The news is good

It might not seem so at the moment, but after 63 years and against many odds there are good reasons to be optimistic for Israel's future.

If you dig beneath the sediment of bad news that is regularly dumped on the Jewish state, you'll find that optimism is widespread. A recent Gallup poll, for example, found that Israel is the seventh happiest country in the world. Whether or not this is connected to another finding, that Israelis have more sex than almost any other population, is up for debate, but either way, Israelis are having plenty of babies - a healthy 178,000 were born over the past year. And the economy grew by 4.5 per cent this past year. So this Yom Ha'atzmaut really was a time for partying.

    Last updated: 11:30am, May 12 2011