The Phoenix Flyer

Gov. Ron DeSantis back in FL; signs antisemitism bill

By: - May 31, 2019 5:28 pm

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Cabinet in May 2019. From left to right: Attorney General Ashley Moody, Gov. DeSantis, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. Source: Governor’s office.

He did it for the cameras while in Israel, and now Gov. Ron DeSantis has done it officially – signed legislation cracking down on antisemitism in public schools, colleges, and universities.

DeSantis staged a ceremonial bill signing for HB 741 while at the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday, maximizing the symbolism. His signing of the bill upon his return to Tallahassee on Friday makes it official. The new law took effect as soon as DeSantis affixed his signature.

“I was especially proud to hold a ceremonial bill signing in Jerusalem,” DeSantis said in a written statement. “Florida is the most Israel-friendly state in the country and, as long as I’m governor, we will continue to stand with the Jewish community.”

The measure requires education authorities to treat discrimination against Jewish people just as they would treat race-based bias.

The law defines antisemitism as featuring “a certain perception of the Jewish people, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jewish people, rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism directed toward a person, his or her property, or toward Jewish community institutions or religious facilities.”

It gives examples, including justifying killing or harming Jews; making “mendacious, dehumanizing,  demonizing, or stereotypical allegations” against them; and “accusing Jews as a people or the State of Israel of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.”

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Michael Moline
Michael Moline

Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal.