Jewish Democratic Council demands Ron DeSantis ‘end antisemitism coming from his campaign’ following Nazi symbol video
Ron DeSantis speaks to Republican Jewish Coalition on Nov. 19, 2022. Image via Twitter.

Screen Shot 2022-11-20 at 10.00.35 AM
'...unless he approves of it.'

The Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) is calling for stronger action by Ron DeSantis following new reporting that senior aides to his presidential campaign oversaw the creation and distribution of a video featuring a Nazi symbol.

DeSantis’ campaign has already fired one aide, speechwriter Nate Hochman, who shared the video and reportedly had a hand in creating it.

That isn’t enough, according to JDCA press secretary Benny Stanislawski, who cited a Tuesday Semafor report that uncovered what appears to be a concerted, covert effort by DeSantis’ campaign communications team to design and disseminate divisive, discriminatory messages, memes and videos on social media to presumably drum up support among the far- and alt-right.

The aforementioned video, which has since been deleted, features a version of the Sonnenrad, a circular symbol associated with Nazi Germany that appears near the end of the clip as something of a halo around the Governor’s head.

It was first posted online by an anonymous account called Ron DeSantis Fancams, before Hochman shared it on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Another video created by a staffer still under DeSantis’ employ, according to the New York Times, took aim at the LGBTQ community. It was first posted by an X user called ProudElephantUS before the DeSantis campaign’s official “Rapid Response” account shared it with its nearly 121,000 followers.

Using screenshots of a private chat on Signal, an encrypted messaging app, Semafor reporters determined both videos and many other controversial campaign media were put together and laundered for anonymous publication by DeSantis’ rapid response team, led by the Governor’s rapid response director, Christina Pushaw.

DeSantis’ press secretary, Bryan Griffin, was also a member of the chat, where senior aides led a high-risk effort to produce and post promotional and attack media without having the material traced back to the campaign as its source.

The team has since shut down the chat, according to Semafor.

The screenshots show staffers like Kyle Lamb, the campaign’s former director of research and data, lauding the Sonnenrad video and commenting that it “belongs in the Smithsonian” before it was published and drew widespread censure. He was one of 38 staffers laid off recently as part of a DeSantis campaign “reboot.”

DeSantis’ campaign told The Hill last week that it also fired Hochman, but declined to comment further on the matter. Hochman, who previously worked at the conservative publication The National Review, once praised the impact of White nationalist Nick Fuentes.

Stanislawski said the video, combined with DeSantis’ reluctance to condemn hateful demonstrations across Florida and the participation of several antisemites during his digital campaign launch in May, imply there is a “blatant pattern” of either poor judgment or malicious intent inside the Governor’s presidential campaign.

“Americans deserve to know where this rhetoric comes from and whether it is intentional. Ron DeSantis — you must condemn this latest embrace of antisemitism by your campaign and investigate the source immediately,” he said in a statement.

“DeSantis must act to end antisemitism coming from his campaign — unless he approves of it.”

The Governor’s record on antisemitism has been lacking in messaging but not necessarily in policy. Following a neo-Nazi rally in Orlando — which Pushaw alleged was fake in a since-deleted X post — DeSantis said those demanding that he condemn the event were trying “to smear me as if I had something to do with it.”

He’s remained similarly disinclined to denounce numerous hateful demonstrations across the state since, aside from once calling a group of protestors “jackasses.”

In criticizing opponents, he’s also repeatedly brought up Jewish billionaire and Holocaust survivor George Soros as purportedly controlling politicians and prosecutors, a claim Jewish advocacy groups say is a dog whistle for antisemitism.

But DeSantis has also taken steps to counteract record-high levels of hate acts against Jews in the Sunshine State. In April, he signed a measure during a visit to Jerusalem that makes it a felony to harass people for their religion or ethnicity. The new law also penalizes littering materials depicting hateful images, messages or any other “credible threat” on a person’s private property.

During his first term in 2019, DeSantis signed legislation banning antisemitism, including Holocaust denial, in public schools. The signing, which also took place in Jerusalem, marked the first time in Florida history that a Governor ratified a bill on foreign soil.

He said at the time that he was proud “to make clear through a bipartisan effort that antisemitism has no place in our state, and our educational institutions will not tolerate discrimination against Jewish people.”

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • SteveHC

    August 1, 2023 at 9:10 pm

    By now none of this should surprise anybody.

  • Rbruce

    August 1, 2023 at 9:24 pm

    Those of the JDCA should reread Exodus 20:16, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”

  • Ron DiSaster

    August 1, 2023 at 10:42 pm

    How do you expect an actual Nazi like Ron DeSantis to disavow anti-semitism?

    • My Take

      August 1, 2023 at 10:55 pm

      He channels Ernst Roehm.
      I should call him DeSAntis instead of DeSSantis.

  • My Take

    August 1, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    Many of today’s conservatives love Israel but despise Jews.
    End-times evangelicals. Odd ducks they.

    MAGA is a mental illness.

  • Dont Say FLA

    August 2, 2023 at 7:28 am

    If Ron’s rich donors haven’t been able to convince him to leave his campaign, the Jewish Democratic Council of America doesn’t stand much a chance of forcing that via complaints.

  • Earl Pitts "Loves The Nation of Isreal"" American

    August 2, 2023 at 7:58 am

    Good mornting America,
    Why do a huge percentage of the Jewish voters in America support the Democratic party which hates the Nation of Iseral?
    *American Jews hate it when I, Earl Pitts American, ask this question. Because the American Jews know they are wrong – but cant or wont even attempt to explain their blastphmious wrongness – a treasonious wrongness against God’s Chosen People – which might prevent them entry into The Kingdom of Heaven*
    So dont expect any cohereant responses to my, Earl Pitts American’s “calling y’all out” question,

    • Dont Say FLA

      August 2, 2023 at 2:59 pm

      Pops, folks don’t hate the Playa. They hate the game. When when folk say “quit cheatin’ at the game,” this one Playa’ gets all kinds of defensive and takes everything personally, almost like the Playa’ is being a manipulate c*nt while overhauling the judiciary to keep himself out of prison and i am not talking about Trump

  • Glory

    August 2, 2023 at 10:15 am

    Who doesn’t get it Proud Boy DeathSantis is a white Nationalist

  • Good Luck

    August 2, 2023 at 1:04 pm

    We (Jews) have begun pulling our largest investments (we have been selling our Florida muni bonds like Miami airport repaving, dorms all over the state-Florida borrowed so much from the bond market) and as we have dumped at lows in the rising rate environment (rates move up and bond prices go down) we watch you borrow at higher rates.

    You’re a poor risk.

  • M. Mouse

    August 2, 2023 at 3:45 pm

    Funny how sometimes our Little Man can’t find a thing to say, and other times you can’t shut him up!

  • My Take

    August 2, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    Has Ron’s “Sunny Side of Slavery” required lesson plan survived intact?
    Has slavery distortion slipped out of the news?

Comments are closed.


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