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January 26, 2011 11:12 pm

Jewish Defense Group Tries to Thwart Neo-Nazi Gathering in N.C.

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A militant Jewish group has been calling Charlotte hotels in an effort to block a planned February gathering by white supremacists, even as a coalition of anarchists and liberal groups plans its own protest.

The Jewish Defense Organization is threatening to boycott any hotel that hosts American Renaissance magazine’s Feb. 4-6 conference. A JDO spokesman said Monday it had called 40 hotels in search of the conference site.

The JDO website describes American Renaissance as “a collection of Jew-Hating and racist neo-Nazi & KKK.”

Renaissance editor Jared Taylor, who hasn’t announced the site, dismissed the criticism.

“These people are just goofy,” he said. “They have this weird notion that we’re anti-Semites, neo-Nazis … I don’t know where they get this crazy bee in their bonnet.”

Marilyn Mayo tracks both groups as a director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism.

“You have one extremist group fighting another extremist group,” she said. “In fact, the American Renaissance is not a neo-Nazi group. It’s a racist group.”

American Renaissance is a publication of the nonprofit New Century Foundation. According to its website, the group advocates “race realism,” a belief that race is “the most prominent and divisive” fault line in society.

Taylor said he expects 200 people at the conference, the venue of which his website says will be announced just before the event “in order to ensure security.”

JDO spokesman Jeff Klein said his group takes credit for forcing the cancellation of past Renaissance conferences. He said none of the 40 hotels it checked with said they had booked the group.

On its website and Facebook, the group says, “WE NEED EVERY ANGRY JEW TO CALL EVERY HOTEL IN CHARLOTTE NORTH CAROLINA TELL HOW SERIOUS JDO IS !!!”

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