Wiesel, 82, said his solution would be to affirm to Imam Faisal Rauf that “I know your intentions are good” but that his plan would “hurt some people who have suffered.”

“Let’s turn it around – let’s do it together. Jews, Christians, and Muslims together will create this place, a center for interfaith, but sponsored together, financed together, worked out programs tighter, and show a symbol of solidarity, of religious solidarity,” Wiesel said. “It can become a very great symbol here – a great monument for humanity.”

“That sounds like a wonderful idea,” Axelrod replied, later calling it “a great idea” and one that “gives me hope.”