White House, Jewish groups slam congressman for saying Jews behind military buildup toward war in Iraq
The White House and congressional leaders joined Jewish groups in sharply criticizing Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va., who said Jews were behind the buildup toward war with Iraq, one day after he apologized for the remarks. The lawmaker said at an Episcopal Church forum on March 3 that Jewish leaders were influential enough to push the nation toward war.
At the forum, attended by about 120 people, Moran discussed why he thought antiwar sentiment was not more effective in the United States.
"If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this," Moran said. "The leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the direction of where this is going, and I think they should."
Moran, a seven-term incumbent representing Alexandria, Arlington County and part of Fairfax County, has apologized in a statement, saying, "I made some insensitive remarks that I deeply regret.
"I should not have singled out the Jewish community and regret giving any impression that its members are somehow responsible for the course of action being pursued by the Administration, or are somehow behind an impending war," Moran said.
Moran said he was trying to make a larger point that "if more organizations in this country, including religious groups, were more outspoken against a war, then I do not think we would be pursuing war as an option." He said he framed his answer the way he did because his questioner identified herself as Jewish, and "I regret doing that." (Albawaba.com)