I believe that Israel wants to be part of the Western democratic world even though it is positioned in the Middle East. To be a member of that world Israel must separate religion and the state and welcome pluralism. Otherwise, it will be, like most Muslim nations, a theocracy. It is not enough to simply say, "Look, we're better than the ayatollahs!" every time Israel falls short of full democracy and religious freedom.
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from the article: Extremist rabbis don’t represent Judaism