Ron DeSantis says he’s sending weapons to Israel in move that could bolster him in the GOP Primary
Image via DeSantis campaign

DeSantis Ron
The Governor says he's arranged for drones, weapons and ammunitions to go to Israel to prepare for the expected Gaza incursion.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday he’s arranged to send drones, weapons, and ammunition to Israel as it prepares for an incursion of Gaza in response to Hamas’ attack. It’s the latest official response DeSantis has taken to back Israel as he competes in the 2024 Republican primary.

Florida has sent cargo planes with healthcare supplies, drones, body armor, and helmets, said Jeremy Redfern, a spokesman for the Governor’s office. The state also worked with groups to supply unspecified amounts of weapons and ammunition that were privately funded, Redfern said.

DeSantis’ announcement led to confusion between the Governor’s office and an Israeli diplomat in Florida. The Governor’s office said it acted at the request of Israel’s consul general in Miami. But Maor Elbaz-Starinsky, the consul general, said he did not request drones, body armor, or helmets, nor had he talked to the Governor about help getting weapons or ammunition through private parties.

“Nothing went through me,” Elbaz-Starinsky said. “We were never in communication on any shipments of arms or ammunition. The only thing that I have dealt with sending is medical supplies.”

After being asked about Elbaz-Starinsky’s comments, Redfern reiterated that the governor’s office was contacted by the consul general.

DeSantis has often applied his official powers to take actions that coincide with his larger political goals. Florida used state funds to fly migrants from Texas to Democratic-led areas such as Martha’s Vineyard. And earlier this week, his administration ordered state universities to disband chapters of a pro-Palestinian student group. Since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, Florida has also run flights for about 700 Americans evacuated from Israel.

The confirmation of the military aid comes as DeSantis and other GOP presidential contenders are expected to attend the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual gathering of donors, which kicks off Friday in Las Vegas. DeSantis is scheduled to speak Saturday morning to a Nevada Republican group at a casino-resort on the Las Vegas Strip.

DeSantis and the other candidates have largely lined up behind Israel and accused President Joe Biden of not doing enough to support the Israelis. DeSantis has swiped at former President Donald Trump, the heavy front-runner in the 2024 primary, and former South Carolina Governor and United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley over Israel as well.

It’s unclear whether DeSantis coordinated shipments of any weapons with the Biden administration. The Commerce Department regulates the shipment abroad of many types of U.S. weapons and technology.

“It is not illegal for the Governor of a state to offer a measure of foreign assistance to another country,” said John Kirby, a spokesperson for the White House’s National Security Council. “There are laws and regulations which govern how the export process is handled and that’s all done through Commerce. I couldn’t speak with authority today about whether the governor has checked all those boxes or not.”

The Commerce Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But the news prompted Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried to issue a statement saying the Governor needs to stay in his lane and called it a “gross breach of norms.”

“The Florida Democratic Party unequivocally supports Israel’s right to self-defense, and American military support for those efforts must come from the U.S. Government — not a handshake deal between a wannabe president and undefined ‘private parties.'” Fried said. “Instead of meddling with military operations to score political points for his failing presidential campaign, Ron needs to stand down and let President Biden do his job.”

The export of military equipment would typically require a license or some other authorization from either the Commerce or State Departments, depending on the precise item, said Thomas Krueger, a lawyer at the Akin Gump law firm who specializes in international trade and previously served as the director of strategic trade and nonproliferation at the White House’s National Security Council.

“It really all depends on the specifications of the items themselves, to determine what kind of export authorization would be required,” Krueger said.


Republished with permission from The Associated Press.

Associated Press


  • Dr. Franklin Waters

    October 26, 2023 at 4:15 pm

    What in the actual hell? DeSantis is the Commander in Chief of nothing. What is sending? DJI drones you can get at Best Buy?

  • Shelby justice

    October 26, 2023 at 4:18 pm

    Never, ever thought I would agree with Nikki, but Ron needs to pay attention to his own job description. Do a survey as to how many of us agree with money or guns being sent anywhere.

  • Earl Pitts "America's BIG VOICE on The Right" American

    October 26, 2023 at 4:28 pm

    Good evening Patriots,
    This ladies and gentelmen is what is going to make everyone vote for Desantis.
    What has Trump actually done except flap his jaw?
    What has 8IDEN actually done except eff things up?
    Write it down, America, you heard it from Earl today!!!!
    Earl Pitts American

    • rick whitaker

      October 26, 2023 at 9:18 pm


    • Ocean Joe

      October 27, 2023 at 10:09 am

      I suspect Trump probably did have an impact on foreign agression because he’s crazy, foreign leaders knew it, and he was eager to attack Iran. Taking out Soleimani was his gift to Israel, not moving the embassy or even his bribery disguised as a peace deal.
      BTW, anybody remember when you didn’t have to take your shoes off before you got on a plane, or when Pan Am was still king of the skies. A generation of terrorism continues.

