Jew Hater or Doofus?


U.S. Rep. James P. Moran (D-Va.) is catching flak for a comment about Jewish influence on U.S. foreign policy that he made at an anti-war forum in Reston, Virginia:

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.

Moran himself is a Catholic, and last I heard the Vatican was staunchly opposed to war against Iraq. How come the Jews carry so much more clout?

In his defense, Moran says he focused on Jews because he was responding to a question from a Jew. If his interlocutor had been of a different faith, presumably he would have talked about how Hindus or Muslims or Unitarians could stop the war if they really wanted to.

"I know in my heart that I am anything but anti-Semitic," Moran says, noting that his daughter is marrying a Jew and will be a Jew herself soon. (She plans to convert, along with her 9-year-old son.)

Also, he really liked Seinfeld.

In short, Moran says he didn't realize he was reinforcing anti-Semitic delusions about Jewish power. Some may find it hard to believe that a member of Congress could be that clueless, but I credit Moran with all the stupidity he'll need to get out of this scrape.


NEXT: Untarnished Trademark

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Near as I can tell, we’re going to war with Iraq because of the strong support of George W. Bush, Condi Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney. Not a Jew among them.

    If the Jews really wanted to pick a fight, I’m sure they’d prefer that Arafat be the target of regime change rather than Saddam.

  2. Fyodor,

    I understand where that “sensitivity” comes from. I’d say that African-Americans are justifiable sensitive about political debates that remind them of racist accusations that they are lazy and want to have their way paid without working. But I think it’s too bad that their sensitivity, and other people’s sensitivity to their sensitivity, was a constant subtext to the debate over welfare reform, and distorted the conversation. Articles such as this make me worry that the same thing is happening to our debate about Middle Eastern and anit-terror policies.

  3. It’s no more “anti-Semitic” to point out the powerful influence of AIPAC, than it is “anti-Cuban” to complain about the inordinate influence of the Miami Cubans on U.S. policy toward Havana.

    And it doesn’t make you “ageist” to recognize that the “third rail” status of SS and Medicare are largely owing to the organized power of the AARP lobby.

    As for Seinfeld, I’m surprised he and Larry David haven’t been called “self-hating Jews.” After I posted an “backtalk” letter with negative comments about Jonathan Pollard and the USS Liberty incident, I got an angry email calling me “Jew-hating garbage” and Eric Garris a “self-hating Jew.”

    It’s interesting that the neocon establishment (rightfully) holds Jesse Jackson in contempt for playing the race card against his critics, and automatically using the terms “racist” and “oreo” or “Uncle Tom.” But criticisms of neoconservatism or Zionism regularly elicit predictable responses of “anti-Semite” or “self-hating Jew” on FrontPage from David “Uncle Leo” Horowitz.

  4. Joe and Kevin C:

    You make good points that I agree with in and of themselves. But I think they would be more applicable to Moran’s comments if he DID criticize AIPAC specifically. But that’s not what he did.

    Still, I agree we shouldn’t all be tho thenthitive! 🙂

  5. Fyodor,

    You’re right–when I hear people complaining about the influence of “the Jews” on foreign policy, it makes me cringe. It makes those with legitimate critiques of Zionism look guilty by association.

  6. Uh-oh! Love-Fest warning!! We’d better start all hating each other again!!!

    Lefty, where are you??

  7. I’m sick of political correctness of any stripe.

  8. Rep. Moran might be fairly labled a doofus but not because of what he said about Jews. This Democrat has only a 15% National Taxpayer Union rating earning him an “F” grade from the group. But at least he’s on the right side of the Iraq war issue.
    Should one hold thier tongue because what is said might be used by predudice people? Of course not.
    Per-capita, Jews are wildly over represented in influential positions especialy in media.(see “Jewish Power” by J.J. Goldberg, also an interesting volume concerning Jews and government is “The fatal embrace:Jews and the state” by Benjamin Ginsberg) Do the facts of this statistical over representation give evidence in favor of justifying a negative disposition towards any Jew weather influential or inconsequential? Of course not. But we also should not shy away from examining this influence
    on issues that have a Jewish component. The Iraq war is such an issue. While Its true that the most influential neocons that have been lobbying hard for this war since 1998 are largley Jewish( Pearl, Wolfawitz, Kristol). Whats really to the point is that they have pushed this as being good for Isreal and the belicose Sharon government concurs.

