Israeli airports won’t tell women that they don’t have to change seats at the request of ultra-Orthodox Jews

Why Evolution Is True

People might be surprised to find that, although Israel is seen as a “Jewish state,” how secular it really is. As Phil Zuckerman notes in the article I mentioned the other day:

The only nation of secular significance in the Middle East is Israel; 37 percent of Israelis are atheist or agnostic (Kedem 1995) and 75 percent of Israelis define themselves as ‘‘not religious’’ or having a ‘‘non-religious orientation.’’ (Dashefsky et al. 2003).

That’s a lot more secular than the U.S., but not a surprise to many Jews. As the old joke goes, “What do you call a Jew who doesn’t believe in God?” Answer: “A Jew.”  But Israel still caters to its Orthodox minority, even when simple decency says that it shouldn’t.

A case in point, documented by both The Guardian and Newsweek, involves a subject I’ve written about before: ultra-Orthodox (“Haredi”) Jews refusing to sit by…

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