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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Saturday, September 15, 2007

My New Congressman Everyone

Doesn't he just make you proud?

Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.) has again come under fire from local Jewish organizations for remarking in a magazine interview that the "extraordinarily powerful" pro-Israel lobby played a strong role promoting the war in Iraq.

In an interview with Tikkun, a California-based Jewish magazine, Moran said the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is "the most powerful lobby and has pushed this war from the beginning. I don't think they represent the mainstream of American Jewish thinking at all, but because they are so well organized, and their members are extraordinarily powerful -- most of them are quite wealthy -- they have been able to exert power."

Moran's remarks were criticized by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington and the National Jewish Democratic Council. Ronald Halber, executive director of the first group, said Moran's remarks are anti-Semitic and draw on ugly stereotypes about Jewish wealth, power and influence.

"He uses several age-old canards that have been used throughout history that have brought violence upon Jews," Halber said this week. "He uses clearly anti-Semitic images such as Jewish control of the media and wealthy Jews using their wealth to control policy."

Ira N. Forman, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, said in a published statement that there is nothing wrong with criticizing the pro-Israel lobby but that Moran's statements go beyond that to defamation by making a "phony" connection between AIPAC and the Iraq war.

"Rep. Moran's comments are not only incorrect and irresponsible," Forman said. "They are downright dangerous."

Moran has a history of going anti-semitic in his criticisms of Israel and U.S.-Israeli relations. In 2001, when the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon came for his first visit with President George W. Bush, Moran said he's purpose was because Sharon was "probably seeking a warrant from President Bush to kill at will with weapons we have paid for."

He often will say these things in front of large Muslim crowds, partly for the partisan audience to such words, partly because this area does have a rather sizable Muslim community.

Three of Wisconsin's Congressional Delegation are Jewish -- Senators Kohl, Feingold, and Rep. Steve Kagen -- the rest are of some Christian denomination (Baldwin lists her "official" faith as GLBT though.) It'd be just terrific if one of those three had the political courage to put this moron in his place.

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