Close your eyes and imagine for one moment how radically different the entire world would be if Israel were at peace with its neighbors in the Middle East. In fact, consider the multitude of benefits to all of humanity and the thought becomes as exciting as it does overwhelming.
I am not merely talking about the preservation of human life that is tragically lost to deadly terrorist attacks and wars that are forced upon the Jewish state by neighbors who remain committed to its destruction. I am also talking about the life-improving innovations that flow from Israel like the mighty streams that rush through the rugged landscape of the Holy Land.
If Israel received the gift of peace and security then the entire world would receive even more remarkable benefits than it has already reaped from a tiny country no bigger than the state of New Jersey which fights to survive in one of the world’s most violent and destructive neighborhoods.
During the past week I have traveled through Israel and the Palestinian territories with Dr. Ben Carson and his wife Candy. We have seen first-hand the challenges that Israel faces and the incredible opportunities that this small dynamo is creating for its people and the larger global community.
One of the most striking things about this visit is that several Palestinians have pulled me aside and whispered to me how much they would like to live in a country like Israel. They dare not say this publicly out of fear, but so many Palestinian mothers and fathers simply want desire what their counterparts on the Israeli side want: to live in peace and in a place that provides hope and promise for their children.
It’s such a shame that these aspirations are held hostage on the Palestinian side by terrorist groups and corrupt leaders who prefer bloodshed and bombing to peace and progress.
When you pause to consider what Israel has managed to give to the world despite being under constant fire from its enemies it is staggering. Innovations from instant messaging to ingestible pill cameras to aid doctors to drip irrigation to lightning fast computer processors to the USB flash drive. These are just a handful of the Israeli innovations that have forever altered our world for the better.
As we heard this week in Israel, the country spends around 20 percent of its national budget on defense. Imagine if Israel’s neighbors were to accept its existence and sign peace accords with the Jewish state. The rate of innovation would surge forward, research and development could accelerate thanks to the infusion of much-needed funds. The world would not just improve, but it would do so faster.
The Arab and Islamic countries which spend so much time demonizing Israel and indoctrinating their people to hate Jews would actually stand to benefit the most from ending their senseless crusades against Israel and stepping into the modern world.
Arab children, and indeed children everywhere across the globe, would enjoy greater access to healthcare innovations. They would have greater economic opportunities and chances to improve their societies.
What is it about Israel that has made the nation so inventive? It is a fascinating question to ponder. Ironically, perhaps life in the pressure cooker of the Middle East has motivated the Israelis to push harder, to produce more.
Historically, the Jewish people have always been threatened and unjustly targeted. Yet somehow that may have instilled within this noble and learned people a desire to prove the naysayers wrong. Are Jewish successes in all realms, from law to science to business to scholarship and beyond a form of rebellion and resistance to the haters and naysayers who have tried in vain to convince the world that Jewish lives and blood are worth nothing?
How is it that a group of people who represent just 0.2 percent of the global population have won 22 percent of the Nobel prizes which are awarded to those whose work advances humanity?
As I prepare to depart from Israel and reflect on the remarkable events that took place here I remain hopeful that there are more great things to come. The grace of God is present here in this land, and what the Israeli people are continuing to share with the brotherhood of man across the globe is nothing short of a modern-day miracle.