Israel Turns Seventy-five as a Nation Divided

Israel turns seventy-five this week: the ritualized celebrations of patriotic solidarity are, this year, unusually self-conscious and forced.The country is in an escalating culture war, and the festivity seems only a ceasefire. Not unlike America commemorating its seventy-fifth year, in 1851, one feels that a rotten compromise struck at the time of the state's founding has produced, in effect, two societies in Israel, one passably liberal and bourgeois, one traditional and supremacist, and that the latter has finally encroached upon the former in ways that make live and let live—once justified as unity against foreign enemies— intolerable.

Read the full New Yorker article here