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Online portal launched to report pandemic-related discrimination

By HONG XIAO in New York | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-04-17 11:30

Ronald Lauder, founder of ASAP and president of the World Jewish Congress. [Photo/Agencies]

With reports increasing about pandemic-related discrimination against Jews and Asian-Americans, two groups have launched an online portal to track such incidents and relay them to lawmakers and law enforcement authorities and make them known to the general public.

The Anti-Semitism Accountability Project (ASAP) has partnered with the America China Public Affairs Institute(ACPAI) for the portal. It will enable ASAP and the ACPAI to track incidents of abuse and discrimination and equip government officials and other anti-hate organizations with the necessary data to combat discrimination related to the coronavirus, the organizations said.

Ronald Lauder, founder of ASAP and president of the World Jewish Congress, said the portal marks the start of a new initiative by ASAP to combat hate crimes online and in local communities.

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

He said while the virus may be new," the despicable hatred and scapegoating it has unleashed is age-old."

"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," Lauder said.

"Xenophobia, racism, hate, and violence have no place in America, during the COVID-19 crisis now, or at any other time," said Fred Teng, president of the ACPI.

"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," he said.

ASAP has a $25 million campaign that is taking action against increasing incidents of anti-Semitism in the United States.

Following its recent work to help pass New York State's Josef Neumann Hate Crimes Domestic Terrorism Act, ASAP will focus on introducing and getting passed legislation across the country that requires states to define bias-motivated attacks as domestic terrorism, adopt harsher penalties for bias-motivated attempts at mass violence and enhance anti-discrimination curricula throughout the education system, the organization said in a news release.

"I appreciate the Anti-Semitism Accountability Project's commitment to combating hate of all kinds," said Congresswoman Grace Meng, who represents New York's sixth congressional district encompassing the borough of Queens, home of a large Chinese populations.

"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," she said.

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