Saturday, September 23, 2006

Raising Kaine attacks Allen's Mother again!

Apparently Lowell is too busy running around with inaccurate rumors to be bothered to police his own web site. Or else he doesn't mind people using his baby to attack an 83-year-old Jewish mother whose father was imprisoned by the nazis.

From Raising Kaine, just another of the myriad of disgusting posts you can find there every day, things that are just what the rabid base of the Democratic Party eats up, but which would likely offend any normal Democrat. Is this what Lowell means when he says he wants the Webb campaign to talk about real issues? Without further ado, excerpts from Raising Kaine, the unofficial website of the Webb campaign, a fascinating work of vitriol called George Allen and the Lumbroso Code:

Now, to justify his implausible claim of ignorance, he has trotted out his octogenarian mother to issue a touching but equally unsatisfactory apologia.

This refers to a Washington Post story where Allen's mother reveals that she hid her Jewish heritage from her entire family, including Allen, proving his claim true, which is of course a bit problematic for the "Allen is a self-loathing Jew" "issue" the Webb campaign was pushing.

What it boils down to: Allen’s grandfather Felix Lumbroso (Allen’s grandmother, Felix’ wife, seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle), a Jewish Tunisian businessman with ancient family ties to Italy, suffered a terrible experience during World War II. He was “incarcerated” or “imprisoned” by the “Nazis.”

OK, I could believe they quoted "incarcerated" or "imprisoned" because they are quoting what was said. But why would they quote "Nazis", do they think the Germans have plausible deniability on the issue? Sounds like they are trying to raise doubts of the entire story, doesn't it?

So terrible was this experience, the story goes, that his daughter, Allen’s mother, resolved to never tell her children of the reason for his incarceration, or to fend off their questions with vague generalities.

Hm. Don't people use "the story goes" when they are trying to suggest it's not true?

So Allen grew up believing that – in his reported words, on various occasions – Felix Lumbroso had been incarcerated by the Nazis “because of his prominent position,” or because he had been an “Allied sympathizer,” or because he had been a “member of the Free French resistance” or the “anti-Nazi resistance,” or even because he had espoused “economic freedom”! Never, apparently, was George told – nor did he guess -- the most obvious reason for his grandfather’s incarceration: because he was Jewish.

And that couldn't be because he believed his mother, could it? Don't the people at RK believe their mothers?

Obviously, having her father hauled away by Nazis in 1942 or 1943 could be a terribly traumatic experience for a young girl.

You think? But not so much that we don't want to make her relive in in excrutiating detail so we can score political points against her son.

Still, a glimpse into the situation of Jews in Tunisia during that period is enlightening. To begin with, Tunisian Jews were – with a handful of exceptions – not subjected to the absolute horrors befalling their coreligionaries in northern Europe.

So the shoe drops. But it gets worse:

Of a population of many thousands, only about 20 Tunisian Jews were transported to the European death camps.

"His odds were very low of being gassed, so he should feel lucky"

Many more – perhaps 10,000 – were conscripted into forced labor, and were sent to camps (Bizerte being the largest and most harsh) or to private farms or factories.

"See, not bad at all, he was probably just enslaved -- no big deal"

There was a small but active Resistance in Tunisia. Published records show that at least two members of the extended Lumbroso family were active in the Tunisian resistance, with one of them, Lucien Lambroso, being decorated with the Croix de Guerre after the war. But Allen’s grandfather Felix is nowhere mentioned in these records.

Hmm, I wonder where this is going....

Most probably Felix was simply one of the thousands of able-bodied Jews (and others) who were conscripted into forced labor camps and who, when the Axis occupation collapsed in 1943, simply walked back to their homes. But is this a reason for traumatized silence?

There with that "simple enslavement" thing. Is RK even Democrat, don't they know slavery was a big deal? But now we get into the real slime:

These Lumbrosos would have been – in the broadest sense of the term – “collaborators” with the Axis occupiers. Upon arriving in Tunisia, the triumphant Allies promptly (if briefly) incarcerated a number of Tunisian collaborators – mostly Italian – in the same labor camps that had weeks before been occupied by Jewish conscripts. Did this fate befall Felix Lumbroso? Is this the skeleton in the closet?

Yes, that's what they said: Allen's grandfather was actually a German collaborator, and was imprisoned NOT by the "Nazis", but rather by the Allied Forces. Of course, they have proof to make this claim right? You don't just accuse people of helping the Nazis, especially a Jewish person, without SOMETHING, right?:

There is absolutely no evidence for this, but the confusion of Allen’s statements opens the door to endless speculation.

So, the Webb paid campaign staffer, Lowell, runs a web site, which uses the name of our Governor, Tim Kaine. And at his web site, paid for by the RaisingKainePAC, which supports Democrats, a blogger has posted, and had promoted, the theory that Allen's grandfather was a Jewish Nazi collaborator who was imprisoned by the Allies -- and they did so with NO EVIDENCE.

