe 11 best books

Here are 31 op-eds that give a taste of the issues that have buffeted the Mideast and the Jewish world, as addressed in Haaretz op-eds: a range of opinions that I’ve chosen to both challenge and validate your politics, that may cause distress, even disgust, or recognition and endorsement. A range of opinions whose publication in Haaretz embodies our provocative and defiantly liberal values, the same values increasingly under threat here and around the world from hyper-partisanship, intimidation, superficiality and agitprop. I doubt you’ll enjoy them all - but I hope you’ll give them a hearing.

A Palestinian man walks in the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar in the occupied West Bank July 6, 2018Credit: \ MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/ REUTERS

Zaha Hassan: One Day, Palestinians Will Thank Trump for His Years of Hostility

Trump's Mideast team has been transparent and consistent: Palestinians have no right to a state; Israel doesn't need to answer for its human rights abuses. But there's a Democratic backlash - and a future political windfall for the Palestinians

Eric Yoffie: Admit It: Donald Trump Is a Disaster for Israel and the Jews

Trump has mesmerized most Jewish Israelis and about a quarter of U.S. Jews in a cult-like grip, despite serially deferring to anti-Semites at home, and emboldening Israel's enemies abroad. It's time to face reality

Arnon Grunberg: I Detest My Sister's West Bank Settlement. That's Why I'm Going to Live There

I’ve embedded with troops in Iraq, in a nursing home and a psychiatric asylum: now, I’m going to embed myself in Dolev. This is why

A woman pays her respects at a makeshift memorial in the aftermath of a deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, October 29, 2018. Credit: AP/Matt Rourke

David Rothkopf: Trump Didn’t Pull the Trigger on Jews in Pittsburgh, but He Certainly Prepped the Shooter

The massacre in a Pittsburgh synagogue is the result of Trump’s constant endorsement of hate against the other, a hate-and-fear-mongering which has brought America to a very dark place

Mehdi Hasan: Dial Down the Hysteria on anti-Semitism in Corbyn's Labour

There is vile and inexcusable anti-Semitism on the left, and efforts to deny it are shameful. But take it from a Muslim in Trump's America, British Jews don't face an existential threat from Jeremy Corbyn

Anshel Pfeffer: Why Corbynism Is a Threat to Jews Throughout the Western World

Even his close advisors are astonished by the Labour leader’s refusal to act on the party’s crisis with British Jews. This is why Corbyn can’t and won’t face up to anti-Semitism on the left – and why it will have international consequences

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the U.K. Labour Party, speaks during the 'Labour Live' festival in London, June 16, 2018.Credit: Bloomberg

Chemi Shalev: Despite the Blow to Its National Security, Israel Will Bow to Trump’s Syria Withdrawal

Lion of Judea, Cyrus incarnate, Netanyahu’s soul mate and the best friend that Israel ever had...except the U.S. president has just abandoned the Jewish state

Diana Buttu: I Advised the Palestinian Negotiating Team. It Was a Mistake to Have Negotiated With Israel at All

Buoyed by the Oslo Accords, I moved to the West Bank as a legal adviser to the PLO team. I was wrong. 25 years since that iconic Arafat-Rabin handshake, it's clear talks are futile - and Palestinians are no closer to freedom

Petra Marquardt-Bigman: Ahed Tamimi and Her Family Aren't the Palestinian Saints You Want Them to Be

Promote the blood libel? Check. Glorify terrorism? Check. Celebrate Israeli deaths? Check. Ahed Tamimi and her family aren't fighting for peace, and they're not just fighting the occupation: They're fighting to destroy Israel, and their fight is seasoned with Jew-hatred

David Makovsky: So Much Winning: Why Mahmoud Abbas Thinks He's Beating Trump - and Israel

He's 83, with no successor and no state. But Palestinian President Abbas consoles himself, in the twilight of his lifetime, with the belief that after two years of Trump, he's come out on top

The sign for the Office of the Palestinian Diplomatic Mission is taken down marking the office's closure in Washington, DC. October 10, 2018Credit: AFP

Bradley Burston: The Israel You Know Just Ended. You Can Thank Netanyahu

Look around. The country looks the same. But it doesn't feel the same. Not even close. A day of mourning has come

Daniel B. Shapiro: Why the Khashoggi Murder Is a Disaster for Israel

The grisly hit-job on Khashoggi has implications far beyond its exposure of the Saudi Crown Prince as brutal and reckless. In Jerusalem and D.C., they’re mourning their whole strategic concept for the Mideast - not least, for countering Iran

Simon A. Waldman: The Secret Jewish Plot Against Turkey

Erdogan, who rose out of a party whose leader compared Jews to bacteria, likes to name-drop 'The Mastermind': a Jewish conspiracy preventing Turkey taking its rightful place as a world superpower. No surprise, then, that he's now targeting Soros

James Martin: What Happens When pro-Trump Christians Weaponize the Bible

U.S. 'pro-Israel' evangelicals who declare the president enacted God's will, by moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, should consider the terrible historical cost of a selective and literalist use of the Bible

US President Donald Trump is applauded during a signing ceremony for the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 at the White House on December 20, 2018 in Washington, DCCredit: AFP

Avraham Bronstein: Why Does Ben Shapiro Sound Like a Christian Evangelical on Abortion?

