Willis Carto archive

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ADL Welcomes Demise of Anti-Semitic Group, But Cautions it May Not be A Major Setback to Extremism

New York, NY, July 10, 2001 — The Anti-Defamation League, while welcoming the news that one of the most historically influential and active anti-Semitic organizations in the United States must close its doors and cease publication of its weekly anti-Semitic newspaper, cautioned that it is not as big a setback for extremism as it may initially appear. The demise of Liberty Lobby and its anti-Semitic propaganda sheet, The Spotlight, may only serve to strengthen another anti-Semitic group, the Holocaust-denying Institute for Historical Review which has been engaged in a bitter struggle with Liberty Lobby ever since they split in 1993.

While it is always good to witness the demise of an anti-Semitic organization, we are not yet ready to rejoice, said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. The organization may be gone but its anti-Semitic founder and mainstay, Willis Carto, is still with us. Mr. Foxman said ADL will continue to remain vigilant when it comes to Carto and his former cohorts at the Institute for Historical Review.

Liberty Lobby, the anti-Semitic, conspiracy-oriented propaganda machine, which lost a crucial bid for federal bankruptcy protection last month, forcing it to close its doors and stop publishing its weekly newspaper The Spotlight suffered the final blow when its most recent Chapter 11 filing was dismissed by the court. This marks the latest step in the struggle between Liberty Lobby founder Willis A. Carto and his former associates at the Holocaust-denying Institute for Historical Review.

In the aftermath of the bankruptcy, the future of the two organizations remains to be seen. It is possible that Carto will begin publishing The Spotlight again, funded by donations to his Friends of the Liberty Lobby group, although it appears unlikely he could raise sufficient funds in the immediate future. The IHR may be able to enrich itself on funds raised from liquidating Liberty Lobby’s property.

Founded by Willis Carto in 1955, Liberty Lobby became one of the most influential and active anti-Semitic, conspiracy-oriented propaganda organizations in the United States. The Spotlight, which ran its first issue in 1975, had considerable influence on the growth of American militia groups in the 1990s. Liberty Lobby also broadcast a weekly radio program, Radio Free America, which frequently interviewed hate group leaders and conspiracy theorists. After the split with IHR, Liberty Lobby began publishing The Barnes Review, a bi-monthly magazine devoted to a pseudo-intellectual approach to Holocaust denial.