Civil Rights Coalition Condemns Rep. Moran’s Comments Singling Out Jewish Community for War with Iraq

Media 03.19.03

WASHINGTON ? Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), the nation’s oldest, largest, and most diverse civil and human rights coalition, issued the following statement regarding remarks made by Rep. James P. Moran, Jr., D-Va., during an anti-war event where he suggested that Jewish support was influencing U.S. strategy to go to war with Iraq. According to press reports, Moran told the audience, “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.”

“We are outraged, as were so many Americans, by Representative Moran’s insensitive comments, which were not only misinformed, but deeply offensive.”

“Comments like these, as well as those recently made by Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C. – where he defended the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II – rely on gross stereotypes to explain political decisions. This type of scapegoating is patently unacceptable, and particularly dangerous given the uncertainties our nation faces in the coming weeks and months.”

“Leadership and accountability in this time of crisis are critical. We believe Representative Moran’s decision to step down as the mid-Atlantic regional whip in the House Democratic Caucus was appropriate.”

“The success of LCCR as a multiracial and multiethnic coalition dedicated to common goals should serve as a reminder that through unity and respect for difference, we find strength. We must not forget that in times of war as well as in times of peace, we are all one America.”