A July Huffington Post article detailed a telephone exchange with Sharif el-Gamal, the developer of the Park51 cultural center and prayer space.
"Park51 is an Islamic community center modeled after the (Jewish Community Center) or YMCA," Gamal said. "It is open to all people but it is not an interfaith project."
"Hold on, Sharif," Goldsmith interjected. "You're wrong to say that. It is an interfaith project."
"That's what I said," the developer insisted. "It's an Islamic community center open to all people, serving all New York and based on pluralism and diversity."
So, in the spirit of interfaith dialogue, an event is scheduled for this evening, a review of the book, "In the Presence of Absence” including a Q&A with Adam Schatz, among others.
An excerpt from a review of the book states, "it is full of descriptions of Gaza and Deir Yassin and Sabra and Shatila."
Adam Shatz wrote a piece in the Guardian where he discusses the Mearsheimer and Walt paper on the Israel Lobby.
Alan Dershowitz, Israel's unofficial ambassador to Cambridge, Massachusetts, predictably denounced the paper as anti-Semitic, but then he would probably find the rumblings of a pogrom in a negative review of his favorite deli.
I checked out the website of the JCC, curious if such events were being presented at the center which Park51 is using as a role model.
The JCC events schedule included a November 10 premiere of Dolphin Boy about an Arab and his Jewish Israeli girlfriend, a Saturday afternoon screening of David & Kamal on November 12 and a screening of a movie, 77 Steps which is a love story between an Arab girl and her Jewish boyfriend, which is co-presented by the New Israel Fund.
Which center is doing more for Jewish identity? Isn't it wonderful that the Sabbath is a day for viewing peace and friendship films? Somehow, I don't think that this was what G-d had in mind in the issuance of the fourth Commandment of remembering the Sabbath day to keep it holy.