Tuesday, September 19, 2006

MORE ALLEN The first time through, I missed this part of the press release from Sen. George Allen (R-VA):
I have never known whether he [my Jewish grandfather] was persecuted by the Nazis because of his nationality, his religious faith, his role as a community leader, or his part in the anti-Nazi resistance.
Compare that to this:
Senator Allen told the Richmond Times Dispatch in 2000 that his grandfather was imprisoned [by the Nazis] because "he sympathized with the Free French and the Allies and coveted the concepts of freedom of thought, expression, religious belief and enterprise."
In light of what we know now to be true--and in light of the fact that Allen now (falsely) claims to have always been agnostic about the reason for his grandfather's imprisonment--it's harder than ever to read the 2000 statement to the Richmond Times Dispatch without thinking that Allen was actively working to hide his Jewish roots.

In short, Allen's new agnosticism seems like a play to create wiggle room--to insulate himself from an explosive but, now, reasonable charge: That it was critically important to him to keep his Jewish ancestry quiet--to the point that he was willing to massage the facts about why Nazis imprisoned his grandfather.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.