Tuesday 26 January 2016

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on 27 January each year. It’s a time for everyone to pause to remember the millions of people who have been murdered or whose lives have been changed beyond recognition during the Nazi persecution.

As we do so, let us also recall that the world contributed indirectly in that in 1938 the American President Roosevelt called a Conference in Geneva to consider the plight of Jews in Germany and Austria who wee already suffering persecution, and nation after nation, including America itself, declined to admit any Jews to their countries. Soon after Kristal night took place in Germany when massive damage was caused to Jewish property and Jews were forced to identify themselves publicly. Hitler felt he had a free hand and told the South African government that the Jews would be wiped out. Subsequently 7 out of 10 Jews living in Europe were said to have been killed.

The significance of Israel in world affairs is immense in that the Bible story is based on Israel and Christianity begins and ends there. Jesus was born there, (a Jew), our faith is based on a book written by 39 out of 40 writers who were Jewish, and our God is the God of Israel.

Despite this being so, the nation does not appear to have many friends beyond America, and even there the present President does not seem to have the same commitment to Israel as his predecessors, and his support seems rather tenuous.

In numerous Biblical verses it is revealed that Israel was chosen by God, and whilst Jesus was sent to be the world’s Saviour, God has never abandoned His ancient people.

Let is not forget, when the Jews returned to their biblical homeland, it was largely a swamp filled, untilled wasteland. Jewish settlers drained malaria infested swamps and made it a flourishing fruit and agricultural success, planting millions of trees. In the wider world Jews have excelled in science, medical research, finance, the arts, and have a record number of Nobel prizes. Many of the technological aids we have today are due to the brilliance of Jewish scientists, and we have smartphones and medical treatments discovered by them.

Much of such knowledge has been given to the wider world, yet there are countries in the Middle East who have openly stated their declared intention is to wipe Israel off the face of the map, in other words as worse a fate if not more so than the holocaust.

Whilst God has promised never to abandon His ancient people, the consequences if an Arab nation did attack Israel are too horrific to contemplate. Let us all pray fervently on Holocaust Day, as we remember the survivors still living, that such human aggression will not be repeated.

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