Sen. Lori Berman presents her resolution in support of Israel to the Senate Rules Committee on Nov. 6, 2023. Screenshot from Florida Channel.
Three resolutions in this week’s special session express support for Israel following the early October attack from Hamas. The difference between them is how far they go to condemn anyone who is against Israel.
The following evening, Nov. 3, Republican Rep. Randy Fine filed HR 11C titled, “Support for Israel and Condemning Hamas and Anti-Semitism.” The Jewish representative from Brevard County has garnered national attention for endorsing former President Donald Trump in the 2024 election, citing Gov. Ron DeSantis’ lack of action against Nazi demonstrations in the state.
While state senators in the Rules Committee unanimously approved Berman’s resolution Monday afternoon, state House members haven’t discussed either resolution on the floor or during committee meetings. Republican Rep. Jeff Holcomb of Hernando and Pasco counties is listed as a co-sponsor of both House resolutions.
“I’m really honored that my colleagues are all supporting the resolution and I hope we’ll see the same kind of support on the Senate floor,” Berman said in an interview with Florida Phoenix.
Regarding the two House resolutions, she said: “I don’t understand why there’s two resolutions, and I don’t even know if both of them are on the call. But we have one resolution and we worked with Rep. Waldron.”
There are still some differences between Berman’s and Waldron’s resolutions. The Senate resolution condemns Hamas, the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and Iran. Meanwhile, Waldron’s resolution only mentions Hamas. Still, both resolutions state that Israel has the right to defend itself.
“The Iranian regime provides financial and logistical support to such terrorist groups as Hamas and Hezbollah and has praised these recent unconscionable atrocities committed against innocent civilians,” the Senate resolution states. “The State of Florida recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist as a sovereign and independent nation, and the right and obligation to defend itself, with the full rights and privileges afforded to all nations under international law.”
Fine’s resolution is even more vocal against people anti-Semitism and people who oppose Israel. The representative took to X to announce he filed the resolution on Friday evening, saying, “We’re not pulling punches.”
“Student organizations on college and university campuses are hosting and participating in demonstrations against the State of Israel, expressing support for the terrorist actions of Hamas, and increasing the usage of anti-Semitic rhetoric, including calling for violence against all Jewish people in Florida,” Fine’s resolution states.
In the resolution, Fine also demands the end of financial support to Palestinian and Iranian affiliated organizations. The Senate version also calls to end financial support but focuses on Hamas, Iran, Hezbollah and others who support terrorist activities. Meanwhile, Waldron’s resolution does not include financial demands.
Fine is also behind the House version of the bill seeking $45 million for security for Florida’s Jewish day schools, synagogues, Holocaust museums and cultural centers.
None of the three resolutions in support of Israel mention the deaths of Palestinian civilians.
On the other hand, Rep. Angie Nixon, a Democrat from Duval County, filed on Monday morning a resolution calling for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war. Other Democrats also filed bills on the first day of the special session.
HR 31C mentions the deaths of Palestinians and Israelis and “urges the Biden administration to immediately call for and facilitate de-escalation and a cease-fire to promptly end the current violence in the State of Israel and occupied Palestine, and to promptly send and facilitate the entry of humanitarian assistance into Gaza.”
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