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A Clear Dichotomy over Israel

April 10, 2019 - 9:00am
Scene at the Plantation synagogue Tuesday
Scene at the Plantation synagogue Tuesday

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday during a press conference at Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El in Plantation that he will make a formal outreach trip to Israel, making it his first international trip as governor, precisely as he promised six months ago.

All he's waiting for, he said, is the completion of the 2019 legislative session.   

Although the announcement came at a planned press conference, the timing was a remarkable demonstration of the divide between the Republican and Democratic parties in Florida over their Jewish relationship. 

On Monday, just one day ahead of the DeSantis presser, Democrats in the state Senate made the curious decision to show opposition to a new anti-Semitism bill. Drawn up as a response to the failure of Democrats in the U.S. House to produce a proper resolution on the matter last month, this legislation would require schools and colleges to begin responding to charges of anti-Semitism the same as they would allegations of racial discrimination. The Senate Democrats made a curious stance that was not unlike the position taken by their brethren in Washington, D.C.

DeSantis on Tuesday outlined his trip, set to take place May 25. “I think it’s a really unprecedented effort to strengthen ties between Florida and Israel,” he stated, mentioning he will be taking a contingent of some 75 mainly business leaders and those from emergency management fields. The governor will also serve as the keynote speaker at the 2019 Israel-American Business Summit at the US Embassy that same week.

Meanwhile in Tallahassee, Senate Dems are battling against the anti-semitism bill. The legislation contains details declaring what is deemed anti-semitic, such as language demonizing people of the Jewish faith, as well as “accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interest of their own nations.” It moved through the House chamber without a single dissenting vote.

But Monday in the Senate, the bill ran up against a blue wall.  

Senate Minority Leader Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, rose in opposition. She claimed the bill gave “special protections”, and opposed it on its narrow language. “I will tell you, this kind of thing is what creates divisiveness in this country. It’s an intentional piece of legislation to divide.”

Seeing a bill that addresses hateful and distancing language and declaring it “divisive” is a curious interpretation.

In her desire to be wide-reaching, Gibson was directly echoing the actions of the Democrats last month in D.C. After calling for an an emergency resolution as a result of repeated anti-Semitic remarks by freshman Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., the House Democrats rewrote their document numerous times to water it down. Eventually they ended up with a neutered bill, and couldn't even list Omar by name in the final draft.

The bill written in the Florida House was a direct response to this action, or non-action, as it were. When it came to a vote last month, Rep. James Grant, R-Tampa, mentioned Omar, and the House Democrats' failure to act appropriately. “It is a shame that we have to spend time in the Florida Legislature making this statement," Grant said. “But the reality is, we do. Washington seemingly doesn’t have the spine to make this statement.”

A co-sponsor of House Bill 741, Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, said at the time of the vote, “When you have open anti-Semites serving in Congress, it’s important that the state of Florida take a strong stand against this sort of thing.” Following the comments from the state Senate on Monday, Fine had an even more pointed response.

Referencing Sen. Gibson from his Twitter account, Fine said, “Not just any Democratic senator. No, the top ranking Democrat in the Florida Senate. Not sure whether to be sad or angry. Actually, both.” Businessman Fine, incidentally, will be joining DeSantis next month as a member in the contingent going to Israel.

When he introduced the bill, Fine said this: “We now live in a time where open anti-Semites are promoted in Congress, and companies discriminating against American Jews believe they can hold public offerings. This is simply unacceptable. The State of Florida needs to make clear that anti-Semitism sits at the intersection of racism, sexism, and discrimination based on a disability or national origin. This legislation does not legislate how anti-Semitism should be treated in education, but it will eliminate the ability for any institution to discriminate in how they treat such discrimination.”

Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, who also is the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, introduced  the HB 741 companion bill  in the upper chamber.

Two Republicans at the heart of a bill that says hell-no to anti-Semitism.

The contrast is notable in the Florida parties' positions:  Florida Democrats unable to deliver a blow to anti-Semitism; and DeSantis  in his Tuesday speech praising the way the U.S. and Israel share values, economic interests, and a strong military partnership: “... A tiny little country in a troubled part of the world standing for freedom, for democratic principles, for entrepreneurship, for innovation,” the governor said. “And really, the foundation of our civilization here in the United States, and really the entire West can be traced back to that plot of land.”

Brad Slager, a Fort Lauderdale freelance writer, wrote this story exclusively for Sunshine State News. He writes on politics and the entertainment industry and his stories appear in such publications as RedState and The Federalist.

Comments

Any American Jew that votes for a Democratic Socialist is what we call a JINO!

Right wing autocrat Netanyahu has been constantly moving Israel to apartheid and the Knesset has recently passed a law specifying that "Israel is a nation state for Jews alone". So much for "democracy" in Israel. If you're not Jewish, you're a second- or third-class citizen! Pathetic ... and Trump and his TrumpNuts support that!

