SPLC Calls on GOP to Cancel Hate Group-Sponsored Trip to Israel

by EDGE

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday January 29, 2015

The Southern Poverty Law Center has called on 168 members of the Republican National Committee not to participate in a weeklong all expense paid trip to Israel sponsored by the designated anti-gay hate group the American Family Association scheduled for January 31 through February 8.

In a letter dated January 14 to RNC offices across the country, SPLC President Richard Cohen reminded RNC members of the AFA's extremism and its demonizing attacks on minorities.

"Given the AFA's public statements - including the false contention that gay men were responsible for the Holocaust, an idea undoubtedly offensive to Israelis - political leaders should not lend the prestige of their office to this event or to this organization," Cohen wrote.

Cohen's letter goes on to outline several of Bryan Fischer's (director of issue analysis and spokesman for the hate group) more outrageous anti-LGBT and racist statements including his support of Uganda's "kill the gays" bill and his statement that African Americans "rut like rabbits."

"Given that the disease of anti-Semitism is flaring throughout the world, we certainly understand your desire to show your commitment to Israel at this time," Cohen wrote to RNC members. "But accepting funding from an extremist group like the AFA would make a mockery of that commitment and legitimize its extremism."

According to the Israeli news agency Haaretz , of the 168 RNC members invited, more than one-third accepted.

Haaretz also notes that Fischer and Tim Wildmom, president of the AFA, as well as the group's external public relations representative, did not reply to multiple requests for their response to SPLC's statements.