Israeli Secularists Appear to Find Their Voice

Speaking to a group of ultra-Orthodox men shortly before he officially entered politics, Yair Lapid, a proudly secular talk-show host, declared that in a century-long competition to define Israel’s character, “we lost and you won.”

“Not only in terms of numbers,” Mr. Lapid said in late 2011 at a college for religious students, but also in politics “and as a consumer force and in the streets and in the culture and in the educational system ”” you won in all these places.”

Now, Mr. Lapid’s stunning success in last week’s election, in which his new Yesh Atid became Israel’s second largest party, is being viewed by many voters, activists and analysts here as a victory for the secular mainstream in the intensifying identity battle gripping the country.

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One comment on “Israeli Secularists Appear to Find Their Voice

  1. Ad Orientem says:

    The ultra-orthodox have become something of problem as some of them attempt to impose by coercion their values on the rest of Israeli society.