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Israel's deep religious divisions come to the surface

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Israel's deep religious divisions come to the surface


Tensions between Israel’s secular and ultra-orthodox Jewish communities are rising amid a debate over gender separation. Protesters boarded buses to highlight their opposition to the segregation of males and females on public transport in some areas.

They accuse ultra-orthodox Jews of trying to impose their lifestyle on others. But it is a deeply divisive issue.

As one protester attempted to address the media on one bus she was interrupted by an angry local male passenger who said: “I hate to break it to you but I’m on this bus every single day, I sit wherever I want and no one says a word to me. I sit in the back of the bus no one says a word. No, you guys are just making a big deal out of nothing, bunch of haters.”

Members of the religious minority caused outrage on Sunday by dressing children as Holocaust victims to protest against what they see as persecution of devout Jews.

Leading figures in the Israeli cabinet condemned the use of Holocaust symbols, reflecting the mood in much of the country.

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