Monday, February 06, 2006

Jewish Identity

Okay, back to serious matters after a fun-filled weekend of lingerie glory and celebrity bashing.

This Danish cartoon thing is gathering quite a momentum, isn't it? Makes me think about inherent natures of people i.e. if an offensive cartoon of, say, the Tibetans was posted in the NY Times how would they react? By burning down embassies in Tibet? Oh wait. The only foreign presence there is Chinese. My bad.

I know I've gone on ad nauseum about the memoirs I'm reading written by a former U.S. Secretary of State. Well I'm halfway through so expect to suffer through a bit more, wink wink. The latest round of elucidation:

The first comment several people have made upon learning of my current book choice has regarded the Jewish card. Do you believe she really didn't know?

First of all, that aspect of her life is somewhat insignificant to me for no other reason than the fact that her political life, the role she played as first female sec of state and the global setting during her terms as sec and ambassador are the compelling issues for moi. Plus, after trying to slog through my brother Andrew's copy of Years of Upheaval, it is refreshing to somewhat mindlessly glide through this comparable Easy Reading Guide To History. Wanna re-read sentences and run to the encyclopedia and dictionary every other chapter? Try Kissinger on for size.

For those who inquired, I just completed the part about her unearthed Jewish roots. The answer is: Yes, I believe she was in the dark. A few reasons:

  • She has 2 siblings. You wanna tell me that she kept it a secret for 60 years and convinced the other two to go along with her so there wouldn't be a stink in Washington?
  • Do you know what public figures of that scale go through before taking office and being sworn in? Grilling by a team of attorneys to ensure no past skeletons are conveniently purged by opposition or journalists while in office, hearings, background checks and extensive history pore-overs. The legal team asked her for photocopies of everything she had ever written. This is a lady who has several advanced degrees, was a professor, researcher, served on committees, drafted resolutions...Think about that. Everything she had ever written
  • One of the people she consulted upon learning of her past was Elie Wiesel. Elie has been around the block a time or two and I daresay he'd have smelled a rat (as would have dozens of other Jewish community leaders in the U.S. and Europe she consulted in the aftermath)
  • It was common for people to adopt Christian identities during WWII and hold onto them for decades or forever. Apparently the Korbel family was hardly the exception
  • Call me naive but what would she gain by concealing her past?

THAT is my take on Maddie's Jewish roots, her parents' concealment of them and the sad fact that her grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles perished in Auschwitz, Treblinka and Terezin.

I'm just getting into the chapters covering Saddam Hussein and the Middle East. Boy oh boy (clap clap)

No comments: