Reviving our concern, our desire, for a continued Jewish existence is the main task of anyone who cannot conceive of himself as being outside the Jewish-national collective and without a Jewish state in which Jewish secular life can thrive.
Israel Harel is a regular columnist for Haaretz. He is the founder of the Institute for Religious Zionism at the Shalom Hartman Institute, and of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, which he headed until 1995.
Harel began working as a journalist in the 1960s, as a young contributor to the Eretz Yisrael Movement's newspaper, This is The Land.
He went on to serve as managing editor of the Hayom daily and in 1972 became the assistant editor for the weekend edition of Ma'ariv, at the time the most widely read newspaper in Israel. In addition to that position, Harel also worked as an investigative reporter on Israeli corruption.
In 1991, Harel was asked by Haaretz to contribute an occasional column and to write as a guest journalist. When Chanoch Marmori took over as editor-in-chief, Harel's column became weekly, and it has appeared every Thursday since.
Shinui is acting under pressure. It feels the need to prove that it is not another Dash or Tzomet (parties that burst onto the political scene with a considerable number of Knesset seats but disappeared altogether after one or two terms).
More than four years ago, after Klingberg had served 16 years of his 20-year sentence, this lobby managed to convince the court to release him on the grounds that he could no longer do any harm. The court heard medical testimony saying that Klingberg was a broken vessel and did not have much longer to live.
Sharing the front page of Yedioth Ahronoth with the emotion-charged picture of Rona and Assaf Ramon beside fallen astronaut Ilan Ramon's coffin was another headline that should also have jolted the public: "Paratroopers from Battalion 890: Help us."
Like all addicts, the Haredim - even without Shinui leader Yosef (Tommy) Lapid and the constraints of the economic crisis - need to be cured of both their total economic dependence on the state and their absolute avoidance of making any contribution to the society that effectively makes their existence in this form possible.
The difference today between Labor and Likud lies in no more than temperament and the sense of belonging to a particular camp or social milieu (and these loyalties and sense of belonging are the reason why Labor will not suffer an even greater defeat and humiliation).
The Likud government promised "peace and security" and is unable to put an end to terrorism. The economy and society are in a bad way, and the Likud and Ariel Sharon are stained by corruption. In any normal country, this would be more than enough to hand the ruling party a crushing defeat.
Part of the NRP's effort is to "bring home" those who plan to vote for more right-wing parties. In my opinion, this is a waste of time. It would be better to focus on the Likud. According to its own assessment, that's where most of the religious voters are.
This is how Israeli society treats itself: When the Central Elections Committee (CEC) approved the candidacy of Baruch Marzel, there was an outpouring of condemnation. "This decision was made by third- and fourth-rate politicians," was the learned opinion expressed by journalists.
Even after 10 fatalities, including a father and his son, in Ofra people have a hard time getting used to it. When the news came that Yossi Rund had been injured north of the settlement, there was great anxiety. It's not fair, stamped one of the members of the emergency committee.