Congressman faces heat for comments on Jewish lobby
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Rep. Jim Moran, D-Virginia, is under fire from members of his own party for recent comments claiming a major Jewish public action committee was behind the push to invade Iraq in 2003.
In the September issue of the Jewish magazine Tikkun, Moran is sharply critical of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), saying "AIPAC is the most powerful lobby and has pushed this war from the beginning. I don't think they represent the mainstream of American Jewish thinking at all, but because they are so well organized… they have been able to exert power."
AIPAC tells CNN it has taken no position on the Iraq war.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, was quick to dispute Moran's charge.
"I think he certainly ought to retract the remarks, and indicate he believes that he was inaccurate on the facts," Hoyer said Tuesday.
“His remarks…recall an old canard that is not true, that the Jewish community controls the media and the Congress," Hoyer added.
A spokesman for Moran told CNN Tuesday, "It is not the Jewish people, but an organization aligned with the Bush Administration… that he critiqued."
In 2003, Moran apologized for saying Iraq would not have been invaded without the Jewish community's support. He survived a primary and got re-elected in 2004, but his latest remarks could prompt another challenge.
– CNN's Brian Todd Contributed to this report