Miami Beach to double Israel bond investments after Hamas attack

Miami Beach Holocaust Memorial
‘Let them know we stand with Israel in word and in deed, today and forever.’

Miami Beach will be doubling its investment in Israel bonds following the brutal siege Hamas terrorists undertook against Israeli civilians near the Gaza Strip.

Mayor Dan Gelber announced that the city will increase its investment to about $20 million.

He urged other Mayors in Miami-Dade County to do the same in an email decrying the “barbaric attacks on Israel” that “shock the conscience of the world.”

Gelber, who is Jewish and a member of the Israeli American Council, said in the Tuesday letter that he is confident national leaders in America will support Israel, “our most important ally and friend,” and give the country “every penny of support it needs to defend its right to exist.”

“For Mayors, we can also act,” he said. “First, let the world know that we stand with Israel. Do it by word, by proclamation, by rally. Light up City Halls in blue. When terrorists seek to scare us with fear, we must stand up, unafraid to let the world know we are fully united in the nonnegotiable principle that Israel must be secure.”

Gelber then laid out his investment proposal, urging other Mayors to follow suit.

“But there is more to do. My city carries approximately $10 million in Israeli Bonds as part of our investment portfolio. We will fully double that commitment. We do so to let the world know, to let these terrorists know, that we will not respond to their brutality with fear but with action. I urge every American mayor to maximize its cities commitment to Israel by increasing its Israeli Bond investment,” he wrote.

“Let them know that they are mistaken if they thought that their violence would achieve their goal. Let them know we stand with Israel in word and in deed, today and forever.”

Palm Beach County has also made a similar move.

Just before dawn Saturday, as Israelis were ending a seven-day Jewish festival of Sukkot, Hamas — the terrorist organization ruling Gaza — launched a surprise attack on southern Israel, murdering and raping civilians and visitors in their homes, on the street and at a nearby music festival.

By Monday, the Times of Israel reported, more than 800 Israelis had been killed and more than 2,000 were injured, including “innocent men, women, children and the elderly.” Some 100 Israelis had also been kidnapped.

As of Wednesday, ABC News reported, the death toll in Israel has surpassed 1,200, including 14 American citizens, and the number of injured is nearing 3,000. Israel’s retaliatory airstrikes killed at least 950 people in Gaza and injured about 5,000 more.

Israeli Defense Forces said the bodies of at least 1,500 Hamas fighters were found near the Gaza-Israel border.

On Tuesday night, close to 3,000 supporters of Israel held a rally at the Holocaust Memorial in Miami Beach hosted by the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. Gelber spoke at the event, as did U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez and Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, the county’s first Jewish Mayor and the first woman elected to the office.

The day before, in Aventura, more than 500 people gathered to show their support during a “Stand With Israel” rally at the Waterways Shoppes. Wilson and Nuñez spoke there too, along with Miami-Dade Commissioner Micky Steinberg, Aventura Mayor Howard Weinberg, Sunny Isles Beach Mayor Larisa Svechin, Miami Gardens Council member Linda Julien, North Miami Beach Commissioner Fortuna Smukler and Rabbi Jonathan Berkun of the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center.

Similar events occurred in Hallandale Beach, Boca Raton and Palm Beach Gardens, and others are planned for 6 p.m. Wednesday in Cooper City and Pembroke Pines.

On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered the Capitol to be lit in Israel’s colors of blue and white throughout most of the week and its flags flown at half-staff in solidarity with the Jewish nation-state.

At a Tuesday press conference in Surfside — which, like Aventura and Miami Beach, boast disproportionately large Jewish populations — the Governor proposed legislation to ban all state and local dealings with terrorism sponsors like Iran, a top funder of Hamas.

“It’s important,” he said at the Shul of Bal Harbour synagogue, “that we say as Americans and as Floridians, ‘We stand with the people of Israel and we stand with the state of Israel in this dark hour.”

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.

One comment

  • Sonja Fitch

    October 13, 2023 at 5:14 am

    Let the world know that Israel is making a tremendous amount of time and resources to give so civilians can leave Gaza! This is not what Hamas did to Israel! Hamas savaged and killed WITHOUT ANY REGARD! So hush complaining. Innocents have been killed!!!

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