James Moran: Questions Remain
Does the Guinness Book of World
Records have an entry for the politician fastest to
apologize for Thought Crimes about ethnic issues?
I figured Sen.
Trent Lott held the world championship in the
apology Olympics. But now comes Rep. James Moran, who
seems to have trounced even the Mississippi senator in
the belly-crawl competition.
Mr. Moran`s offense, as the world
now knows, was to say that American Jews have played a
large role in pushing the United States into the coming
war with Iraq and thereby utter what is supposed to be
unutterable about Jewish power and Jewish loyalty.
Specifically, what he said at a
rally of religious opponents of the war in response to a
Jewish woman who wondered why more Jews were not
present, was "If it were not for the strong support
of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would
not be doing this," and "The leaders of the
Jewish community are influential enough that they could
change the direction of where this is going, and I think
Jewish leaders in and around his
own constituency at once
denounced him and, despite his immediate belly flop,
demanded his resignation from office, as did the
Meanwhile, the Republicans,
sniffing blood, paddled in to take a bite of Mr. Moran`s
flesh. The world`s only Jewish Republican congressman,
Rep. Eric Cantor,
told a meeting of 150 Orthodox Jewish leaders that
what Mr. Moran said was "reminiscent of the
accusations contained in the Protocols of the Elders of
Zion," a classic anti-Semitic forgery.
Of course Mr. Moran said nothing
like that—any more than the hapless Washington
bureaucrat who nearly lost his job a few years ago for
using the word
"niggardly" said anything
racially offensive. Mr. Moran`s critics either make
the same kind of confusion, out of an obsession with
their own persecution, or else are simply using the
charge to score political points.
What Mr. Moran actually said is
more or less (though perhaps not literally) true.
Only a month before the
Washington Post editorial page was blathering for
his resignation, its news section carried on the front
9) a long story by reporter Robert Kaiser on how "Bush
and Sharon [are] Nearly Identical on Mideast
Policy." It showed how mainly (but not exclusively)
Jewish neo-conservatives in the Bush administration have
pressed for war with Iraq and how these same people
share the agenda of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon`s bellicose Likud party. "The Likudniks are
really in charge now," a senior government official
told Mr. Kaiser. Other observers agree.
The Nation by Jason Vest, the Los Angeles
Times by political scientist Chalmers Johnson, and
most recently in a hard-hitting and well-researched
article in The American Conservative by Pat
Buchanan, among several other pieces by major
journalists and scholars, have all uncovered much the
When Tim Russert of NBC`s "Meet
the Press" asked his guest Richard Perle, a leading
neo-con hawk who`s chairman of the Defense Policy Board
in the Pentagon, "Can you assure American viewers
across our country that we`re in this situation against
Saddam Hussein and his removal for American security
interests?" (as opposed to Israel`s), then, as the
Forward, the leading Jewish newspaper in the
remarked last month, "the toothpaste is out of the
None of this literally
corroborates what Mr. Moran said about "the strong
support of the Jewish community" for war with Iraq;
the Bush Likudniks don`t necessarily represent all (or
very many) American Jews, but, as Michelle Goldberg
noted in an
article on Salon.com last fall, "mainstream
Jewish groups and leaders are now among the strongest
supporters of an American invasion of Baghdad."
What Mr. Moran said was close
enough to the truth not to be so ruinously "offensive"
as his enemies are claiming.
And the Jewish leaders who started
the stampede for Mr. Moran`s resignation aren`t mainly
concerned about "anti-Semitism" anyway. What they don`t
like is his voting record on Israel.
As Ronald Halber, executive
director of the Jewish Community Council of Washington,
Post, the congressman`s remarks were merely
"the icing on the cake. Over the past several years,
Congressman Moran has expressed a hostile tendency
toward Israel. It has come up in his votes and in his
Anti-Semitism is one thing, and a
good reason to resign. Opposition to Israel, at least
for Americans, isn`t.
If American Jewish leaders, inside
or outside the Bush administration, can`t make that
distinction and insist on using the charge of
"anti-Semitism" simply to smear and silence all
critics of Israel and our policies toward it, then there
may be good reason to ask more and much harder questions
about their real political and foreign policy agendas.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
[Sam Francis [email
him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection
of his columns,
America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The
Disintegration Of American Culture, is now available
Americans For Immigration Control.]