After 50 years, the nation's Jewish solidarity has dissolved into tribal clashes.

After: Time Magazine, European issue. April 20, 1998.

While constantly having to put up with the Arabic World anyway, Israel is now also at war with itself

If only the founding fathers had known that their vision of a semitic state would not be brought down by its warlike neighbors, but by rivaling tribes of Jews themselves, they would have certainly felt betrayed. David Ben-Gurion, the young state's first prime minister, had the Western World in mind when he modelled the Jewish nation as a secular state that respects religion, not as a bigot construct that would follow the lead of Orthodox rabbis. But exactly that is what is happening.  With a fractious Parliament of as many as 13 parties, Israel is disunited as never before. Even though such astonishing diversity has made Israel the only still funtioning democracy in the Middle East, it is also a source of weakness for the country.

In a time when Israelis cannot even decide on what constitutes Jewishness, it seems, the nation with the David's Star on the flag is in even more trouble than it has ever been when leading war against Egypt, Syria or Lebanon, because this time, the aggressor is not a fiend on the other side of the angstfully protected border, but an enemy within. And one that is growing stronger, draining power from fear and belief.

In a society becoming more and more 'normal', the men in black appear outdated, but it is the secular citizens who, even though constituting a vast majority, find themselves on the defensive. They are driven out of suburbs by concerted settlements of orthodox jews-unless riots are driving the orthodox out.

'We don't want them here. They hate us. They don't think we're Jews.'      -- an Isreali woman on orthodox zionists

'We're losing. Israel is going to become a religious country,' says Shimrit Orr, who moved to the secular neighborhood of Neve Rotem two years ago, one of the places the orthodox are 'infiltrating', as people feel. She expresses fears that many secular Israelis share, but the increasing number of  ultra-Orthodox is but one of the problems the state is having.

'Israel is going to become a religious country.'

Many of those who came to Israel after the collapse of the Soviet Union still have not adapted, and most of them probably never will.

After the assasination of Yitzhak Rabin by a radical student in 1995, Israel has never regained the relative peace it had had―for a short period of time.