Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently visited Jerusalem on a foreign policy trip ahead of an expected Republican presidential run in 2024. He delivered a keynote address at the “Celebrate the Faces of Israel” event held at the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the founding of Israel. He spoke of the importance of the U.S.-Israeli relationship, saying America must work with Israel and support its right to self-defence. “Our alliance with Israel rests on the Judeo-Christian values that trace back thousands of years to the Holy Land and which have been essential to the American experiment,” he said. DeSantis said Florida had successfully fought the anti-Israel “Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions” movement against the Jewish state and added that U.S. policy should recognize that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel.
“Jerusalem is in fact, going back thousands of years, the eternal capital of the Jewish people. U.S. policy should recognize the truth,” he said. “We must also ensure that however the future political winds may blow, the U.S. Embassy will always be right here in Jerusalem. That’s never going to change.” DeSantis also said Israel is the only authority that can protect true freedom of worship for all in Jerusalem. Meanwhile, the governor’s attentions were forced to turn back to Florida during his overseas trip as he faces a legal fight on the home front. Disney is suing DeSantis over his decision to have the state take control of the entertainment giant’s theme park district which had been allowed to operate as its own independent region for decades.
The company is alleging that DeSantis waged a “targeted campaign of government retaliation” after Disney publicly opposed a state law that bans classroom lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity in early grades. The lawsuit was filed just minutes after the DeSantis-appointed Disney World oversight board voted to void a deal that would place theme park design and construction decisions in the company’s hands. “They’re upset because they’re having to live by the same rules as everybody else. They don’t want to pay the same taxes as everybody else and they want to be able to control things without proper oversight,” DeSantis said during his visit to Israel. “The days of putting one company on a pedestal with no accountability are over in the state of Florida.”
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