Ron DeSantis discusses Benjamin Netanyahu, BDS, other topics with Israeli press

israel trip - keynote address
"I've had a good relationship with the Prime Minister."

TEL AVIV — Gov. Ron DeSantis took questions from Israeli press Wednesday, for the first time since the Florida trade delegation arrived Sunday night.

Regarding the expected meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which is up in the air given the possible need for another election, DeSantis hopes the meeting is still on.

“I’ve had a good relationship with the Prime Minister,” the Governor said. “Everyone I’ve talked to doesn’t know what’s going to happen.”

“They’ve never gone to another election like this before,” DeSantis noted. “I’m glad I’m in American politics. It’s a lot more complicated here than even in Florida.”

DeSantis thinks that Netanyahu would be receptive to a peace deal brokered by Jared Kushner, an initiative of the Donald Trump Administration, even as he does not know the details of the evolving proposals.

“I know Bibi … I don’t necessarily know everyone [else] who is running,” DeSantis said. “We’re going to work with whoever comes out. Hopefully they can straighten it out today.”

The Governor addressed a skeptical question regarding the anti-Semitism and anti-BDS legislation from an Israeli reporter, who noted that similar legislation had been struck down by courts.

“In the United States,” DeSantis said, “you can get a district judge to do anything. It’s become a joke.”

“We’ll see how that percolates through the system,” DeSantis added, noting that the legislation “can only be enforced in ways consistent with the First Amendment.”

“I can’t ban a Floridian from endorsing BDS,” DeSantis added, noting that otherwise, “you’re not going to have a problem with BDS [or] political blowback.”

The Governor noted that an anti-BDS event is planned for Wednesday, while saying (again) that when he planned that, AirBnB’s position was an issue, and that’s no longer the case.

“Thankfully, they’ve reversed their policy. What we did worked,” DeSantis said.

The Governor also addressed a question about “moving Jewish voters into the Republican column.”

DeSantis noted that Jewish voters are not a monolith.

“It’s not like the only thing they care about is Israel,” DeSantis said, “but the Democratic Party has really gone into some negative waters regarding Israel.”

“Some of the people they’ve elected to Congress have horrific views regarding Israel,” DeSantis added.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski

One comment

  • (((Tsvi)))

    May 30, 2019 at 8:44 am

    I support free speech. I cannot support BDS; it’s racist. This article treats BDS as merely a political movement; if so the article FAILS to at least disclose the BDS’ dangerous origin story. But it’s not just politics. BDS also deliberate ignores the millions suffering in China (Uighurs), Yemen (everyone), Syria (almost everyone) and other worldwide atrocities [especially the harm to African nations and their people over resources!], restricting their ire /only/ for the only Jewish state — I’m no Israel apologist, but the reaction of BDS to these other crises is stark and the focus unexplainable by anything but discrimination/racism. And using a smartphone and ignoring the rare conflict minerals that go into the thing (and the lives lost/ruined to produce the thing) is sheer hypocrisy. I don’t knock BDS for trying, nor for its free speech to which it’s entitled. Palestinians deserve a voice. But when articles like this treat BDS uncritically, when it’s no less racist and myopic and exclusionary than other hate groups, it’s the reporting that’s the problem, not the substance of the story. You don’t talk about the KKK without using terms that describe it as evil, yet BDS gets a pass. Instead of focusing on the speech issue, the GOP should focus on the foreign relations constitutional law. Instead of focusing on BDS, and contributing to such efforts started by the self proclaimed Jew hating “Muslim Brotherhood” [see BDS Founder’s posts about killing Jews, not about Israel nor about peace nor coexistence], Dems and civil rights activists should learn from their example in other areas: learn to self examine what prompts you to so easily buy into this message of hate; Golda Meir was right, when the Palestinians love their kids more than they hate Jews, Israel would have a peace partner. For those who support Israel’s destruction and support driving Israel into the sea for its “atrocities”, look in the mirror and see the face of racist anti-semitism; Jews are no less a people deserving of a safe space than any other people. Period. They’re unsafe in San Diego, unsafe in Pittsburgh, unsafe in Toulouse, Brussels, London, Buenos Aires, Budapest, Mosul (Nineveh) Iraq, and when you face and grasp that not-subtle nuance you can THEN gripe about Israel via BDS. Reporting half the story here, like this post about the BDS/Anti-bds discourse and the governor’s involvement in it, without any analysis or context, harms everyone.

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