Message Of Hope
Hitler's holocaust -- the travail of Israel
The Jews have enriched all the nations in which they have settled - an inevitable fact because of the promise given to Abraham when he left his home to go to a land of God's choosing: "And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great, and thou shalt be a blessing" (Gen. 12:2).
According to the psalmist, God chose Israel for His "peculiar treasure" (Ps. 135:4). And although it has not often been recognized, the Jews have been a treasure to all nations of the world.
Mark Twain wrote:
Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous, dim puff of stardust in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of. He is as prominent on this planet as any other people. His commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world's list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also altogether out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in the world in all the ages and he has done it with his hands tied behind him.
Blessings through the Jews
Even those who hate Jews take advantage daily of their many contributions. Those who have heart disease and use digitalis are benefiting from the work of Ludwig Traube. If one has a toothache and uses Novocain, he is helped by the work of Carl Koller. If one contacts typhoid fever, his recovery is likely to be the result of the work of two Jews, Widal and Weil. If one has diabetes and uses insulin, it is because that product is available through the research work of a Jew named Minkowsky. The list is long; the blessings that come to us through the Jews are many.
When settling in their ancient homeland, the Jews brought blessing to the Arabs who dwelt there. That may sound absurd in the light of present conflicts in the Middle East, but it is true.
In 1937 the Peel Commission was sent by Great Britain to survey the situation in Palestine. The commission was headed by Lord Peel and composed of a group of men of exceptional ability. Its report in part was as follows:
It is difficult to detect any deterioration in the condition of the Arab upper class. Landowners have sold substantial pieces of land at a figure far above the price it would have fetched be fore the First World War [It must be noted that this commission's study was during the depression of the thirties].... In recent transactions, mainly Palestinian Arabs have been concerned and the transactions have all been considerable.... Partly, n o doubt as the result of land sales, the effendi class has been able to make substantial investments of capital.... At least six times more Arab-owned land is now planted with citrus than in 1920.... Some of the capital has been directed to building houses for lease or sale to industrial enterprise.... In the light of these facts, we have no doubt that many Arab landowners have benefited financially from Jewish immigration.... A member of the Arab higher committee admitted to us that nowhere in the world are such uneconomic land prices paid as by the Jews in Palestine.
The general beneficent effect of Jewish immigration on Arab welfare is illumined by the fact that the increase in Arab population is most marked in urban areas affected by Jewish development.... We are also of the opinion that up till now the Arab cultivator has benefited on the whole from the work of British administration and from the presence of the Jews in the country. Wages have gone up and the standard of living has improved. Jewish example has done much to improve Arab cultivation, especially citrus.
The reclamation and anti-malarial work undertaken by Jewish colonists have benefited all Arabs in the neighborhood. Institutions founded with Jewish funds primarily to serve the national home have also served the Arab population. The Arab charge that the Jews have obtained too large a proportion of good land cannot be maintained. Much of the land now carrying orange grove s was sand dunes and swamp when it was purchased.
But if this is true, why the Arab-Israeli conflict?
A similar question might also be asked concerning the reaction to Jews all over the world. Why are the Jews so maligned and hated when they are so productive and helpful? There can be but one explanation -- the fulfillment of prophecy: "And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee" (Deut. 28:37).
So the Jew finds himself in a difficult situation. He is a blessing, yet a byword. He is a treasure, yet he experiences great trouble. He is a contributor, yet he causes conflict wherever he goes. In short, although the material gains brought by Jews are desired, the Jew himself is unwanted. Nowhere was this more true than in Germany during the Third Reich. The official government policy became the extermination of the Jews while salvaging their accumulated wealth, including all personal possessions down to the fillings in their teeth.
Hitler's Nazis made no secret of their hatred of the Jews from the very beginning. Part of their platform in 1920 was: "None but members of the nation may be citizens of the state. None but those of German blood, whatever their creed, may be members of the nation. No Jew, therefore, may be a member of the nation."