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Ultra-orthodox and secular Jews battle over Israel's future

Israel has historically faced hostility from it's Arab neighbors.  Now, it is facing hostility within it's own borders as the battle between ultra-Orthodox and secular Jews threatens to divide the country. NBC's Martin Fletcher reports.   

TEL AVIV – Israel’s orthodox and secular Jews are in the midst of a pitched battle over the role of women in society.

It's a question as old as the state: how Jewish will the country be? In recent weeks radical ultraorthodox Jews have hit the headlines after one told a woman to go to the back of a public bus. Others smashed the windows of shops with content they considered provocative, defaced posters of women and even threatened children.

It's all about so-called modesty. Radical ultraorthodox want women out of sight, so that they won't be tempted – even by children.

It's a decades old fight that sometimes hits the headlines. But under Israel's right-wing religious coalition government, the tension is growing.

NBC News’ Martin Fletcher reports from Tel Aviv on the ongoing battle. Watch the video above.