Anna Eskamani

As Lawmakers Move To Define Anti-Semitism, One Florida Democrat Shows Opposition To Israel

Anna Eskamani
Rep. Anna Eskamani (TFP File Photo)

Last week the Florida House voted overwhelmingly to create a formal state definition of anti-Semitism.

Yet left-wing Orlando Democratic Rep. Anna Eskamani continued a pattern of sticking up for those who support terrorism against Israel.

Eskamani, who is often quoted by the media as a leading voice for her party around the state, voted against the House bill, which was sponsored by Davie Democratic Rep. Michael Gottlieb, who is Jewish. Democratic Sen. Lori Berman, who is also Jewish, introduced a Senate version.

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The bills were filed after Hamas’ vicious terror attacks on innocent Jews in Israel, which killed more than 1,200 Israelis and at least 32 Americans.

Gottlieb’s bill passed the House by 113-3 vote.

Eskamani voted against it after she tried to water it down.

Under Gottlieb’s measure, anti-Semitism means promoting a “certain perception of Jewish individuals which may be expressed as hatred toward such individuals.”

“Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish and non-Jewish individuals and their property and toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

The state needs such a definition to assist with monitoring and reporting anti-Semitic hate crimes and discrimination and to raise awareness of anti-Semitism, incidents of which have skyrocketed since Hamas began butchering Jews on Oct. 7.

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Gottlieb’s legislation also included 11 examples of anti-Semitism as work.

For instance, such behavior would include calling for, aiding, or justifying killing Jewish people “in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of a religion”; promoting dehumanizing or demonizing stereotypes of Jews; denying the reality of the Holocaust; scapegoating all Jews for the acts of individuals; blasting Israel as akin to the Nazis or racists; blaming Jews at large for the actions of the Israeli government.

As noted, such language drew overwhelming support from both sides.

According to the House’s website, Eskamani offered an amendment to strip away all of Gottlieb’s examples, including those connected to Israel, and offer a more vague definition of anti-Semitism.

She wanted it defined as “discrimination, prejudice, hostility, or violence” against Jewish individuals or institutions because they are Jewish.

She later withdrew her amendment and ultimately voted against the bill. Democratic Reps. Dotie Joseph of North Miami and Angie Nixon of Jacksonville joined her in opposing the bill.

Eskamani’s vote bill followed last November’s vote to call for a ceasefire in Gaza — one of only two House lawmakers to do so.

In explaining that vote for a resolution proposed and supported by Nixon, she called Hamas’ massacre “heinous, gruesome and utterly indefensible.”

But she added, “My values compel me to side with peace.”

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Eskamani noted that she wanted a ceasefire partly because she feared a rise in Islamophobia. She also criticized Republicans for wanting to vote on Nixon’s measure, which was “brought [to the House floor] purely for a political purpose by the GOP.”

Prior to that, just a week after Hamas attacked Israel, Eskamani denounced Gov. Ron DeSantis, who rejected the idea of the U.S. accepting any refugees from Gaza.

DeSantis noted that “not all of them are Hamas, but they are all anti-Semitic. None of them believe in Israel’s right to exist.”

DeSantis’ position was shared by multiple Arab nations, including Qatar, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt, all of which refused to take Palestinians from Gaza.

Yet, Eskamani denounced DeSantis, saying on X, “This rhetoric is so incredibly dangerous and only further fuels violence towards innocent Palestinians who are experiencing forced relocation and have been cut off from electricity and water. This is a de-humanization tactic and we need to push back on it.”

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