US/World News

Florida gov denounces BDS; boosts security funding for day schools

(JNS) Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called for increased Jewish day-school security funding, while calling for state sanctions against businesses that engage in the BDS movement. The Republican governor, sworn in last week, pushed for a minimum of $2 million in recurring security funding for Jewish day schools. This comes in the aftermath of the shooting at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., last Feb. 14, and at the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh in October. Additionally, on Jan. 15, DeSantis said that his first global trade mission will be to the Jewish state, maintaining a gubernatorial campaign promise. It will occur after the legislative session in May, with members from both sides of the aisle in the Florida House and Florida Senate invited.

Moreover, the governor denounced the BDS movement and Airbnb boycotts of Judea and Samaria.

“Florida is the most Israel-friendly state in the country, and we will not stand for discrimination against the Israeli people of any kind,” he said. “By calling for increased security for our Jewish day schools, punishing companies that participate in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and taking my first trade mission to Israel, the Israeli people can be assured that they have no greater friend than Florida.”

“BDS is nothing more than a cloak for antisemitism, and as long as I’m governor, BDS will be [dead on arrival],” he continued. “I cannot wait to strengthen the already unwavering bond between Florida and the great State of Israel.”

DeSantis penned a letter, instructing Florida’s Department of Management Services to forbid state workers and contractors from being reimbursed for official travel expenditures related to Airbnb.

Groups such as the the Israeli-American Council applauded DeSantis’s move against Airbnb. Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan also welcomed DeSantis’s stance on the BDS movement. “This is an important decision that will embolden the fight against antisemitic boycott organizations.”

CAP: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis giving a speech on Jan. 15, 2019, at the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, calling for increased Jewish day school security funding, in addition to touting pro-Israel initiatives. Credit: Gov. Ron DeSantis Press Office.

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