Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis who is currently visiting Israel, delivered a speech at the “Celebrate the Faces Israel” event held at the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem in conjunction with the Jerusalem Post. Amongst many other strongly supportive statements of the Jewish people and their right to self-determination in their “historic homeland”, DeSantis also said that “Jerusalem is in fact, going back thousands of years, the eternal capital of the Jewish people.”

After thanking the President of Israel, Isaac Herzog, and a number of other people including Doctor Miriam Adelson who has been accompanying the governor on his trip; DeSantis began by saying “Throughout two thousand years of exile in the dispersion of the Jewish people, the bond between the Jewish people in this holy land was never severed. Both the Balfour declaration and the British mandate recognize the historic connection of the Jewish people with the land of Israel and acknowledge the compelling basis for reconstituting their national home right here in the Holy Land.”

“How could a ragtag group of sabras, refugees, and holocaust survivors possibly prevail against powerful Arab armies determined to snuff out the Jewish state in its infancy? The odds were about as long as the odds that a young shepherd boy armed with rocks and a slingshot could slay a giant. But just as David defeated Goliath, the newly minted Israelis beat the odds, won their independence, and preserved their right to self-determination.”

Amid much speculation about DeSantis running in the 2024 Presidential election, the governor perhaps hinted at the type of relationship he would have with Israel if elected. “Israel is also one of America’s most valued and trusted allies. Maintaining a strong Israel relationship has been a priority for me during my time in elected office, and I know it’s been a priority for the overwhelming majority of the American people.” Governor DeSantis concluded by telling a story of when George Washington received a letter praising his work from a Hebrew congregation while on a visit to Rhode Island. 

“Washington responded to the letter the following day by noting ‘It is now no more than that toleration is spoken of as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoy the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily, the government of the United States, which gives bigotry no sanction to persecution, no assistance requires only that those who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens and give it all on occasion, their effectual support. May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwells on this land continue to merit and enjoy the goodwill of the other inhabitants, while everyone shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.’”

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