Representative from Virginia makes "offensive" comments

March 12, 2003, midnight | By Nora Toiv | 19 years, 9 months ago

Representative Jim Moran, a Democrat from Virginia, made seemingly anti-Semitic comments about Jews and their relationship to the war in Iraq, according to CNN.

The Jewish community is in an uproar over Moran's comments. At an antiwar forum in Reston, VA on March 3, he said that if Jewish people were louder about the war in Iraq that they could possibly stop it. "If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this." He placed blame on the leaders of the Jewish community saying that they could change the direction of the war if they wanted to.

The Jewish Community Council (JCC) criticized Moran's comments saying that they were "offended." The leader of the JCC, Ronald Halber, wrote to Moran "besides being patently untrue and foolish, your poisonous remarks are reminiscent of age-old vicious canards that have been hurled against Jews for generations."

White House Press Secretary, Ari Fleischer voiced the President's opinions of the controversy. "Rep. Moran suggested that the reason that the president was thinking about using force in Iraq was because of the influence of the Jewish community. Those remarks are shocking. They are wrong and they should not have been said."

Secretary of State Colin Powell cleared up the Bush Administration's intentions for the war. "It is driven by our own national interest," he said. Powell answered questions by the House Appropriations Committee, and rejected an possibility that the war was driven by Israel or America's Jewish community.

Six Jewish members of Congress have called for Moran to resign but he said that he has no intentions of doing so. Moran issued an apology for his comments, but members of the Jewish community have not accepted it.

Halber called the apology "inadequate."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also voiced her objections to Moran's comments. "Congressman Moran's comments were not only inappropriate, they were offensive," Pelosi said. "He has properly apologized. His comments have no place in the Democratic Party."

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