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Progressive Revival

Steve Waldman asks the question whether the current crisis will split the religious left.  He predicts:

“Most likely what will happen next is that an over-reaction from the Protestant left will prompt American Jews into an uncomfortable (but familiar) defensive crouch in which they suppress their anguish and in many cases disgust about Israel and go forth with a fulsome defense of Israel. Which will make the Protestant left ratchet up its rhetoric further, etc.”


It reminds me of an article I wrote early on at Beliefnet called A House Divided, about embodying both my progressive protestant (Walter Rauschenbusch) and progressive yet zionist (Louis D. Brandeis) ancestry, and how these both of these traditions influenced my understanding of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. 
I am not sure that the religious left needs to be ultimately divided as Waldman warns. There are many Jews who are openly questioning this offensive in Gaza and the horror that it has produced in the lives of Palestinians.  Likewise most liberal protestants, while critiquing this offensive and settler activity, continue as stalwart supporters of the right of Israel and Israelis to live in peace without harassment.   Muslims in America also generally support the right of Israel to exist in peace and tend to align themselves with more progressive Jews and Christians on ending terrorism, yet vehemently arguing for the rights of Palestinians to live in dignity and for their homeland.  

It is not so important that the religious left be split or not.  What is important is that the world not be split.  The key is to be even handed as we offer critiques of offenders and support of victims and call for an end to violence on both sides.
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