The Sixth Herzliya Conference on the Balance of Israel’s National Security was held on January 21-24, 2006. The Conference’s deliberations reflected the major issues and dilemmas on Israel’s national agenda in the fields of foreign policy, defense, economics, social policy, governance and Jewish peoplehood. The Conference took place during the period prior to the general elections. The traditional Herzliya Address was delivered by Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and he, like the other prime ministerial candidates, highlighted the principles that would govern his policy. The Conference also took place on the eve of the Palestinian elections that won Hamas the majority needed to establish a Hamas government. This development, along with others, led to the assessment that arose from the sessions on national security and foreign policy that 2006 would be a year of significant developments and critical decisions regarding the strategic threats facing Israel – the strengthening of Hamas and the looming confrontation with Iran over its nuclearization. Much of the rest of the Conference was devoted to the key domestic issues in Israel, particularly the maintenance of economic growth, welfare policy and the rule of law in the present political system. As always, the Herzliya Conference program emphasized issues pertaining to Israel’s Jewish character, its sense of national purpose and its relations with Jewish communities worldwide. In this context, the presentation of the first survey on patriotism in Israel has elicited lively debate.