Statement supporting Israel shows rift in Jewish Legislative Caucus mended

AP Poll Biden Israel
Two Republican members of the caucus who excoriated caucus colleagues last week were listed on a Wednesday statement supporting Israel.

Florida’s Jewish Legislative Caucus released a statement of its support for Israel that showed a falling out with two Republican members was over.

Just after Oct. 7’s deadly terrorist attack in the Holy Land, Republican Rep. Mike Caruso of North Palm Beach announced his departure from the Jewish Legislative Caucus. He cited the caucus’ delay in issuing a statement supporting Israel as his reason for leaving.

On the same email thread as Caruso’s resignation, Republican Rep. Randy Fine of Brevard County weighed in. He accused the Democrats on the caucus of trying to produce a statement that would pass muster with the more liberal wing of the blue team.

The spat sprang into view last week when an online news outlet, The Jolt, published a report that Caruso’s wife, Tracy Caruso, wrote. It also came out that Fine had quit the Jewish Legislative Caucus earlier in the year over political disagreements with the Jewish Democrats.

Wednesday, though, it appeared all was mended, and both lawmakers’ names appeared in the statement. Neither of the Republicans responded to a request for further comment. And one Democratic lawmaker disputed that Fine had rejoined the caucus.

But the release listed 13 lawmakers under the statement, including Caruso and Fine.

“The Florida Legislative Jewish Caucus stands together with our leadership who condemned the terrorist atrocities of Hamas and Iran visited upon the people of Israel,” the statement read, noting the right that Israel had to defend itself. “We are proud that the Florida Legislature supports the sovereign nation of Israel. There is no room in a civilized world for inhumanity and acts of violence.”

The statement came a little more than two hours after Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and House Speaker Paul Renner, both Republicans, issued a joint statement. They condemned Hamas’ attacks as “barbaric,” stated support for Israel “unequivocally,” and called for the end of all financial support for the Iranian government, Hamas, Hezbollah, and any other organization publicly supporting these attacks.

A news release that announced the joint proclamation contained statements from Democratic Senate Leader Lauren Book and Fine, denouncing the attacks and supporting Israel.

On social media, though, Fine unleashed vitriol against those supporting Palestine. Since the violence began, he’s routinely called pro-Palestine demonstrators “animals” and accused one lawmaker of having bloodied hands for defending Joe Biden’s actions. 

Fine wrote a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis and posted it on social media calling for any student organization in any of the state-run universities and colleges to be expelled if they “justify the killing of Jews.” He also wants the same for any student participating in these rallies. He also asked for the firing of any faculty member “who has propagated, excused or encouraged this genocide.”

He vented his anger at Wednesday’s joint statement. He described the 3,000-year history of persecution Jewish people have survived, recalling the violence they have endured. One 3-year-old Jewish girl survived because she was hidden under slaughtered family members as their bodies grew cold.

“The monsters aren’t just over there,” he said. “Turn on the news, and you will see … the largest scale demonstration of antisemitism in the history of the world … Jews, not just in Israel, but right here in Florida, do not feel safe today.”

Another Jewish Republican in the caucus said she was glad the caucus kerfuffle was over.

“I’m happy to see everyone working together,” said Rep. Peggy Gossett-Seidman of Highland Beach. “We’re united in the duties of our office and what’s in our hearts.”

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


6 comments

  • Earl Pitts "The Earl Of Politics" American

    October 19, 2023 at 8:09 am

    Good mornting Dook 4 Brains Lefties,
    As I, The Earl of Politics, have explained in previous political articals the sad truth is this rift was totally unavoidable and has it’s ugly tenticals in the historical difference between the mainly liberal Jews residing in the USA and the mainly conservative Jews residing in Isreal.
    For the past 50 years the problem was known but only wispered about as a political anomoly out of the great respect the liberator of the Jews from Nazi atrocities, The Usa, in WWII has for all Jews of all political leanings.
    The recent massacre of the Jews in Isreal has brought this 50+ year political rift to a head much like an ugly zit on an otherwise beautiful teenager’s nose.
    Now it is clear due to the radicalization of the Democratic Party in The USA that all Dook 4 Brains Leftys, including American Jews and their Dook 4 Brains elected Jewish Democrat officials have the recently slaughtered Jews in Isreal’s blood on their hands just by their support of the ultra radicalized Democratic party in the USA.
    It’s very uncomfortable for all Jews in the USA along with their elected officials, be they the predominat Democrats or the tiny minority Republicans such as Caruso and Fine.
    As you can surmise, America, this is very akward for not just Caruso and Fine, but for all Jews in The USA regardless of their political leanings.
    As you know nobody is speaking about what you know to be the above truth that The Earl enumurated above. Everyone, including Caruso and Fine, would be overjoyed if the painfull truth The Earl spoke of would just be quietly swept under the rug never to be discussed again.
    But America, the truth is not always a happy stroll down the primrose path of happiness and joy joy joy. Often the truth is wicked and very ugly.
    But remember the truth will set you free. And that is the reason The Earl of Politics is the most read, most talked about, and the most loved-most hated poster here at our beloved and benevolant on line host, F. P.
    Where else are you going to see both sides of the political coin explained? On major news networks? NO. In print/other on-line formats? NO. Only here at our benevolant, beloved, and wise on-line host, F. P.
    Thank you America,
    EPA

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    October 19, 2023 at 11:28 am

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  • My Take

    October 19, 2023 at 1:05 pm

    Oh, he’d make a “fine” public university president wouldn’t he?
    A two-bit partisan thug. OK for politics. Not for higher educatiòn. Especially a public institution.
    Imagine a history or political science professor trying to teach honestly about the Middle East at FAU with this thug as president.

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    October 19, 2023 at 1:09 pm

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  • My Take

    October 19, 2023 at 2:21 pm

    If I were a proPalestinian activist, here are some parallels I would make:
    >>Israel = apartheid South Africa.
    Palestinan enclaves on thd West Bank = “Bantustans”
    (These are already pretty familiar.)
    >>Netanyahoo = Putin.
    Palestinian Territories = Ukraine
    (Seen once or twice.)
    >>Israelis = “Sand Serbs.”
    Palestinian Territories = Kosovo
    There are various other less familiar examples.

    • Charlotte Greenbarg

      October 20, 2023 at 7:36 am

      MyTake is a front for terrorist propaganda

Comments are closed.


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