  9. That’s OK, Seinfeld’s show helped tremendously to counteract the myth of Jewish Power. That guy couldn’t even get a bowl of soup without having to appease the soup Nazi.

  10. And the implication of this piece is, what? That AIPAC isn’t a powerful lobbying group? That pro-Israel political leaders aren’t hawkish on Iraq? That Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, and Bill Kristol were actually altar boys together?

    If a Congressman had said that Irish Americans could influence the administration’s policy on Northern Ireland, would it have even made the papers?

    I haven’t seen acusations of racism fly this freely since Al Sharpton commented on welfare reform.

  11. “In short, Moran says he didn’t realize he was reinforcing anti-Semitic delusions about Jewish power.”

    Has Reason ever mentioned how a large majority of black voters vote Democratic? I certainly hope not, because any statement about the beliefs and actions of the majority of any ethnic group is automatically racist, facts be damned.

  12. Regardless of the politics of this situation, Moran is a doofus and a weasel.

    When I lived in Alexandria, Virginia during Moran’s tenure as Mayor [late 80’s], a Confederate war memorial statue in the middle of a main street was struck by a drunk driver and damaged.

    It was moved to the side of the road to await repairs. The lefties in town took the opportunity to attempt to banish the statue on “moral” grounds.

    Moran clearly agreed with them, but wishing to demonstrate his weaselhood, claimed that the statue should not be replaced because it was a traffic hazard. Though the statue had stood for over 110 years [somewhat longer than the auto had been around] and this was the first traffic incident it had been involved in.

    In the end, it wasn’t his call to make. The citing of the statue was determined by an act of the Virginia General Assembly, could only be changed by them and they weren’t about to listen to Jim Moran.

  13. Joe, I suppose nothing in this world is exactly equal to anything else, and so it’s hard to say what really is or isn’t a “double standard.” For what it’s worth, Jews have some reason to be sensitive to the implication that they’re somehow insidiously and powerfully influential on world affairs as that charge has often been used by antisemites, including the Nazis. And of course, not all Jews are Richard Perle!

    One thing I wonder about regarding Moran’s remarks is whether he offered a reason WHY pro-Israel hawks (to be a little more specific than he was) should change their views and the direction of their influence. If he thought a simple suggestion or plea would do it, now that’s *really* stupid. Sometimes an ethnic joke sounds more mean spirited if it’s not funny, and likewise Moran’s comments may have come across weird cause there’s so little point to them, leaving him open to sounding like he was saying that Jews know the war is wrong but are pushing for it anyhow.

    BTW, it’s no big deal to this Hebrew. I’d surely say something stupid at least once a week if I were in the public eye 24-7.

  14. Did anyone read the Washington Post lead editorial about Moran? They’re continuing the Big Lie that his comments were Protocols of the Elders of Zion material. Snivelling cowards, they’ll say anything to discredit the antiwar cause.

    This entire scandal is based on the fact that the doofus Congressman’s words reminded somebody of what antisemitic people say – not that his words were anitsemitic, but that he wasn’t careful enough to avoid sounding antisemitic when we said something that wasn’t antisemitic. Amazing.

  15. I 100% support the comment made by Rick Barton on March 11, 2003. We, as the citizens of the US, cannot ignore the becoming obvious issue of jewish influence in US foreign policy.

    I personally think the jews sold their story over Iraq to American people and used the American soldiers for their own jewish agenda.

    As long as American people are not interested in the world affairs and are not willing to do their own research, they will be kept selling the jewish version of stories again and again through the propaganda schemes from media.

    I would like to suggest the American people: wake up!

  16. Hi,
    Don’t you know that the jews are the better people in the world? The most of the most?

  17. If Jews are such a big threat in the world , why are they only less than 1% of the world population?

  18. If Jews are such a big threat in the world , why are they only less than 1% of the world population?

  19. EMAIL:
    DATE: 01/19/2004 08:17:49
    We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.