Israel: The Religious Wars

As Israel celebrates its 50th anniversary, its citizens identify the rift over religion as their nation's No. 1 problem

It was the frogs that Yossi Werzansky wanted to hear. In the evenings, they would start up, calling to one another in the swampy field just beyond Werzansky's new home in suburban Pardess Hannah. Then one day came a different cacophony. Werzansky's new, ultra-Orthodox neighbors had set up a loudspeaker and were broadcasting sermons from a rented house they had turned into a synagogue. Infuriated, the community's secular majority retaliated, organizing a weekly Sabbath-night disco in the next house to outblast the worshippers. A fire bombing and a melee soon followed.

Such is the state of relations, generally, between religious and...

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