WASHINGTON (Mar. 3)
Rep. Robert Dornan (R. Calif.) has indicated regret for remarks he made on the House floor last week which one major Jewish organization characterized as “anti-Semitic slander.”
Doman, a hardline conservative member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee who is known to be staunchly pro-Israel, acknowledged that he had used “inelegant phrasing” when he attacked Radio Moscow commentator Vladimir Posner, who appeared briefly on ABC Television last Wednesday night after President Reagan’s nationally televised speech seeking public support for his military budget.
Dornan, expressing outrage that the Soviet commentator was allowed air time to rebut the President, called Posner “this disloyal, betraying little Jew.” Posner is Jewish on his father’s side, though the family had converted to the Russian Orthodox faith long before his birth.
B’nai B’rith International executive vice president Daniel Thursz demanded that Dornan apologize for “a classic anti-Semitic slander.” “To call attention to Poser’s Jewishness in a defamatory manner is totally reprehensible,” Thursz said in a statement issued Friday.
Dornan, who had called Posner’s TV appearance “an affront to decency and to Jewish people around the world,” said in a Cable News Network interview that a pro-Israel group called him saying he had no reason to apologize for his remarks. “I disagree with that,” the California Congressman said. “That was inelegant phrasing.” He did not identify the pro-Israel group.