Soberty: Ho hum. Beit Ha Kerem is a largely secular area indeed. It seems that I was over-enthusiastic in reacting to imagined offences - as is often the case. Please accept my apologies.

Oh, and for what it's worth, I agree with you entirely on the whole subject of religion and freedom - they suck, because we're prepared to grant them freedom of religion, but they're not prepared to return he favour. Doesn't it feel great to be the good guys? *g*

(Original writeup quoted below.)

As for religious fanatics in Jerusalem, I happen to have lived there all my life and never have gotten stoned once. You knowledge of which neighbourhoods are religious and which are not is obviously not as good as you imagined.

Nobody has ever died or was even seriously injured in these demonstrations in all the years of conflict between religious and secular inhabitants of Jerusalem, by the way.

As for why they do it - imagine that someone came and started raping 5 year old girls in your neighbourhood on a Sunday (or any other day, for that matter). What would you do faced with such a criminal violation of the values you hold dear, as well as the cruel and inhuman harm to the little girls? OK, tone it down a notch or two and you'll see what the deeply religious feel on seeing cars and scantily clad young tourists who think they've got the political situation sussed drive through their streets on Saturday.

I have been on the opposite side of the political fence to the religious population of Israel since the day I was old enough to go to a demonstration - but I wouldn't doubt for a minute their right to consideration from the rest of us, of which not driving through their areas on Shabbat is a part.