When conservative star pundit Ben Shapiro weighed into the abortion debate, he reproduced Christian denominations’ extremist positions rather than the case-by-case Jewish tradition. That’s a shame – but no accident

Rokhl Kafrissen: How Privileged White Leaders Frame What We Know About Jews in America

The U.S. Jewish future is surveyed and budgeted to fit the biases of married, shul-going, Ashkenazi, heterosexual, Israel-supporting men: We still know next-to-nothing about the 'real' Jewish America. This is why it matters

Andrea Pitzer: Donald Trump Is Still Setting Up Concentration Camps on American Soil

It is an earlier incarnation of Auschwitz, a place of indefinite detention for a vilified minority, that we saw on our border this week. The president's executive order offers no evidence this will change

Jonathan S. Tobin: How Many Times Can U.S. Liberal Jews Cry 'Nazi!' at Trump?

Reasonable people must stop buying into the lunacy that Americans are living in the moral equivalent of the last days of the Weimar Republic. And that applies to Jews making offensive Holocaust analogies too

Anti-immigrant far right protesters in Chemnitz, Germany, after a German man was stabbed. August 27, 2018Credit: \ Matthias Rietschel/ REUTERS

David Schraub: No One Who Praises an anti-Semite Like Louis Farrakhan Can Call Herself 'Progressive'

When the Women's March co-chairs back a bigot who serially attacks the 'Satanic Jews', they're defended as fearless leaders who won't give in to 'bullying'. That hypocrisy goes to the heart of why Jews can't feel completely at home on the left

Emma Goldberg: White Jews Have Found Privilege in America. Black Communities Haven't

The Farrakhan firestorm has subsided, but it laid bare the uncomfortable contradictions that fuel Black-Jewish tensions. We white Jews suffer from anti-Semitism, but we're protected from the anti-black racism coded into our country's DNA

Raphael Magarik: Alice Walker Endorses anti-Semitism. Marc Lamont Hill Doesn't. Was That So Hard?

When the right-wing pro-Israel community completely writes off all pro-Palestinian advocates as 'anti-Semites' it cheapens the charge of anti-Semitism. That's not only unfair - it’s actually dangerous for Jews

Avram Mlotek: Farrakhan's Hate Speech Leads to Actual Abuse of Jews. I Just Experienced It

'You a Jew, man?' He asked. He lifted up a picture of Louis Farrakhan. 'That's a real Jew. You're a fu*king fake.' On a crowded New York subway, no one said anything. But we U.S. Jews can't let anti-Semitism go unanswered – whether it's hate speech from Farrakhan, or from Trump

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, July 19, 2018. Credit: Debbie Hill,AP

Alexandra Senfft: My Grandfather Was Executed as a WWII War Criminal. I Know Why Germany Still Has a Nazi Problem

It was always 'other' Germans who perpetrated Nazi crimes, not our own families. That's the lie that has enabled the far right to return to power in Germany

Charlotte Knobloch: Germany's Nazi-friendly, anti-Semitic Far Right Has a New Mission: Recruiting Jews

The far-right Alternative for Germany, in parliament and rising in the polls, wants an ethnically pure, authoritarian Europe. It feeds anti-Semitism, Holocaust revisionism and anti-migrant violence. How could a single Jew join them?

Daniella Peled: Why Hasn't Seymour Hersh's Syria War Crimes Denial Ended His Career?

The fact that mainstream media outlets dismiss Hersh’s disgraceful apologetics as daft idiosyncrasy rather than what it is – fake news at its worst – is a sign, quite simply, of our utter moral failure on Syria

Alexander Reid Ross: Why Proud Boys’ Gavin McInnes' 'Hip' Fascism Retains Its Toxic Appeal

McInnes and the Proud Boys dressed racist far-right views in a hip new uniform. Now he's resigned as their leader – but they won't be disappearing, nor will the resurgent anti-Semitic, racist and violent nationalism they incubate and spread

FILE PHOTO: Gavin McInnes, center, founder of the far-right group Proud Boys, is surrounded by supporters after speaking at a rally in Berkeley, Calif, April 27, 2017Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez,AP

Esther Solomon: Why David Duke, David Icke, Louis Farrakhan and the Assad Regime All Love Shlomo Sand

And Iran, George Galloway, Gilad Atzmon and the Daily Stormer. Why has such a diverse spectrum of anti-Semites converged on the work of this Israeli historian? Should he bear any blame for how they've weaponized his words?

Claire Berlinski: How Putin and the Far Right Played the Paris Yellow Vests Protests

Russia didn’t trigger the Gilets Jaunes. But Putin and the far right want to see Paris burn and Europe weakened and divided, so they jumped at the chance to contaminate and manipulate them

Jaspreet Oberoi: From Punjab to Palestine: Why Young Sikhs Like Me Are Becoming pro-Palestinian Activists

We Sikhs recognize the pictures from Gaza and the West Bank. We know what years of state-sponsored harassment and violence looks like

Abhinav Pandya: Caliph Erdogan? Why Turkey's President Is Quietly Courting Indian Muslims

Erdogan has good reason to invest in Indian Muslims: their support would boost his bid for leadership of the Muslim world. And as India's Hindu nationalist footprint strengthens, its Muslims may seek a powerful defender abroad

Daniel Gouri de Lima: Heard the Joke About Bibi Welcoming Duterte to Israel? It's a Killer

'He compared himself to Hitler!' the liberals mewled. But Israel needs straight-talking, confident friends who don’t flinch at ludicrous things like international law. All hail Duterte, the very best of Israel’s bedfellows

Esther Solomon is the Opinion Editor of Haaretz English. Twitter: @EstherSolomon

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