    • JD

      October 28, 2023 at 3:29 pm

      HAHAHA He was outed (like the gay man he is – the boots were a give away) by the Israeli consulate as lying.

      How does it feel to be siding with a lying loser EarL (with your signature big “L” for LOSER)?

    • Kathryn Schoen

      October 28, 2023 at 11:25 pm

      Ahem, that presumption is far from the truth and miles from being logical. I suppose it’s not a great leap that Trump supporters are regurgitating the untruths spewed by the likes of DeSantis. Perhaps, that resolves the cognitive dissonance they feel by jumping the “Trump Ship” to land aboard the “DeSantis Liferaft”.

  • Unf

    October 26, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    So far out of his lane not to mention that taxpayers are funding his ridiculous campaign stunts

  • Larry Gillis, Libertarian (Cape Coral)

    October 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Under the Constitution, the Feds — not Florida — “own” our relations with foreign countries. It’s bad enough that the Feds wanna get us involved in these overseas adventures; we don’t need to have the individual States bellying up to the bar in addition.

    FYI, the Libertarians are opposed to us being The World’s Policeman anymore.

    • Earl Pitts "America's BIG VOICE on The Right" American

      October 26, 2023 at 5:38 pm

      But Big Lar.,
      What about when the Fed’s are totally imcompedant as with the “8IDEN” fake administration.
      Should we just stand down and let God’s Childern get $#IT on by HAMAS and our feckless Federal Govt.?
      Throw our hands up and say “Thats not my job?
      Big Lar. Now both you and I know that is not how you lived your life, that is not how you raised your family.
      Thanks Big Lar.,
      Earl Pitts American

    • rick whitaker

      October 29, 2023 at 10:05 pm

      libertarians want a free ride, we all know that. monday morning quarterback comment

  • tom palmer

    October 26, 2023 at 5:00 pm

    Just when you think Gov. DeSantis cannot come up with a more bizarre political stunt, he surprises us.

  • Dont Say FLA

    October 26, 2023 at 5:30 pm

    One can hope that colon supremo Rhonda is sending his special cosplay security force dipsticks to fight on the side of the other colon-izers

  • Ron Forrest Ron

    October 26, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    It seems Ron wants to be more than just a human trafficker and president of USA. Now he wants to be an international arm dealer too? Jill seriously needs to find something to keep them busy with.

  • Michael K

    October 26, 2023 at 8:15 pm

    Little big man. We’re not impressed and we’re not amused. Pathetic little pipsqueek. .

  • My Take

    October 26, 2023 at 9:34 pm

    Communist Cuba is waitiñg just next door, Rhonda. Get your gasbag GOPer guerrillas, and go get’em!

  • PeterH

    October 27, 2023 at 12:29 am

    As reported in the Sun Sentinel two days ago the Florida taxpayers flipped the bill to air lift Israeli Americans from Tel Aviv where they were safe to a Mediterranean island where they were stranded for days. The cost to Florida taxpayers is $50 million dollars. Pandering for votes is costing Florida taxpayers!

  • University of North Florida

    October 27, 2023 at 11:47 am

    And seems he lied about that too

  • Dale A Arnold

    October 28, 2023 at 10:26 am

    He loves spending tax payers money!
    How about leaving the foreign policy to the Feds and apply yourself to fixing Florida’s problems!

  • Tom

    October 28, 2023 at 11:29 am

    “His boast, however, started to unravel when Maor Elbaz-Starinsky, Israel’s consul general, told the news agency he had not asked for DeSantis’s help, and that the governor’s involvement was limited to smoothing paperwork requirements for a previously arranged shipment of “rifle parts” ordered by his government.

    “I am not aware and would find it very, very bizarre to think that somebody is procuring weapons and sending it to Israel,” he said. “This is not how we work. And certainly not privately funded.”

    What a clown.

  • Silly Wabbit

    October 28, 2023 at 6:46 pm

    DeSantis kwazy.

  • Silly Wabbit

    October 28, 2023 at 6:47 pm

    DeSantis fannyhole.

  • Adam Frank

    October 29, 2023 at 10:08 am

    I’m just glad that DeSantis isn’t sending any Florida State Troopers to Israel, like he did for Texas, since they have no arrest powers outside of Florida.

  • Andy

    October 31, 2023 at 3:11 pm

    So, private militia Erik Prince is helping to continue foreign policy interference from the family of the owners of the Magic!

    • rick whitaker

      November 3, 2023 at 4:55 pm

      eric prince is a amway heir

Comments are closed.


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