It’s Nobel week! And that means speeches from winners past and present. Holocaust survivor and laureate Elie Wiesel was at the 92nd Street Y last night when a very similar community center with vaguely religious affiliations, Park51, came up. According to the Daily News, this is what the author had to say:
“Let’s do it together. Let’s finance it together. Let’s do programs together. Let’s promote religious understanding together,” he told a rapt audience on Wednesday at the 92nd St. Y in Manhattan.
The 82-year-old Auschwitz survivor said he plans to pitch his idea to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and hopes he will accept it, because it can become a great monument for human understanding.
Gee. Kinda sounds like what the project’s developers have been saying from the start. Then again, given all the insane coverage that took place over the summer, Wiesel (along with half the nation) could be forgiven for thinking this was anything more than a monument to Islamo-supremacy.
Meanwhile, as the Times cleverly reports today, almost this exact same fight took place more than two centuries ago, when Catholics tried to build their first church in the city. Coincidentally, St. Peter’s is literally half-a-block from the proposed site of the Park51 community center. But the two buildings share more than a street. Also: angry WASPs.