On Monday, at a press conference from Palm Beach County, Florida Governor DeSantis slammed critics for what he calls a “smear campaign” in relation to the Nazi demonstration that took place in Orlando over the weekend.
“So what I’m going to say is these people, these Democrats who are trying to use this is some type of political issue to try to smear me as if I had something to do that,” said DeSantis.
“We’re not playing their game. You know, some jackasses, doing this on the street. First of all, state law enforcement is going to hold them accountable because they were doing stuff on the overpass. So we’re absolutely going to do that and they should do that, said DeSantis.
“But I’m not going to have people try to smear me, that belongs to a political party that is elevated anti-semites to the halls of Congress, like Ilhan Omar, that have played footsie with the BDS movement, that even have people in their party that have cavorted with Farrakhan. No, we’re going to take our record in Florida and what we’ve done, sign the strongest, anti-Semitism bill in the country, said DeSantis.
“We’ve stood down companies who were indulged in BDS like Airbnb and we’ve won, We’ve provided record funding for Jewish day schools. And we’ve had the strongest relationship between Florida and Israel than we ever had. In terms of education, business, and all these tremendous things that have happened since our state visit in 2019,” said DeSantis.
“So they tried to play games and to try to politicize, why would they do that? Why would they want to elevate a half dozen malcontents and try to make this an issue for political gain? Well, because they want to distract from the failure that we’ve seen with Biden and they’re all joined at the hip,” said DeSantis.
State and local officials condemned a Nazi demonstration that spewed antisemitism and Jew-hatred as images and videos emerged online showing antisemitic slurs, Nazi slogans, and salutes on Sunday.
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis “has ALWAYS condemned antisemitic attacks & hatred, and he always will,” Christina Pushaw, DeSantis’ press secretary said on Twitter. “I am confident that Florida law enforcement will respond appropriately and justice will be served to any protester who violates the law.”
In July, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis called on the State Board of Administration (SBA) to immediately place Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever on the Continued Examination Companies that Boycott Israel List and initiate the process to place both companies on the Scrutinized Companies that Boycott Israel List.
In a letter sent to Ash Williams, the Executive Director of the State Board of Administration of Florida, DeSantis Said, “It has come to my attention that Ben & Jerry’s has announced plans to remove its products and prohibit the sale of its ice cream in Judea and Samaria. These actions taken by Ben & Jerry’s fall squarely within the prohibited activities defined by Section 215.4725(1)(a), Florida Statutes. Ben & Jerry’s is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever, a publicly-traded company in which Florida holds multiple investments.
In June of 2021, Governor Ron DeSantis delivered remarks to a town hall briefing on antisemitism organized by the Jewish Federations of Florida.
The event was sponsored by the Florida Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Community of West Coast Florida, and the Jewish Federations of Greater Naples, Greater Orlando, Lee & Charlotte Counties, Sarasota-Manatee, and Tampa.
Jewish Federations organized the meeting to discuss the increased incidence of antisemitic incidents that have occurred over the past few weeks.
“We all need to speak with one voice and say that antisemitism is not something that’s going to be tolerated,” said Governor DeSantis. “We are going to stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters and we are absolutely going to stand strong in support of the Florida-Israel relationship. The Legislature and I have worked really hard on a lot of great legislation over the past few years on issues including Holocaust education, anti-BDS legislation, security for synagogues and Jewish day schools, and so much more.”