Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida is set to be the keynote speaker at an event in Israel next month, in an effort to ease tensions in Israel and strengthen U.S.-Israel ties, according to The Jerusalem Post.
DeSantis has traveled to Israel once before in 2019 during his time as governor and is making the second trip as a part of a Florida/Asian trade delegation, according to The Jerusalem Post. The Florida governor will be the main speaker at the “Celebrate the Faces” event on April 27, which is sponsored by The Jerusalem Post, in order to serve as a “bridge between the American and Israeli people.” (RELATED: Netanyahu Hits Pause On Judicial Reform Amid Protests)
“A few months after my inauguration for my first term as Governor of Florida, I traveled to Israel for a state visit with the largest ever trade delegation from the Sunshine State to the Jewish State,” DeSantis said in The Jerusalem Post’s announcement. “At a time of unnecessarily strained relations between Jerusalem and Washington, Florida serves as a bridge between the American and Israeli people.”
DeSantis also noted efforts to “strengthen the relationship between Florida and Israel” and condemned the “scourge” of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which attempts to force companies and institutions to divest and withdraw support from Israel in protest of Israel’s alleged occupation of Palestine.
“Since that time, we have strengthened the relationship between Florida and Israel through increased investment by Israeli companies in our state, fighting the scourge of BDS, and being home to the fastest growing Jewish population in the United States,” DeSantis said in the announcement.
The event is being held at the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem and will also feature U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides and former U.S. Ambassador David Friedman, according to the event page. The topics include “The Crisis in Relations Between Jews and Arabs in Israel,” “Women, Life, Freedom” and “The Judicial Reform Debate: Two Perspectives.”
After DeSantis’ election in 2018, he promised to “be the most pro-Israel governor in America” and aided in the effort to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to The Jerusalem Post.
DeSantis’ Press Secretary Bryan Griffin told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a prepared statement that the governor “looks forward to visiting Israel and delivering remarks at the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem.”
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