Gov. Ron DeSantis suggested Monday that antisemitism is the latest issue prompting Americans to pack their bags and head to Florida.
“When you look at some of these other states, they’re driving people away,” DeSantis said. “Bad taxes, bad lock downs and all these other things. I’ll tell you, in some of these states, antisemitism is out of control and it’s driving people to come to Florida.”
The Republican Governor’s remarks come as elected leaders grapple with the nationwide surge of antisemitic attacks, sparked by escalating tensions between Israel and Palestine.
In recent weeks, numerous hate crimes against American Jews have been carried out in cities including Los Angeles and New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed state police to increase patrols in Jewish neighborhoods.
While incidents in major cities may garner the bulk of national attention, issues such as antisemitic vandalism are also on the rise in Florida.
According to the state’s Anti-Defamation League, antisemitic incidents rose 40% from 2019 to 2020.
In May, for example, someone spray-painted swastikas and the words “the Jews are guilty” on the walls of the Florida Holocaust Museum. And in a separate instance near Hallandale Beach, a man yelled antisemitic slurs at a rabbi and threw feces at a synagogue.
DeSantis in recent weeks has made a point to address the nationwide issue.
Speaking last week to the Jewish Federations of Florida, he vowed to support Israel and combat antisemitism.
“We all need to speak with one voice and say that antisemitism is not something that’s going to be tolerated,” DeSantis said. “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.”
DeSantis on Monday signed two bills at the The Shul of Bal Harbour.
There, Rabbi Sholom D. Lipskar introduced DeSantis as “the number one Governor in the entire United States of America.”