What I am coming to is that it seems to me — from many visits there, and seeing the country in peace and war — that it is Israel that remains the truly western country. It is Israel which takes its history seriously, thinks deeply about where it is going and what it exists for. It is Israel which takes western values seriously and fights for the survival of those values rather than sitting back and assuming they are simply part of some birthright. Israel’s questions and dilemmas are not the stuff of North London or other parts of western Europe these days, though they remain febrile in much of the US. In conclusion, and despite my admiration for his frankness, I cannot help thinking that Hugo has got this wholly wrong and upside-down. Geography aside, it is Israel that is still truly a western country. Far more than many parts of western Europe now are.