Secular ? Theocratic ? The case of the Israeli state defies the usual categories and gives rise to much confusion ; for this reason, it requires a nuanced approach. The secular cause is itself divided over the strategy to pursue. For moderates, the religious monopoly in the area of personal law must be broken by demanding, in particular, that civil marriage be made an option alongside religious marriage. For radicals, by contrast, arrangements of this type, however important they may otherwise be, only mask the intrinsic ambiguity that stems from the close ties between nation and religion (and not just between synagogue and state). After examining the political, cultural and demographic factors that have in recent decades given increased weight to religious forces in political and social life, one should take stock of the factors that provide a counterweight to religious expansion. These include the active intervention of the Supreme Court in religious affairs, the preponderance of a secular ethos shared by the economic, political and intellectual elites centered in Tel-Aviv and the presence of CIS immigrants - a portion of whom are not Jewish according to religious criteria - and immigrant workers who have long resided in Israel.