What We've Learned from Each Other
A Report on a Jewish-Protestant Conversation About the Israel-Palestinian Conflict
A group of Chicago-area Protestants and Jews have issued a report summarizing a three-year dialogue and offering guidelines for discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a mutually respectful manner. The group met at the University of Chicago under the auspices of Dr. Richard Rosengarten, Dean of the Divinity School, and included prominent leaders from both communities. Entitled "What We Have Learned from Each Other," the report emphasizes "the fundamental distinction between criticism of the political practices of the government of Israel and the rejection of the right of Israel to exist," and urges that the former not be allowed to imply the latter.
Signatories of the document include Rev. John Buchanan, pastor of Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago, and editor of The Christian Century; Rabbi Yehiel Poupko, John Colman, and Michael Kotzin of the Jewish Federation of Chicago; Dr. Cynthia Linder and Prof. Marty E. Marty of the University of Chicago; and Prof. Benjamin Sommer of Northwestern University. The group states at the conclusion of its report: "We have talked and engaged in at times difficult conversation and dialogue, and we will continue to do so. . . . We urge you who find yourselves in the leadership of churches and synagogues to do much the same."