Ronald Lauder Pledges $25M Against anti-Semitic Candidates

The billionaire philanthropist and World Jewish Congress chief is funding $25 million campaign against politicians who normalize anti-Semitism.

By reporter

Ronald Lauder, a billionaire Jewish philanthropist, announced Monday that he is launching a $25 million campaign to battle anyone running for federal, state or local office with an anti-Semitic platform.

“Although I am a lifelong Republican, anti-Semitism knows no political party. I’m going after the right as well as the left,” said Lauder, who is also president of the World Jewish Congress.

“Because we’ve had polls, we’ve had conferences, we’ve had different speeches. But no action,” he said.

Lauder is launching an organization called the Anti-Semitism Accountability Project (ASAP), which will be focused on “action,” including researching candidates and airing television ads, he said.

The group will produce and run television and digital advertisements, publish opposition research, monitor college campus activities and provide rapid response to defeat candidates who back anti-Semitic platforms.

The group will also have a super PAC, which allows it to spend unlimited amounts of cash in support or opposition of candidates as long  as it doesn’t collude with the campaign. Lauder said the group will determine which politicians will be targeted ahead of the next election, in November 2020.

“If it’s a city councilman, or it’s a U.S. senator, or presidential candidate, we’ll know about it,” Lauder told The Times.

Universities may face Lauder’s wrath, too. Universities and professors that take “an anti-Semitic point of view” could see ASAP sounding the alarm to their donors, he told The Times.

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