Israel A House Divided

Ultra-Orthodox militants step up their fight to impose religious law

A new battle is raging in the Middle East. It is not the usual Arab-Jewish conflict but instead a Jew-against-Jew struggle to determine the character of Jerusalem -- and by extension, the very nature of the state of Israel. On one side, wearing beards, side curls, long black coats and fur-rimmed hats, are the ultra-Orthodox militants, who want all Israelis to live according to the strict dictates of the halakhah, or religious law. On the other side, constituting the vast majority of the country's 4.3 million citizens, are the secular Jews, who believe Israel should be a modern democracy based on...

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