Amid the rise of anti-Semitism in the United States, former U.S. Ambassador to Austria and philanthropist Ronald S. Lauder announced on Monday the launch of the Anti-Semitism Accountability Project (ASAP), investing $25 million in political campaigns against federal, state and local candidates who support or normalize anti-Semitism.
The group will focus on candidates from both parties who are on the ballot before or on Election Day in November 2020.
ASAP will produce and run television and digital advertisements, opposition research, grassroots and grasstops outreach, on-campus organizing and rapid response to defeat candidates supporting anti-Semitic ideas.
“Anti-Semitism has become fashionable again and for too long, American Jews have been silent. It’s time to make our voices heard. It’s time to confront our haters, without fear or apology,” said Lauder in a statement. “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.”
The launch of ASAP comes in response to a documented surge in anti-Semitism across America.
According to a poll commissioned by ASAP and conducted by Douglass Schoen of Schoen Consulting, anti-Semitism—as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance—has doubled over the past five years. 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.
ASAP will partner with existing organizations working throughout the country to combat anti-Semitism. ASAP will also respond and take action against institutions and cultural figures who support anti-Semitism.
The ASAP campaign will be managed by Tusk Strategies, and its founder and CEO Bradley Tusk.