The first thing that strikes one upon first visiting Israel is that these people appear to bear no relation whatsoever to the bookish, anxious stereotype of the Jew which initially attracted me to the breed. They are athletic beyond belief. At 11.30 at night, as K and I sit drinking in the LaLaLand beach bar, they’re still jogging along the esplanade and playing volleyball on the court. All along the seafront from the Old Port to Jaffa, there are outdoor gyms, their equipment painted in the primary colours of the playground. No matter how sweltering the weather, they are always in use.