Ron DeSantis’ Israel rescue mission was about something more than Florida
DeSantis welcomes refugees from Israel alongside Bryan Stern, founder of Project DYNAMO.

Photo Oct 15 2023, 9 31 30 PM
He helped save Americans in a move that could also save his campaign.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ rapid mobilization of state resources to evacuate Americans from Israel benefited many beyond the Sunshine State’s borders, leaving an impression sure to ripple from coast to coast as he runs a presidential campaign.

During a Monday afternoon press conference, media teased out that there were just 70 Floridians — out of 269 Americans — on board a state-funded jet that landed Sunday evening in Tampa after departing from Tel Aviv. That means DeSantis leveraged his official powers to help Floridians but also Americans at large, taking the shape of something bigger nationwide at a critical moment in his bid for the Oval Office.

DeSantis last week issued an emergency order authorizing the use of state resources to facilitate evacuations from Israel as the country began fighting a war against Hamas, a terrorist organization that carried out an unprecedented deadly terrorist attack on Israel a little more than a week ago.

That order led to a partnership with a Tampa-based nonprofit, Project DYNAMO, which carried out a successful rescue mission Sunday evening culminating in a DeSantis tarmac appearance welcoming the formerly stranded Americans, one Czech Republic citizen and four dogs.

Federal authorities estimate 30 Americans were killed during the Hamas attacks and at least 13 are feared missing.

The State Department is scrambling to evacuate Americans from the war-engaged Israel where the dangerous airspace has made ordinary commercial travel unfeasible.

DeSantis is too. And now he can claim he brought back some of the 20,000-plus Americans stranded in the war-engaged Israel just as fast as the federal government.

The mission wasn’t only a success for the 269 Americans. It’s also a win for DeSantis’ political ambitions.

While the Monday afternoon press conference did not include anyone from the DeSantis administration or campaign, his leadership was often the subject of discussion.

Stern repeatedly commended DeSantis during the press conference, noting at one point that he had “the courtesy and patriotism to welcome Americans home.”

Stern also touched on the federal government.

“We have a decent relationship with the State Department,” Stern said. “But it depends on the day.”

The evacuees selected to speak about the mission also heaped praise on DeSantis.

“I thank Gov. DeSantis,” a teary-eyed Linda Neumann said. “He’s awesome.”

Neumann and her husband, Ron Neumann, are a couple who split their time between Israel and Melbourne, Florida.

Ron Neumann served in the United States military and saw combat in Vietnam, meaning this was the second time he returned home from a war-torn area. He contrasted DeSantis’ warm reception with the critical protests he received returning from the unpopular war in Vietnam.

DeSantis has been incredibly vocal since war broke out in Israel.

It’s hardly a new issue for him, however. During his first year as Governor in 2019, DeSantis led a trade delegation to Israel. He also went to the country again this year as part of a sprawling trade mission.

Danny McAuliffe

Danny is a contributor at floridapolitics.com. He is a graduate of Fordham Law School and Florida State University, where he served as the editor of the FSView & Florida Flambeau. Reach him at [email protected].


26 comments

  • My Take

    October 16, 2023 at 5:13 pm

    It was about DeSScumtos posing.
    But isn’t his everything?

    • Jules

      October 16, 2023 at 8:06 pm

      We have friends that were on that plane and we are very grateful! Bottom line! Her over yourself and think of the people or put yourself in their shoes. Side note: Do you think Biden was planning anything!! The only thing they planned is to destroy America!

      • Michael K

        October 16, 2023 at 10:17 pm

        The House of Representatives is completely dysfunctional, all due to Republicans. Putin and other authoritarian leaders are taking great delight in watching radical right-wing Republicans try to shut down the government, not pay America’s bills, paralyze our nation, and throw everything into chaos. Republicans have weakened America, and continue to do so, by sowing seeds of mistrust in our institutions. And now they want to install an insurrectionist as House Speaker.

        • Jules

          October 16, 2023 at 11:39 pm

          You have got to be kidding me!! Ukraine! Who is responsible for that? Dems, Biden and his cronies! Energy independence on other countries? Who is responsible for that? Dems! China control! Who is responsible for that? Dems, Biden! Open Border with millions not accounted for and allowed terrorist in our country in masses? Who is responsible for that? Dems, Biden! You cannot dispute these facts.

          • Jules

            October 16, 2023 at 11:43 pm

            I don’t care for the Republicans either! I would do away with all of them! This is why people voted for Trump! Drain the Swamp…on both sides. He did a lot that he said he was going to do except firing politicians like we were expecting but he did expose them!! Until we get rid of the Rhinos and Elitists, we in bondage!

