Democratic Rep Accused of Anti-Semitism for Calling Pro-Israel Lobby "Powerful"

Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) has been accused of being anti-Semitic because he described the Pro-Israel lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), as "extraordinarily powerful" and suggested they played a significant role in promoting the war in Iraq in a recent interview.

Ronald Halber, the executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington said of Moran, "He uses several age-old canards that have been used throughout history that have brought violence upon Jews. He uses clearly anti-Semitic images such as Jewish control of the media and wealthy Jews using their wealth to control policy."

In his defense, Moran told the Washington Post, "The problem with addressing the groups who have argued strongly in favor of a long-term American military presence in the Middle East is that they raise arguments that are not related to the point. I would like to have a reasonable, objective discussion about AIPAC's foreign policy agenda. But it's difficult to do that because any time you question their motives, you are accused of being anti-Semitic."

Here is the interview Moran did with Tikkun, a California-based Jewish magazine in which Moran made his Israel-related remarks. Read it and weigh in on whether this "outrage" is justified or unreasonable:


TIKKUN: What do you think the reasoning is for the Democrats who voted against the amendment requiring that the president get authorization from Congress before attacking Iran?
MORAN: Well, AIPAC strongly opposed it. In fact, Rep. Murtha, Rep. Obey, and myself wanted it in the supplemental. We had it in and then the leadership had to take it out because AIPAC was having a conference in Washington, and insisted with the leadership and many of the members with whom they have close alliances. Yesterday, AIPAC had an amendment to recommit the whole Armed Services Bill in order to add language requiring America to develop missile defenses jointly with Israel, to share all its missile defense technology with Israel. That passed overwhelmingly. There were only thirty members--that's less than 10 percent--who voted against sharing all our missile technology with Israel. It received about 400 votes in favor of it. I was one of the thirty. My feeling was that it wasn't just the incendiary language that Israel is under immediate attack and we need to protect it from another Holocaust, it was also the idea that the solution to Israel's security is a militaristic one. I would urge you to read the Congressional record for the debate on the recommital. It put our loyalty to Israel in terms of complete military support. My feeling is that both America and Israel have acted in counterproductive fashion and have undermined their security by focusing exclusively on military capability.

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