2012 July » ADL Blogs
July 19, 2012

Head of Anti-Hispanic Hate Group Interviewed by Anti-Semitic Publication

Glenn Spencer
The conspiracy-oriented anti-Semitic publication, American Free Press (AFP) interviewed Glenn Spencer, who heads the anti-Hispanic hate group, American Border Patrol(ABP), in an article published on July 16, 2012.  ABP regularly does video surveillance of the Mexican-American border. 

The article, “Obama Executive Order Means Open Door Amnesty,” was written by regular AFP contributor and conspiracy theorist Victor Thorn.  It focuses on Spencer’s views about President Obama’s executive order allowing many young undocumented immigrants to legally remain in the United States. In the article, Spencer promotes anti-Hispanic conspiracy theories about Mexicans taking over the Southwest and accuses President Obama of trying to create a one-world government under the banner of “globalism.”

Spencer has been warning of a plan by Mexicans to “invade” and “conquer” the Southwestern U.S. for more than a decade. He has claimed that the Mexican government is “sponsoring the invasion of the United States with hostile intent.”  Spencer has also attended white supremacist events and had a letter published on the racist website, VDARE.com.

Despite his views and activities, Spencer has been given some degree of legitimacy by presenting himself as an authority on immigration. In March 2012, he spoke to the Arizona State Senate’s Border Security Committee.  

Thorn, who interviews Spencer for AFP, is also very problematic. In addition to writing conspiratorial articles for AFP, he has published books promoting anti-government and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. His latest book, The Holocaust Hoax Exposed: Debunking the 20th Century’s Biggest Lie, clearly promotes Holocaust denial. AFP itself focuses on anti-Semitic themes, from anti-Israel conspiracy theories to Holocaust denial. AFP is published by long-time anti-Semite and Holocaust denier Willis Carto.

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July 13, 2012

Anti-Immigrant Political Action Committee Sees Rise in Contributions for 2012 Election Cycle

US Immigration Reform PAC, a political action committee whose purpose is to “reduce immigration” and “secure our nation’s borders,” has seen a sharp increase in contributions for the 2012 election cycle. The PAC’s president is Mary Lou Tanton, the spouse of John Tanton, the architect of the modern day anti-immigrant movement in the United States. 

According to the website Open Secrets, which tracks federal campaign contributions, US Immigration Reform PAC’s total receipts for 2012 to date are over $14,500 with almost four months to go before Election Day. While this figure is relatively low, it is up almost ten-fold from the last election cycle, where the PAC only received a little over $1500 in total receipts. In the 2012 cycle, US Immigration Reform PAC has donated $2500 to congressional candidates, so far.
Open Secrets also lists individual donors who have given $200 or more to the PAC. Among the donors for 2012 is Sharon Barnes, a longtime board member of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an extreme anti-immigration group that was founded by John Tanton in 1979. Barnes, who has donated $300 to date, formerly sat on the editorial advisory board of Tanton’s anti-immigrant journal, The Social Contract. Another contributor of over $200 is John Rohe, who, along with his wife, donated a combined $500 to the PAC for the 2012 election cycle. Rohe is a good friend of John and Mary Lou Tanton, even penning the couple’s biography, which was published in 2002. Rohe is also the Vice President of Philanthropy at the Colcom Foundation, an organization that donates millions of dollars to anti-immigrant groups each year.
It is no surprise that US Immigration Reform PAC’s contributions are up since immigration is a hot-button issue in the 2012 election cycle. The four congressional candidates that the PAC has donated to thus far in 2012 are Lou Barletta (R-PA), Paul Broun (R-GA), Steve King (R-IA) and Allen West (R-FL). 

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization, ADL does not endorse or oppose any candidates for political office.

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July 11, 2012

New Biased Billboard Campaign in Westchester

Several misleading billboards featuring maps of Palestine/Israel from 1946-2010 sponsored by a local anti-Israel group are currently on display in Metro-North train stations in Westchester.

The billboard at a Metro-North train station  

The billboards attempt to showcase that all of Israel was owned by Palestinians pre-1948 when, in reality, much of the land was owned by non-Palestinian absentee landlords who lived in Cairo, Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut.

They also try to convey that Israel is rapidly taking control of land that would comprise an eventual Palestinian state. ADL issued a statement on the billboards, describing them as “deliberately misleading and biased.”   

The group that placed the ad, the Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine (COPIP), and its chairman, Henry Clifford, have a record of advocating against Israel. The group, for example, recently endorsed the Jewish Voice for Peace-led divestment campaign targeting TIAA-CREF for investing in companies that allegedly help Israel maintain the occupation.

In the past, Clifford has inflammatorily alleged that Israeli leaders have “always planned to take over all or most Palestine and to expel as many Arabs as would be necessary.”

What is perhaps most troubling is the group’s attempt to explain Palestinian terrorism as a result of Israeli policy or U.S. aid to Israel. A post on COPIP’s blog from May 2011 includes a flier that reads, “Mothers do not raise their children to be terrorists. Only when all hope is lost for a decent, secure life is a terrorist created.” It later asks, “Could it be that billions of dollars in U.S. aid to Israel is actually helping to create terrorists?”

COPIP is a member group of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a large anti-Israel coalition based in Washington, D.C.

In the past year, anti-Israel billboards have appeared in several cities across the country, including Denver, Detroit and, most recently, Los Angeles.

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