TEL AVIV — Gov. Ron DeSantis met with the Israeli Director of Foreign Affairs Monday morning, ahead of a tranche of meetings involving security interests and business development.
“Just going over some of the issues that Israel is dealing with,” DeSantis said.
“Despite all the threats from a hostile neighborhood, Israel is on the move,” DeSantis added, noting strong economic growth.
“They feel there’s a lot of synergy with Florida,” DeSantis said.
“They appreciate Florida being pro-Israel around the state … they’re very pleased with some of the decisions the administration has made, vis a vis Iran,” DeSantis added.
“They have a number of threats … Hezbollah, ISIS, Islamic Jihad … but Iran is the most serious in Israel’s eyes, guided by an apocalyptic worldview,” DeSantis said.
The theme for Monday is meetings with companies in the defense space with shared interests with Israel.
“Defense, aerospace is really a good area for us,” DeSantis said.
One MOU to be set up today involves blockchain technology, which the Governor believes could help with property records.
DeSantis is meeting also with a cybersecurity firm Monday morning.
“Florida has done a lot with cybersecurity,” DeSantis said, noting many universities “have a lot going on in that space.”
DeSantis also addressed school hardening in remarks.
“They dealt with school shootings, and they basically addressed it,” DeSantis said. “Whatever threats we face, chances are they face them here.”
DeSantis noted that a lot had been done, and “we’re going to continue to do more.”
DeSantis also addressed PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who is struggling to build a coalition to remain leader this week.
While the Governor vowed to “stay out of their politics,” he extolled Netanyahu as a consistent leader for American interests.
“If they do get the coalition on Wednesday, I’ll be his first meeting … just from that perspective, I hope they get something done,” the Governor quipped.
DeSantis recounted the Prime Minister’s address to Congress in 2015.
“He really knocked it out of the park,” DeSantis said. “Not all of [those guest speakers] exude strong leadership, but Netanyahu did.”
DeSantis again discussed his key role in recent developments.
“I’ve been kind of prescient … understood what U.S. policy should be,” DeSantis said. “I’ve been over here a number of times and we’ve gotten a lot done. They see me as a strong ally.”
DeSantis also noted that Palestinian Arabs are prone to “denialism,” by not “recognizing Israel’s right to exist,” with education to be “anti-Israel, anti-Jew.”