So far, so good. But then we get to the concluding graf:
"The battle will be uphill, the struggle difficult, the discomfort inevitable, but Muslim leaders have the opportunity to echo the historic declaration of the Vatican's Nostra Aetate," [Rabbi Marc] Schneier said, referring to the Catholic Church's official repudiation of the age-old accusation of deicide against the Jews.
Two problems. First, this implies that the only purpose of Judeo-Muslim dialogue is for Muslim leaders to see the light and issue a declaration recanting past anti-Semitism. There is no indication that Jews, too, will have to make any concessions or indeed, have anything to learn at all.
Second, if the point of this article was to break beyond the strictures of Jewish-Catholic discourse, this is a really foolish statement. Unlike Catholics, there is no centralized Islamic religious hierarchy which could issue a statement like the Nostra Aetate -- or for that matter, one which is promulgating the sort of anti-Semitic ideology that required that proclamation in the first place. The dialogue between Jews and Muslims is going to be more akin to Jewish-Protestant dialogue, which recognizes the factionalism and decentralization of the parties and doesn't expect some broad statement of consensus at the end. Jews and Protestants continue to talk even though some Protestants continue to harbor extreme anti-Semitic views. Jews and Muslims will have to proceed in dialogue the same way. The decision on which particular persons and groups we talk to and which we ignore is, of course, up for discussion -- but it's not going to be that similar to how Jews and Catholics worked this endeavor.