States of upheaval

What if there were separate Israels for secular and Orthodox Jews?

By YAEL UNTERMAN
May 2, 2013 14:56
4 minute read.
THE SECULAR state in the novel bans all kosher restaurants in Tel Aviv.

restaurant 370. (photo credit: (Illustrative photo: www.goisrael.com)

 
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Originally from Ottawa, Gila Green has set her debut novel King of the Class in Israel, but one that seems more unfamiliar than familiar. Her story, blending a number of genres – science fiction, magical realism, action thriller and Jewish drama – revolves around two particular families, but the futuristic setting that emerges strongly in the background is of equal interest.

Green suggests that, not too long from now, the State of Israel will undergo civil war and break off into two separate entities – Shalem, a religious state run along halachic guidelines, and Israel, a secular state that bans all kosher restaurants in Tel Aviv in its efforts to maintain its character. The two states are fairly hostile to each other, and special passes are required to cross the borders. Green also throws the Yovel artificial islands into the mix, built off the coast of Israel where both secular and religious Jews may live.

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