German officials mark Israel's 60th birthday, celebrate strong ties

The president of Germany's parliament and the country's main Jewish leader on Wednesday marked Israel's 60th birthday, underlining their commitment to Israel in the face of threats from Iran. Parliament President Norbert Lammert celebrated the strong relations that have grown between Israel and Germany as a "marvel of history." "In the six decades since the liberation of the (Nazi) concentration camps, a friendship has developed that no one could seriously have hoped for," Lammert told an audience of some 900 people at an event in Frankfurt's Paulskirche church. Lammert also pointed to Israel's right to live within secure borders. "Some things are negotiable - Israel's right to exist is not," he said. A nuclear-armed state in the neighborhood would be "intolerable," he added, in an allusion to Iran.