          • Silly Wabbit

            October 18, 2023 at 4:54 pm

            Jules kwazy.

      • JustBabs

        October 17, 2023 at 1:43 pm

        Good thing DeSantis was not in charge of who could board that plane or it would have been whites only. I am truly glad you made it home safely, but he’s using Florida’s emergency fund for his presidential campaigning. It would have been a better look if he donated his campaign funds to the non-profit rescue. $25,000 per person on that rescue comes to a lot of emergency aid next hurricane (oh wait, that’s also the fund to move immigrants from Texas). Even Jolly said he used the whole event as a political stunt.

        • JustBabs

          October 17, 2023 at 1:45 pm

          Correction: “your friend’s are home safely”

  • My Take

    October 16, 2023 at 5:27 pm

    It’s hardly a “rescue mission” from Israel.
    It’s simply an evacuation.
    And do you suppose DeSScamus would have lifted a finger (or phone) if it had to be done in secret?

  • Jules

    October 16, 2023 at 8:03 pm

    This is true Leadership!!

    • Michael K

      October 16, 2023 at 10:22 pm

      Actually, the US State Department began charter flights out of Israel on Friday.

    • FloridaPatriot

      October 17, 2023 at 12:48 pm

      Not even close. This is nothing more than TV time. Attention seeking whore.

    • JustBabs

      October 17, 2023 at 1:48 pm

      Leadership is not using tax payer funding for your personal agenda. $4 million dollars for his (he wishes) political boost. Why didn’t he use his campaign finances, or better yet, donate his own funds and keep it on the down low? Showing goodwill with someone elses’ money is pretty easy to do.

    • Silly Wabbit

      October 18, 2023 at 4:55 pm

      Jules delusional.

    • Silly Wabbit

      October 18, 2023 at 4:56 pm

      Stewpid, too.

  • My Take

    October 16, 2023 at 8:05 pm

    If Netanyahoo succeeds in getting the US to attack Iŕan we will need to get a lot more Americans out of Israel.
    BTW–has Jordan or Syria mobilized at all?

  • Unwoke and Going Broke In Florida

    October 17, 2023 at 5:49 am

    Slavering like a dog for Jews’ support in an election subsequent to a multi year terror campaign against Jews in-state is a strategy.

    /s

  • Earl Pitts American

    October 17, 2023 at 9:39 am

    Great job Gov. Desantis,
    This is one of your lifetime greatest achievements which will fast-track you and the lovely Casey into an 8 year residency in the White House.
    Blessed be those who support God’s Childern of Isreal.
    Earl Pitts American
    *as a side-bar: how much free effort did Trump expend in support of Desantis’s mercy mission? Did Trump send a jet over to assist?
    No & No*

  • FloridaPatriot

    October 17, 2023 at 12:46 pm

    Waste of Florida money. They would have been “rescued” either way and it would not have cost us God knows how much. As our state crumbles under insurance pressure and the highest in the nation inflation, DeSantis is out wasting our money to get on TV.

    • Earl Pitts "The Earl Of Politics" American

      October 17, 2023 at 12:56 pm

      OMJEZZY America,
      I just figgured it out:
      The Donald “Donald Trump” is posting under the moniker “FloridaPatriot”.
      Have an Earl Pitts American Day Don and dont forget to relax your sphincter Sir,
      EPA

  • My Take

    October 17, 2023 at 1:57 pm

    Showmanship: Pure and simple
    To fool the easily fooled..

  • Ron DeSantis wears High Heels

    October 17, 2023 at 2:30 pm

    Yeah, we know. It was also about getting a photo op and his name in the headlines.

  • Mike

    October 17, 2023 at 3:05 pm

    Who’s Stern? There was a Bryan Stern in a hashtag on the left column, but his whole name, title, etc., never appeared in the story.

  • rose

    October 17, 2023 at 3:09 pm

    No mention of the 4 flights he didn’t meet with only 38 people total which cost how many millions? This was reported in the Tampa Bay Times. I’m sure it was worth it to those on it, but the state department is carrying out ongoing evacuations without political grandstanding that is not costing FL taxpayers tens of millions of dollars for what is basically done for campaign purposes.

  • Joe

    October 17, 2023 at 3:44 pm

    This is not the job of a state’s governor. Pure political posturing by this pathetic pipsqueak.

  • Margaret

    October 17, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    DeSantis can try every trick in the political playbook, but the majority of people in this country will not vote for him to be President. He can dream, but the results will be his political nightmare. He is a loser in every sense of the word.

Comments are closed.


#FlaPol

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704




Sign up for Sunburn


Categories