Ronald Lauder creates $25 million campaign to fight anti-Semitism

The president of the World Jewish Congress announced a $25 million campaign called the Anti-Semitism Accountability Project (ASAP). 

By Joseph Wolkin, World Israel News

As anti-Semitism continues to rise in America, former ambassador Ronald Lauder is taking the matter into his own hands.

The president of the World Jewish Congress announced on Monday a $25 million campaign called the Anti-Semitism Accountability Project (ASAP). ASAP will feature “aggressive political campaigns against federal, state, and local candidates who support or normalize anti-Semitism.”

“Anti-Semitism has become fashionable again, and for too long, American Jews have been silent,” Lauder, who has been president of the World Jewish Congress since 2007, said. “It’s time to make our voices heard. It’s time to confront our haters, without fear or apology.

“ASAP will finally add real teeth in the fight against anti-Semitism in American politics and culture. All candidates and American cultural leaders who traffic in hatred against Jews should consider themselves on notice.”

ASAP will focus on candidates from both major political parties by running television and digital advertising, as well as conducting opposition research, outreach, college campus programs and a  response plan on how to beat anti-Semitic candidates.

Lauder, a billionaire who made his fortune in the cosmetics industry, is paying for the campaign out of his own pocket. He formerly served as the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for European and NATO Affairs from 1983 from 1986.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan appointed him as America’s ambassador to Austria.

He has been involved in numerous Jewish organizations, including a 10-year stint as the president of the Jewish National Fund, as well as the Anti-Defamation League Foundation, the Jewish Theological Seminary and more.

ASAP also released its own poll on Monday, which was conducted by Douglas Schoen from Schoen Consulting.

“Anti-Semitism, as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), has doubled over the past five years,” ASAP said in a press release.

“Today, 14 percent of Americans hold anti-Semitic beliefs, as compared to 7 percent from a survey released by the Anti-Defamation League in 2014.”