Existential fear is not a pleasant feeling. Yet, on the other hand, is there anything left in Israel's ethos - a positive, meaningful vision that defines our identity as a people?
Doron Rosenblum is a senior correspondent for Haaretz, and a member of the newspaper's editorial board.
Arafat lies when he talks about peace and speaks the truth when he promises war; and, in any event, he is not relevant. This conforms conveniently with the narrative we have adopted in the last two years.
In a country in which everything is transient and liquid, and even the earth is unstable underfoot, "the threats of a teachers' strike on the first day of studies" are our cathedral - the only mini-shrine of stability and traditional continuity.
In the atmosphere of the "voluntary military putsch" in which Israeli politics is currently mired, it looks as though the sky's the limit when it comes to the authority and status of the chief of staff and the commanders of the corps.
The few, small demonstrations conducted here and there in the country nowadays sound like a choked whimper emanating from the jaws of a lion: Is there something pathetic about them?
As water was gushing in Europe's streets, we saw on TV several Israeli tourists at Ben-Gurion Airport on their way to Prague, despite the floods. Or maybe because of them.
Is it still possible to dream in Israel of a prime minister who is civil, urbane, polite, with "emotional intelligence" - or is that a lost cause? The security threats and terrorism have contributed to the upgrading of the position of PM in Israel, and to the escalation of the tests of fire that the candidate must pass.
Maybe the secret of Sharon's puzzling popularity, which seems to grow greater the bigger his failures in all areas, is that he is part of the surge of entertainers that has been sweeping over us, oddly in tune with the wave of terror attacks, job losses and general sense of despair.
Well, no one expected Haifa's Mayor, Maj. Gen. (res.) Amram Mitzna, but he emerged with the announcement that he would be running for the chairmanship of the Labor Party.
The Sharon government is not even trying to pretend that it is doing everything, but everything, which includes seizing every thread of the slightest prospect of a settlement or a cease-fire, in order to prevent the killing and risk to its citizens - as any normal government would do in a properly run country.