Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announces Israel trip for trade delegation
His announcement is believed to precede a future presidential candidacy announcement
United States Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will visit Israel next month, where he will attend the Celebrate the Faces of Israel event, hosted by The Jerusalem Post and the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem on April 27.
DeSantis, who has been critical of U.S. President Joe Biden’s stance towards Israel, will deliver the keynote address at the event. In a press release regarding the trip, he wrote that Florida is “a bridge” between Americans and Israelis.
“At a time of unnecessarily strained relations between Jerusalem and Washington, Florida serves as a bridge between the American and Israeli people,” DeSantis stated.
DeSantis is expected to be a top contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, despite the fact he has not announced his candidacy.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump began attacking DeSantis lately in a series of political ads, as polls indicate that DeSantis has significant Republican support, coming in second after Trump. A poll by USA Today in December found that DeSantis would defeat Biden in a match-up, while the same poll indicated Trump would narrowly lose to Biden. Trumps polling numbers have improved since then.
There is a longstanding tradition of Republican presidential contenders visiting Israel, which continues to be an important factor for many Republican voters, especially after a recent poll showed that many Democrats are now more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause than to Israel.
DeSantis came to Israel in 2019 with a Florida trade mission, where he met with Israeli business leaders, military representatives and defense firms, and received an Honorary Fellowship Award from Ariel University in the West Bank.
During that trip, DeSantis signed a Memorandum of Understanding between Ariel University and Florida Atlantic University, and another MoU between Space Florida and the Israel Space Agency. Ahead of that trip, DeSantis promised “to be the most pro-Israel Governor in America.”
I promised to be the most pro-Israel Governor in America and our bold agenda for my upcoming Business Development Mission to Israel includes many historic firsts and strengthens Florida’s ties with Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 24, 2019
DeSantis has continued to be an outspoken proponent of Israel throughout his term as governor. In 2021, he told Forbes that “demonization of Israel” is causing a rise in anti-Semitic events. Earlier this year, while addressing the Republican Jewish Coalition, DeSantis said that Judea and Samaria, known as the West Bank, are “not occupied territory.”
“I don’t care what the State Department says. They are not occupied territory, it is disputed territory. You gotta know the history,” DeSantis told the crowd.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.