Why would they make such an offensive, vile, and outrageous charge?:

In short, it seems that George and his parents engaged in a lifelong “don’t ask – don’t tell” conspiracy. Etty has since made her true motivation clear. It was not the trauma of her father’s wartime experience that kept her silent. It was, sadly, more mundane than that: fifty years ago, large numbers of Americans were still blatantly racist and openly anti-Semitic.

Etty's QUOTE from the Washington Post article: "What they put my father through. I always was fearful," Etty Allen said in a telephone interview. "I didn't want my children to have to go through that fear all the time". I guess Raising Kaine thinks Etty is a liar now, too.

And why would they call this 83-year-old woman a liar? So they can make THIS comment:

All of this makes sense. And George Jr.’s studied ignorance of his family history begins to fall into place: he is, after all, his mother’s son. But his professions of ignorance contain a huge dose of implausibility: is he the Bubble Boy? Has he been kept in clinical isolation from his extended and extensive Lumbroso family through all of these decades? No contact, no conversations with aunts, uncles, cousins? I can tell you outright, and from experience, that it is impossible for a grown man to be unaware of the religion of half of his family…especially if it is a Jewish half!

Yep. Allen's a liar because his mother's a liar. Just like Allen was a racist because his mother was a racist.

Oddly, nobody questioned that John Kerry wouldn't have known his "religious heritage", or Madeleine Albright.

Lowell can profess his "outrage" all he wants about references to his web site. But so long as his site contains blatant garbage like this, and he does nothing to stop it, he deserves all the ridicule he gets.

Oh, and to answer RaisingKaine's rediculous question: Yes, Allen was kept from that side of the family. From the Washington Post:

Leo Mugmon, 92, a longtime friend of Allen's mother who knew her as a Jew in Tunis, recalled her decision to hide her faith when she came to the United States.

"She did not say anything to her mother-in-law or her family," Mugmon said. He added that Etty Allen's father, Felix Lumbroso, traveled from Tunis for the Allen wedding. "Mr. Felix didn't say anything about it. In silence, he sort of condoned it."

Allen never denied his grandfather might be Jewish, he said he didn't know, and his mother wouldn't say. But his mother kept this secret from her husband's parents, and from her family, and her friends:

Allen's mother said she first began concealing her Jewish roots after meeting her future husband, afraid that she would not be accepted by his parents and fearful that her religion could harm his budding coaching career, which started at Whittier College, a school in Southern California founded by Quakers.

"He didn't want me to tell his mother," she said of the elder George Allen. "At that time, that was a no-no, to marry outside the church."

That's the truth. His mother decided to hide her Jewish heritage because, as RK notes but dismisses, there was blatant racism in those days. And she kept the secret for years. And at some point, keeping the secret became more about having kept a secret, than the secret itself. How do you tell your family you have been hiding something for so long?

Many elderly confront this problem -- having kept a secret long past it's usefulness, they are fearful that revealing it might drive away their family and friends, when they need them most. Etty was obviously scared of this, because when she told Allen, she said this:

When I told Georgie, I said, 'Now you don't love me anymore.' He said, 'Mom, I respect you more than ever.' "...
"I said, well, I just didn't want anyone to know," she explained. "I had said, 'Please don't tell your brothers and sister and your wife.'

So up to three weeks ago, Allen said his mother wasn't Jewish because that's what he was told by his own mother. And Allen declined to answer the question on Monday because he honored his mother's wishes to keep her secret.

In fact, Allen had just recently learned about their Jewish roots when he made those comments. Allen declined to comment, but his mother said she had sworn him to secrecy.

Allen's mother says the recent events are exactly why she kept her secret:

"The fact this is such an issue justifies my actions, and my behavior."

Well that, and Raising Kaine using her revealed Jewish heritage as an excuse to call her father a Nazi collaborator. While most of us want to think the racism that Etty feared died a long time ago, Raising Kaine shows that it is still alive today in the blog run by a Webb paid campaign staffer.

UPDATE: Fixed multiple capitalization problems, including "Jew", "Jewish", "Democrat", "Lowell", "Nazi", "Allied Forces", and probably a couple others. Also a typo or two. Thanks to David for pointing this out.


Anonymous said...


I've been meaning to ask you this. Why is it that you consistently fail to capitalize the words "Jew" and "Jewish"?


Charles said...

That's a good question. I noticed I often fail to capitalize "christian" and "nazi" as well, even though I guess they also are proper names and should be.

I'll fix this post, and pay better attention in the future. I guess I just don't think about capitalization in blogs as much as I should.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Charles. I thought about the possibility that you tended to not capitalize any proper names .. but it looked funny to see it over and over, so I had to ask. Thanks for making the corrections.

Charles said...

No problem, I appreciated you pointing it out, and I hope you caught my apology in one of the threads right above this one.