While it might seem from the optics that the American people have turned against Israel, the actions of many leaders and communities prove that sometimes, you just cannot believe what you see.
Earlier this week, Bryan Leib, a Newsmax Insider and founder of the public relations firm Henry PR, spotted something heartening. Leib, as many know, is renowned for his fierce advocacy, vigorously supporting the Iranian people's quest for freedom through his role at Iranian Americans For Liberty and fighting against antisemitism at CasePac. His success has turned him into a star within the conservative and Jewish communities. During a recent visit to southern Florida, Leib noticed something remarkable, not one, but two Israeli flags on display at Hialeah’s City Hall.
Hialeah, the sixth largest city in Florida just honored President Trump by naming a street after him. However, while the community does have Jews living within it, the city is predominantly made up of Cuban Americans which is why the sight of the Israeli flag flying high was surprising. Leib recalled, “As I walked into Hialeah's City Hall, I noticed an Israeli flag outside next to the U.S. and Florida flags. When I was sitting inside the Mayor's office, he had a small Israeli flag on his desk.” He was referring to Mayor Esteban Bovo, Jr. of Hialeah, who has led the city, located in Miami-Dade County, since November 2021.
"We're not going to be voting for Joe Biden come next November."— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) November 9, 2023
Hialeah, Florida, Mayor Esteban Bovo announces his intention to rename a street after former President Donald Trump. @SteveBovo @ShaunKraisman @EmmaRechenberg pic.twitter.com/QQTwhoaYmQ
Leib, observing the Israeli flag alongside the U.S. and Florida flags and on the Mayor’s desk, inquired of Mayor Bovo, who himself is a Cuban-American about his vocal support for Israel and the Jewish community.
Mayor Bovo responded, as per Leib’s account, "Because it's the right thing to do. I put out a statement on October 8th standing with Israel. We stand with Israel and the Jewish people.”
Mayor Bovo has consistently shown support for Israel. Besides his October 8th statement, he has frequently posted about Israel on social media following the massacre committed by Hamas and other Palestinian groups against Israelis, an event that was the worst attack on the Jewish people since the Holocaust. Bovo also had a ‘Mezuzah,’ a box containing a scroll that has the most sacred Jewish prayer written on it, installed on the door post at the entrance to his office.
In a post promoting the Mezuzah installation, Mayor Bovo wrote, “I continue to sympathize with what’s occurring in Israel and their ability to keep their nation whole. God bless them, and may they know that the City of Hialeah Stands with Israel.”
I continue to sympathize with what’s occurring in Israel and their ability to keep their nation whole. God bless them, and may they know that the City of Hialeah Stands with Israel. #StandsWithIsrael— Esteban Bovo (@MayorBovo) October 27, 2023
The Judean contacted Leib for his thoughts as an American Jew on seeing the Israeli flag prominently displayed in Hialeah. Leib said, “Seeing the Israeli flag, alongside the American and State of Florida flag, sends a strong message that Hialeah, a mostly Latino community, stands with the Jewish community in Miami-Dade County.” It is important to note that most U.S. polls indicate widespread support for Israel, despite vocal anti-Israel protests.
Leib has been outspoken about Israel’s self-defense rights. In an October 26th Newsmax column, he questioned how Israel could seek peace given Hamas’s founding charter's explicitly anti-Semitic and anti-Israel stance. He advocated for the elimination of Hamas, seeing it as beneficial for regional stability and a setback to Iran’s influence.
As I walked into Hialeah's City Hall, I noticed an Israeli flag outside next to the U.S. and Florida flags. When I was sitting inside the Mayor's office, he had a small Israeli flag on his desk.— Bryan E. Leib (@BryanLeibFL) November 16, 2023
So I had to ask him:
"Mayor, you're a Cuban-American, not Jewish and you have… https://t.co/KLNYBL722U
Leib's stance was unequivocal regarding Israel’s military strategy, particularly amid growing ceasefire demands: “Let me be clear — now is the time for the Israel Defense forces to end Hamas’s reign of terror forever. There should be no ceasefires. There should be no proportionate responses. No, the IDF should eradicate the entire organization of Hamas and anyone providing any level of material support to them. The world is anxiously watching what Israel does next.”