"Perhaps if there were large numbers of unequivocal moderates, I wouldn’t need Imam Feisal as a dialogue partner. But there aren’t. And as an Israeli and a Jew, I need him desperately. I need him because large parts of the Muslim world are going the way that large parts of the Christian world went in the 1930s.
Yes, Imam Feisal has advocated a one-state solution, and I’ve spent much time over the last years countering the demonization of Israel generally and the pernicious notion of the“one state” destruction of Israel in particular. Yet he is also a Muslim who is willing to publicly engage with Jews, to unequivocally condemn suicide bombing attacks against Israelis and is open to discussing the religious meaning for Jews of our return home to the land of Israel. That is a basis for engagement and debate.
Rather than seek the telltale quote that will supposedly resolve whether he is a genuine moderate or a closest jihadist, I prefer to treat him with respect and – not as a tactic, as you suggest, but because that is the prerequisite for genuine dialogue.
We need an approach that doesn’t resort to the blinders of the left or the sledgehammers of the right. If the result sounds “confusing,” I’m willing to live with a certain amount of dissonance, at least in my religious conversations," – Yossi Klein Halevi, in a response to Ron Radosh's hostility to Park51.