The fight against radical religious elements' demand to exclude women from the public sphere in Israel has captured the attention of the Arab media, as major media outlets in the Arab world have begun covering it extensively.
On Wednesday, Al-Hayat – a London-based Arabic-language newspaper widely considered as one of the most influential publications in the world – dedicated its front page to none other than the mass anti-segregation rally held in Beit Shemesh on Tuesday.
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The paper delved into the haredi way of life and explained the various issues plaguing the sector's political and social relationships with the secular sector in Israel.
The feature also offered Al-Hayat's insight as to the balance of power between Israel's religious and secular parties, stressing the former's sway and the fact that they constitute the deciding factor in virtually every coalition.
Beit Shemesh rally (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
The paper paints a portrait of a radical religious society, which is controlled by a hierarchy of rabbis seeking to impose the strictest form of Torah laws on the country.
Religious fanaticism, the paper explained, "Poses a strategic threat to Israel, as it destabilizes its relationship with the West."
Al-Hayat also went into great detail about what it called the "religious radicalization in the Israeli army," recounting the controversy surrounding women's singing in IDF events.
Other prominent Arab publications such as al-Quds al-Arabi and al-Sharq al-Awsat also dedicated special coverage to the controversy in Israeli society.
The Palestinian news agency Maan's website dedicated its top story to the Beit Shemesh rally as well, focusing in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposal to "split" the city between the seculars and the haredim.
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