Archive for July, 2006

Isaac and Ishmael

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

I was watching the West Wing episode, Isaac and Ishmael, Aaron Sorkin’s response to 9/11. It was the first time I saw it.

I found it protective of Muslims and sympathetic to the backlash American society was having on them. But I also found it, for some inexplicable reason, pro-Israel when it didn’t have to be — with Toby Ziegler telling a story about a Jew in a Nazi concentration camp and a student posing rather posed question about “a society that has to just live every day with the idea that the pizza place you are eating in could just blow up without any warning” to which Sam Seaborn gives the obvious answer.

The episode also oversimplified the solution to terrorism from extremists, with Josh Lyman saying ” You want to get these people? I mean, you really want to reach in and kill them where they live? Keep accepting more than one idea. It makes them absolutely crazy.”

In the end, I had to ask, what did 9/11 have to do with Isaac or Ishmael, the fathers of today’s Jews and Muslims? It’s an analogy — but hopelessly forced and obtuse.

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