First, a polite nod in the direction of Washington Post reporter Michael D. Shear, who has a very fair piece on George Allen’s mother’s Jewishness today. (The paper has been treating Allen as target practice for the last month.)
The article is actually quite moving. It seems that Etty Allen disclosed her Jewish ancestry to her son George only last month. Further, and this sheds light on Allen’s flustered response to the reporter’s question the other day, she swore him to secrecy.
Etty was raised as a Jew in Tunisia, where her father was imprisoned by the Nazis. Some Jews choose to abandon their faith in the face of persecution and she was one. George Allen Sr. knew, but his family did not. It’s a moving and sad and thoroughly understandable story now. No fair person could possibly judge George Allen harshly in light of this fuller picture.