From The Washington Post:
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.”
In 2001, he [Moran] angered groups by saying in an appearance before the American Muslim Council that then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was coming to Washington “probably seeking a warrant from President Bush to kill at will with weapons we have paid for.”
The next year, Moran returned $2,000 in political contributions from a Muslim activist with ties to the anti-Israeli groups Hamas and Hezbollah.
And in 2003, at an antiwar forum in Reston, Moran said: “If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this. 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.”
Said Halber this week: “There are only so many mistakes he can make before it’s fair to call him an anti-Semite.”
I would say we’re at that point now. And don’t forget his racist acts back in 2000; from The Washington Post via LexisNexis, “Parents File Complaint Against Va.’s Moran; Lawmaker Says Boy Tried to Steal Car”:
The parents of the 8-year-old boy who allegedly tried to steal Rep. James P. Moran Jr.’s car Friday by claiming he had a gun have filed a complaint with an Alexandria magistrate and hired a lawyer, saying that their son did nothing wrong and was cursed and manhandled by the congressman.
The child merely admired Moran’s Toyota, the parents said, adding that Moran (D-Va.) then grabbed the boy by the neck and cursed at him.
Moran, who disputed the parents’ contentions, has not pressed charges against the boy but was obviously conflicted about how to proceed yesterday. Twice he reversed his decision, first telling a reporter he had decided to prosecute, then calling back an hour later to say he would not.
According to police, the boy approached Moran in the parking lot of Cora Kelly School and Recreation Center, claiming that he had a gun in his pocket and demanding that Moran give up his car keys.
Moran told police that he grabbed the boy and hauled him inside to the director’s office. The boy was not armed.
The boy’s mother, Melanie Gaitwood, yesterday gave her version of the incident, which occurred as Moran was picking up his children.
Gaitwood said her older son, age 9, came running home saying someone was trying to choke his brother.
Gaitwood said she went immediately to Cora Kelly. “My son was in the office, screaming and crying,” she said. “The director said, ‘This is the man right here that accused your son of trying to steal his car.’ I said, ‘What the hell are you talking about? He’s just 8 years old.’ ”
According to Gaitwood, Moran then insulted her.
Moran said the mother was “just screaming the vilest obscenities at me because I didn’t let him go. . . . And I said, ‘Ma’am, your son said he had a gun. He tried to steal my car.’ And she started with all the f’s. . . . I said, ‘Well, I think we found the problem.’ ”
Yesterday, Gaitwood told a reporter that a witness had seen Moran grab her son, a second-grader, around the neck and the leg. Then the boy’s father, Alonzo Griffen, arrived and referred questions to the family’s attorney, Ted J. Williams.
Also, from the AP via LexisNexis, “Congressman says boy tried to steal car, parents call congressman a thug”:
[Ted] Williams [the parents' lawyer], who also threatened to sue, called it a case of a “white congressman’s word against that of a young black kid.” He said Moran should apologize and agree to meet with the parents.
He [Williams] also sent school transcripts identifying the child as Michael Green, an “A” student.