Today is the sixtieth birthday of the State of Israel. Like no other country in the world, Israel provokes a huge reaction amongst its defenders and detractors. Whatever its faults - and it has many - Israel is a bastion for democracy in the Middle East. We would do well to remember that, perhaps more often than we do.
I have no hesitation in congratulating the Israeli people on this anniversary. There are many who thought they would never see the day. So many people - and countries - in the Middle East wish Israel ill, that today marks a real achievement, not just for Israel but also for the concepts of freedom, liberty and democracy.
PS Along with abortion and climate change, this subject always provokes a deluge of hate-filled comments. If anyone is tempted down that road, savw yourself the bother. I won't let them through moderation.