Skip To Content
Breaking News

Republicans Ignored ADL Concerns Over Trip to Israel Led by ‘Hate Group’

The Anti-Defamation League asked the Republican National Committee to reconsider an Israel trip sponsored by a group associated with attacks on gays and minorities.

“Groups promoting anti-Muslim, anti-LGBT, anti-Mormon hate from their platforms seem an inappropriate partner for what was meant to be a positive effort,” Politico in an article on Tuesday quoted ADL’s Washington director, Stacy Burdett, as saying in a private communication to the party committee a week before the Jan. 31 departure date.

The trip, funded by the American Family Association and the American Renewal Project, drew controversy last month when the Southern Poverty Legal Center urged all 168 members of the Republican National Committee, or RNC, not to join, naming the American Family Association, or AFA, as a “hate group.”

Some 60 RNC members had signed on for the trip.

RNC officials have said that the tour is not an official RNC event and have described it “as an opportunity to see some of the historical sights of Israel and to advance their understanding of U.S.-Israel relations.”

In its initial release Jan. 20 calling on RNC members not to travel with AFA, the Southern Poverty Legal Center focused on AFA spokesman Bryan Fischer, and comments he made attacking gays, blacks and Hispanics and declaring that America is a Christian nation.

AFA on Jan. 29 wrote the Southern Poverty Legal Center to say it had removed Fischer as spokesman. The letter said the conservative group repudiated his offensive comments, but allowed him to continue to broadcast and blog through the group’s media.

In response, Southern Poverty Legal Center said Fischer’s continued association with the AFA undercut its bid to distance itself from him and noted anti-gay pronouncements by other AFA officials.

The Politico report said that some conservatives and evangelical Christians were beginning to wonder whether it was wise for the RNC to associate itself with the AFA.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.