ISRAEL: How to Save a Cabinet

Though a democracy in most respects, Israel is also a theocracy. Among other things, religious law totally governs marriage and divorce. Israel's religious Jews and the bulk of its traditionalists—who together account for about 60% of the Jewish population—insist that this situation should not change. Nonreligious Jews question the extent to which religious law should influence everyone's daily life. This is one of those issues that bitterly divide Israelis, for all their unity against external threats. One such squabble—incredibly esoteric to outsiders—had split Golda Meir's Cabinet and even threatened to bring down her government. Last week the problem was finally...

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