Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis has claimed that, if elected, he would be the most pro-Israel governor in the entire country.
What did DeSantis say?
DeSantis told a crowd Sunday at a synagogue in Broward County, Florida:
I think I can pledge this very credibly: As soon as I take the oath of office to be the next governor that very day we will have the most pro-Israel governor in America here in Florida.
DeSantis noted that in his role as a member of Congress, he had attended the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. The White House announced on Dec. 6 that it would be moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. DeSantis recalled attending the opening of the embassy in May:
Of all the professional things that I’ve done, being there for that embassy opening was one of the best. It was awesome.
During that trip, he also met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
He also promised that his very first overseas trip would be to Israel.
DeSantis isn't the only one who sees himself as pro-Israel. After he won his primary bid, The Times of Israel identified him as a “Trump-backed pro-Israel conservative.”
DeSantis also promised his constituents that he would appoint people to the boards of state colleges and universities who would fight anti-Semitism on campuses, and that he would maintain direct flights between Israel and South Florida.
On Sunday, a DeSantis surrogate faced criticism for suggesting that DeSantis's opponent, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, would cut security funding for Jewish day schools in the state. The surrogate, Randy Fine, is also the only current Republican Jewish member of Florida's state Legislature.
Gillum's campaign quickly dismissed this claim. His spokeswoman, Carlie Waibel, released a statement that said, “Mayor Gillum strongly supports the $2 million in funding for security at Jewish Day Schools — and Rep. Fine knows it.”