Rep. Robert K. Dornan (R-Calif.), ensnarled in a second controversy over his public remarks this week, spent much of yesterday denying a charge by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) that he is anti-Semitic for saying on national television that "New York liberal Democrats only build F15s for Israeli pilots, not for our pilots."
"It was a very anti-Semitic thing to say," said Frank, who is Jewish. "It's the identification of New York and Jewish that would lead him to call me a New York guy."
Dornan, who made the remark on Cable News Network, said it was a slip of the tongue and that he intended to say "northeast liberal Democrats." He said he did not know Frank was Jewish, and "if anybody'd ever pressed me, I would have said he was Italian."
"Here's a guy who I didn't even know was Jewish, attacking me, who's got a solid reputation for support not just of Israel but for the whole human race," Dornan said, adding that he has won numerous awards from Jewish organizations.
The incident followed another fracas in which Dornan called Rep. Thomas J. Downey (D-N.Y.) a "draft-dodging wimp."