Oh another far left trolling parrot

You're the nutjob. I guess you'd be okay if Israel forced all non-Jews to become Jews? Moron.

I think everyone should read some actual witness transcripts from survivors of Hitler's extermination camps offered in evidence by Robert Jackson's prosecutors at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. One might begin to focus on the evil that lurks within all of us - and that is made manifest by authoritarian dictates. Ron deSantis, as a former JAGC officer, in the context of these trials at the end of WWll, should understand the importance of civil and human rights. He also should understand what happens when extremists of all sorts drive the narrative.

Talk about authoritarian dictates, when idiots right here are trying to pass LAWS that that tell you that you have to like someone, LAWS that criminalize a person if he or she speaks out against bad behavior/criminal behavior, you can read all the transcripts you want, that had nothing to do with Florida or the US of A.

Read the bill You are totally ignorant about what it says. But you can’t be bothered to let facts get in your way

Bill, Nobody is trying to pass a LAW that tells you that you have to LIKE someone. Liking someone or not is entirely your own business. Nobody is trying to pass any LAWS that criminalize a person if he or she speaks out against bad behavior/criminal behavior either. You ARE A TYPICAL DNCer taking a subject out of context and restating it as convoluted as you possibly can. What our lawmakers, with our support--I might add, are doing is crafting a bill that protects Jewish Citizens the same as citizens of ethnicities, Christians, or any religious group from being harassed and singled out by bullies. This has EVERYTHING to do with Florida, and with every, single state in the United States of America. You, Bill, are free to say anything you want. However, should you ever become an elected politician representing constituents--then you no longer can go about singling out one group of people and bashing them for what they believe or for who God created them to be. That is to say, you cannot do that and still remain an elected official. It won't take long for you to be voted out if you do that. I don't know you. I don't know your background. I don't know how long your family line has been in this country. What I do know is that you are currently a bigot. Maybe it's time to open your eyes of your understanding and look at your fellow man as people. Maybe it's time for you to realize that WE ARE "ONE NATION

Wow!-Talk about convoluted thinking, you have managed to blend fact with fiction, you should have been a writer. I hold no office nor do I seek any office, I see my fellow man and the history of my fellow man. You have called me a bigot, could you define what is a bigot? Like yourself, I do not know your background, but consider that you have attempted to separate me, categorize me in your attempt to marginalize me, there is only one rock-this planet, I would thank you if you could open your eyes to see. - Jewish citizens should start to become American citizens and integrate into this Nation-The American Nation.

It has everything to do with character, Bill. Sorry you don't appreciate the word.

I don't understand your response.

Vote grab, we lost on Felons, so let's court the Jews away from the Dems... Classic move.

What on earth is wrong with you, Josiah? Are you so narrow-minded as to believe that everyone has an ulterior motive with everything they say and do? Maybe, just maybe there are good men and women out there who try and do what is right - regardless of whether it benefits someone or not. Poor you. You must be miserable inside.

Or perhaps you are just uninformed and believe the BS being slung at you constantly. It is already against the law to discriminate against anyone based on race, gender, ethnicity and religion. This is just to bring attention to their new love for us Jews. Give me a break people, wake up fools...

Only uneducated Jews vote for loser Democrats.

seems you are mistaken Daniel, the evidence shows that the majority of uneducated males vote for a reality TV buffoon that is clearly not a Dem and clearly not Jewish, but he has family ties to a criminal Jewish family that is also not Dem. Good luck with your studies, you clearly need them...

ULTRA-Liberal "lock-step", Democrat politicians in Florida (and the Nation) are "self-consuming" and deserve the enmity of ALL true, and patriotic, Americans: "The clock is ticking", God help the Republic if Citizens don't "stand up" to be counted...NOW.

"....It was the best of days,.. It was the worst of days...." (OUR "future" is already written, as well..! )

re:The contrast is notable in the Florida parties' positions: Florida Democrats unable to deliver a blow to anti-Semitism; and DeSantis in his Tuesday speech praising the way the U.S. and Israel share values, economic interests, and a strong military partnership: “... A tiny little country in a troubled part of the world standing for freedom, for democratic principles, for entrepreneurship, for innovation,” the governor said. “And really, the foundation of our civilization here in the United States, and really the entire West can be traced back to that plot of land.”---What a lot of BS, if you like it that much pack up your shit and move over there permanently.

There is a large gulf of difference between praising an ally (which DeSantis was doing) and the Democrats spending their time promoting many of their new policies by saying "this is the way they do it in Europe". It is rather clear which side is showing how they "like it that much".

From the article it is apparent that both political parties are sharing in the buffoonery. It is fanning the flames of group think.

Call it like it is, Brad. Nicely done, straightforward.

Comments are now closed.

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