ASAP, ACPAI launch portal to report coronavirus-related discrimination

“The Jewish and Asian-American communities have been unfairly targeted for the spread of this deadly virus,” said Ronald S. Lauder.

Antisemitic sticker found stuck to the window of a Hamburg subway car. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Antisemitic sticker found stuck to the window of a Hamburg subway car.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Anti-Semitism Accountability Project (ASAP) has parented up with the America China Public Affairs Institute (ACPAI) to help monitor and report incidents of hate, xenophobia and abuse against minority groups in relation to the coronavirus, the organization said in a statement.
The organizations launched an online portal for Americans to report incidents of bias-motivated hate. However, those who feel they require immediate assistance or are personally threatened should call 911, the ASAP said on the portal's website.
The ASAP and ACPAI will use the reports from the portal in order to help fight prevalent coronavirus-related incidents of discrimination, as well as raise awareness of the crisis among the public, police and lawmakers.
As the coronavirus outbreak has continued to spread across the world, many conspiracy theories have been launched blaming the Jews for the outbreak.
A report by Israel's Strategic Affairs Ministry has highlighted the outbreak of antisemitism that has arisen alongside the coronavirus pandemic, in which classical antisemitic allegations have been made by anti-Israel organizations and individuals.
Among the examples cited in the Strategic Affairs Ministry report was an opinion article by Kevin Barrett on Press TV, an Iranian-funded international propaganda outlet, in which he accuses Israel of having “engineered” the deadly virus and of trying to “amplify” the severe outbreak of the disease in Iran.
However, reports by the Anti-Defamation League and other organizations have also demonstrated that far-right and white-supremacist elements are also using the pandemic to incite antisemitism.
The portal is the first step in ASAP's new campaign to fight antisemitism both online and in local communities. Building off  the success of the Josef Neumann Hate Crimes Domestic Terrorism Act, a law passed by New York state named after one of the victims of the December 2019 Monsey stabbing attack, ASAP will work to promote legislation around the country to define bias-motivated attacks as terrorism, mandate harsher penalties and enhance anti-discrimination education.
“The Jewish and Asian-American communities have been unfairly targeted for the spread of this deadly virus,” said Ronald S. Lauder, the Jewish-American businessman and political activist who is president of the World Jewish Congress, and who founded the ASAP at the end of 2019.
“While this virus may be new, the despicable hatred and scapegoating it has unleashed is age-old. As we've learned from the tragedies in Monsey and Jersey City, we must take action and combat this sickening hatred before it’s too late. In New York State, I witnessed the power that state elected officials have to protect the Jewish community. We need to replicate this work across the country and take action today by holding those who target minority groups fully accountable for their despicable hate.” 
“I appreciate the [ASAP]’s commitment to combating hate of all kinds,” said Rep. Grace Meng (D-New York).
“The increase of anti-Asian rhetoric threatens the safety of the Asian-American community. During this time of heightened anxiety and fear surrounding COVID-19, we cannot lose sight of protecting the health and safety of every single person – no matter their race, ethnicity, or background.”
“Xenophobia, racism, hate and violence have no place in America, during the COVID-19 crisis now, or at any other time,” said ACPAI president Fred Teng.
“We open our arms to all of our neighbors for a better shared common future. The Chinese community will always stand with the Jewish community to combat bias-motivated hate and violence.”
This is not the first time that the Jewish community has offered assistance to Chinese-Americans, who have faced considerable xenophobia since the coronavirus outbreak began.
In February 2020, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) sent a letter of solidarity to multiple Chinese American organizations following what it called “rising xenophobia aimed at the Chinese American and Chinese communities over the spread of the coronavirus.”
“We believe it is important that the Jewish community express our solidarity and support for our Chinese American friends,” the JCPA said in a statemen at the time.
Dozens of Jewish organizations have signed the letter, including the American Jewish Committee (AJC), Anti-Defamation League (ADL), B’nai B’rith International and the Central Conference of American Rabbis.
Jeremy Sharon and Omri Nahmias contributed to this report.