DeSantis Plans To Travel To Jerusalem As Tumult Strains NetanyahuBiden Relationship


DeSantis Plans To Travel To Jerusalem As Tumult Strains NetanyahuBiden Relationship

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DeSantis Plans To Travel To Jerusalem As Tumult Strains NetanyahuBiden Relationship
DeSantis Plans To Travel To Jerusalem As Tumult Strains NetanyahuBiden Relationship

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will deliver a speech in Jerusalem next month, a trip that will plunge the Republican presidential candidate into Israel's national turmoil and its increasingly strained relationship with the United States. .

The Jerusalem Post and Museum of Tolerance announced Tuesday that DeSantis will be the keynote speaker at the organization's April 27 event, his second visit to Israel as governor. The start of the planned foreign visit is linked to the intensification of contacts between the White House and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu amid escalating unrest in the country over plans for judicial reform.

In a statement to The Jerusalem Post, DeSantis captured the growing tension between President Joe Biden and Netanyahu, highlighting Florida's continued support for the Jewish state.

In a time of unnecessarily strained relations between Jerusalem and Washington, Florida serves as a bridge between the American people and Israel.

His statement did not address the mass protests that erupted in the Middle Eastern country after Netanyahu fired his defense minister for speaking out against the proposed justice system plans. DeSantis' political operations did not respond to requests for comment.

On Sunday, the White House said it was watching developments in Israel with "concern" a week after Biden demanded Netanyahu drop his controversial proposal. On Monday, it was reported that Netanyahu agreed to suspend the reform law until after the Passover holiday. This could mean DeSantis coming to Israel, as well as controversy over Netanyahu's plans.

DeSantis has long positioned himself as an ally of Israel, visiting the country several times during his first six months as a congressman and governor. He has repeatedly stood by Israel in the ongoing conflict with Palestine, indicating in 2019 that the latter is not interested in peace.

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"If you look at this whole conflict, the biggest problem for me is that the Palestinian Arabs do not recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state," he said. "This kind of denial really poisons everything."

DeSantis has received support from several pro-Israel Republican donors, including $500,000 from 2018 gubernatorial nominee Miriam Adelson and her husband, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. The couple donated $5 million to the state Republican Party after DeSantis won the party's nomination for governor that same year.

His 2019 visit came at another period of turmoil in Israeli politics as Netanyahu failed to form a governing majority and struggled to maintain his power amid allegations of corruption. DeSantis met with Netanyahu during the visit, but declined to comment on the embattled leader's fate.

"Stay away from their politics," DeSantis said during the trip.

No doubt his recent visit to the country will highlight the fierce struggle in the Republican primary for both Jewish and evangelical voters, who consider supporting Israel their top priority. Meanwhile, DeSantis and Trump created conflicting accounts about the former president's decision to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

In her latest book, The Courage to Be Free, DeSantis said Trump had doubts about his campaign promise to move the embassy from Tel Aviv, and believes her lobbying campaign forced Trump. In 2017, DeSantis chaired a congressional committee meeting in support of the move and led a study tour of potential embassy locations. During the trip, DeSantis said he hoped Trump would keep his word, which he said made him wonder if he had inside information.

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"I am independent and my trip is not coordinated with the White House, so the answer is: not necessarily," DeSantis said in the book.

DeSantis attended the May 2018 ceremony when Trump officially moved the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. "It was a beautiful day and it should have happened years ago," DeSantis wrote.

Speaking at a rally in Waco, Texas, on Saturday, Trump falsely boasted, "I promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem, and I did… at a fraction of the cost and time. It was supposed to cost $2 billion, and I built it for $500,000." ".

DeSantis' international presence will be preceded by an active travel program that will take DeSantis to Tennessee, Ohio, Virginia, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Utah in the weeks leading up to the start of the presidential campaign scheduled for May or June.

The trip abroad comes as DeSantis has recently struggled to articulate his world view on the war in Ukraine and other international situations. At first, he suggested the war was a "regional conflict" in which the United States should not get involved, called Russian President Vladimir Putin a "war criminal" and told the BBC's Piers Morgan he could be "clearer" about it. . Opposing Russia's advances in the region. Days later, DeSantis told Newsmax that he had "not changed" his position on Ukraine.

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