Ronald Weiner sits on a bench in a serene Beverly Hills park on a perfect, sunny day, filled with rage and frustration. He's shaking, his fingers tremble, and his voice cracks with every other sentence. The source of his anger is the city in which he sits. For the past year, Beverly Hills has thwarted Weiner's efforts to build a large senior-housing project on property he owns.
Predictably, it happened again. Conservative and Reform Jews choseto demonstrate their right to worship at the Kotel in their way, menand women together. This time, however, the worshipers had officialclearance. But their permit did not help. Sadly, but alsopredictably, Orthodox Jews prevented them from praying in their way.Passions flared. The scene became ugly. Religious extremists,unconcerned about Torah prohibitions against striking another person,became violent. Hurt and humiliated, the non-Orthodox worshipers wereforcibly removed by the police. And, of course, the media had beenprepped. The cameras were ready. They captured the tears of thevanquished and the jeers of the violent. The angry scenes wereflashed across the world.