The ultra-Orthodox Jews have joined the Muslim Arabs in forming a coalition against the bill, because they’re concerned that the same bill might also be used to silence the sirens that blare the announcement of the onset of Shabbat.

Turns out, what hurts religious freedom for one community often hurts another. And the sound of a threat can sometimes create unexpected cooperation. […]

In the Middle East, religion can be very noisy, and the truth is that sometimes all the religious sounds annoy me; I hear them as a demand that I live in someone else’s time, and they encroach on my personal space.

But this current legislation wasn’t intended to decrease the volume; it was intended to silence. It’s not about sound, but about politics. The bill was proposed by right-wing Knesset members, one of whom threatened to storm the Supreme Court with a bulldozer. It is little more than an attempt to assert unilateral Jewish sovereignty and to make sure that the Arabs feel like strangers here.