The West Wing

Season 3 Episode 0

Isaac and Ishmael

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Oct 03, 2001 on NBC



  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • Charlie: Gangs give you a sense of belonging and usually an income. But mostly they give you a sense of dignity. Men are men, and men'll seek pride.

    • C.J.: Sir, this is a group of high school students from the Presidential Classroom.
      Bartlet: (to the students) You women seem bright and lovely. The men, disturbingly dense.

    • Bartlet: We don't need martyrs right now. We need heroes. A hero would die for his country but he'd much rather live for it... It was good meeting you all.

    • Josh (on how to deal with the terrorists): 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.

    • A student: What do you call 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?
      Sam: Israel.

    • Toby (about a man his father knew, who had been in a Nazi concentration camp): He said he once saw a guy at the camp kneeling and praying.
      He said "what are you doing?"
      The guy said he was thanking God.
      "What could you possibly be thanking God for?"
      "I'm thanking God for not making me like them."

    • Toby: Bad people can't be recognized on sight. There's no point in trying.

    • Toby: The Taliban isn't the recognized government of Afghanistan. The Taliban took over the recognized government of Afghanistan. . . . When you think of Afghanistan, think of Poland. When you think of the Taliban, think of the Nazis. When you think of the people of Afghanistan, think of Jews in concentration camps.

    • Toby: There's nothing wrong with a religion whose laws say a man's got to wear a beard or cover his head or wear a collar. It's when violation of these laws become a crime against the state and not your parents that we're talking about lack of choice.

    • Josh (to the students): Islamic extremist is to Islam as "blank" is to Christianity.
      (after hearing the students' suggestions, writes down the answer: KKK) It's the Klan gone medieval and global. It couldn't have less to do with Islamic men and women of faith, of whom there are millions and millions. Muslims defend this country in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, National Guard, police and fire department.

  • Notes

    • This was the show's highest rated episode of the entire series.

    • This special episode is not in the timeline of events in the series. It was designed in the wake of 9/11 to discuss some of the issues raised and to educate the public.

    • Music: Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" is played over the closing credits.

    • This was a special episode that Sorkin wrote following the tragic events on 9/11/01. This episode is not included in the regular continuity of the series.

  • Allusions