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Are Jews Behind the War on Iraq?
A Case of Classical Anti-Semitism
 More of this Feature
How Do Israelis Feel about a U.S. Attack on Iraq?
• How Should Israelis React to an Air Raid Siren?

 
 From Other Guides
Online resources about Iraq and Saddam Hussein

 
 Elsewhere on the Web
• Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
• Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA)

 
 

Moran's Moronic Comments

A U.S. lawmaker told his constituents that the Jewish community is behind the Bush administration’s push for war against Iraq.

On March 3, 2003 Rep. James Moran (D-Va.) said, “If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this,” according to the Virginia-area Connection newspaper.

Moran, whose daughter is converting to Judaism before an August wedding, has a history of comments and actions against Israel and the Jewish community. Thus, Moran's comment itself is not alarming. Rather, the lack of a serious counter to Moran's comment by American leaders, journalists and citizens is cause for serious concern.

On the eve of the first Persian Gulf War in 1991, Patrick Buchanan said the war was being touted by “the Israeli Defense Ministry and its amen corner in the United States.” This comment was met with widespread condemnation and derision.

In contrast, Moran's comment linking of US-Iraqi strife to a Jewish or Israeli conspiracy to dominate US foreign policy has reverberated.

The Lie - Classical Anti-Semitism

The echo, from the New York Times to the Chicago Tribune to the Los Angeles Times, of Moran's suggestion that the Jewish community is responsible for the U.S. military buildup against Saddam Hussein shows that anti-Semitism is alive and well in America.

Three classical anti-Semitic themes underly Moran's comment:

  • Jews Have Excessive Power
    Anti-Semites have long spoken of a Jewish conspiracy controlling the U.S. government. This was apparent in a May 2002 Survey of Anti-Semitism in America, which also found that 20 percent of the American public agrees that, "Jews have too much power in the U.S. today."

  • Jews Are Not Loyal
    According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), one-third of Americans still accept the notion that Jews have "dual loyalties." Such charges of disloyalty were the fuel behind anti-Jewish pogroms in Russia and the Holocaust in Europe.

  • Jews Act Not As Individuals but in Conspiracy
    Moran’s comments portrayed the Jewish community as monolithic.

The Lie - Blatant Anti-Semitism in the Muslim Press

The Anti-Semitism being veiled in the American press is being more openly expressed the Muslim Press. Newspapers in the Muslim and Arab world have turned to classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, suggesting that Israel and the Jews are the "invisible hand" behind America’s foreign policy toward Iraq. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has collected a sampling of cartoons showing how anti-Semitic and anti-Israel conspiracy theories are being used to blame Jews for the war in Iraq.


The Truth - America Acts in America's Interests

American leaders, right or wrong, are determined to dethrone Saddam Hussein because they believe it is in America's and the world's best interests to get rid of a brutal dictator who is trying to develop weapons of mass destruction.

Members of Congress are virtually united behind President Bush and his administration’s campaign to oust Saddam Hussein. While there are U.S. officials of Jewish origin within the Administration who advocate military action, other strong advocates of war against Iraq within the Bush administration include President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Powell and National Security Advisor Rice on this issue.

It is true that Iraq poses a threat to Israel and removal of Saddam's tyrannical regime would be beneficial to Israel. It is also true that Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other countries would benefit from new leadership in Iraq. It is the hope of everyone that the Iraqi people will themselves be the beneficiaries of a more humanitariam leadership.

Americans opposed to war have every right to question their government's motivations for war. However, scapegoating minorities, whether Jewish or Muslim, is inappropriate and misleading.

sources:
JTA: http://www.jta.org
ADL: http://www.adl.org



~ Lisa Katz

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