Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Makes History in Israel

by Avi Abelow

Today I was privileged to witness history!!!

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a MOU (memorandum of understanding) between the State of Florida and the first University in Judea & Samaria, Ariel University. In his address to the crowd he also spoke about his deep love for Israel and the Jewish people, as well as our historic right to this land.

Why is this historic? Because it is the first established relationship between a US State and a University in Judea & Samaria. This MOU signing is history in the making! And it is thanks to Ruth Lieberman, Sarah Paley and the Yes! Israel Project who first brought Governer DeSantis to Israel, Judea & Samaria and Ariel University back in 2014.

Dr. Miriam Edelson introduced Florida Governer Desantis and both of their words were memorable. Most memorable was the Governor’s direct statement against the growing anti-Israel forces of the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement when he said that “BDS has no place in Florida, I can assure you that.”

Most of the world still considers Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria as illegal, and shuns, or even boycotts, Israeli institutions located there – like the University of Ariel. This event today between the State of Florida, under Gov. DeSantis’ leadership, and Ariel University, is the first step towards a future where the Jewish presence in our ancestral lands in Judea and Samaria is normal and accepted. This is a huge historic step! And we are very grateful to Governor DeSantis for making this happen.

Most important is Gov. DeSantis’ understanding that strengthening this relationship with Israel and with Ariel University is not about helping Israel, it’s about helping Florida and the USA!!!

Among the main points of the Memorandum of Understanding signed today between Ariel University and Florida State University, the institutions agreed to strengthen academic ties, establish academic and research collaborations, expand educational possibilities, enrich the learning environment and promote understanding among the various communities

Statements at this Historic MOU Signing

Ariel University President Yehuda Danon opened the event. “Today is a special day for us. Today we are very grateful and honored to host a true friend of Ariel University and of the entire State of Israel. Our hosting of the governor today marks a new path for us. The signing of the memorandum of understanding with Florida State University is not only a symbolic event, but a milestone in establishing relations of friendship and closeness that will lead to the connection between two institutions for future cooperation and academic progress.”

Dr. Miriam Adelson introduced Governor DeSantis saying that “Governor DeSantis is a true friend of the State of Israel. He supported the US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and he understands that we as Israelis have the right to our holy land. Here in Ariel, we are close to Shilo, the first capital of biblical Israel.”

Governor DeSantis’ Remarks

“We are now in the heart of the Holy Land of Israel,” said Governor DeSantis. “When you think about Israel’s history and the tradition that connects Israel and the US, it’s inspiring. On my last visit to Israel in 2014, the US embassy was in Tel Aviv and we were on the verge of signing a destructive agreement with Iran, and I am happy that today we have achieved real progress. We have an American embassy in Jerusalem with an American acceptance the sovereignty of the State of Israel on the Golan Heights and the agreement with Iran has been removed from the stage of history.”

“I, personally, have fought AirBnB’s discriminatory policy against Jewish-owned properties in Judea and Samaria, and only recently have they changed their discriminatory policy. I say here: BDS has no place in Florida The memorandum of understanding signed today between the University of Ariel and Florida State University is a blessed agreement that will bring these two institutions forward. I am happy to say that Florida is a very diverse state, but not when it comes to its unequivocal support for the State of Israel,” DeSantis added.

The Yes! Israel Project

The Yes! Israel Project is a project of Jaffe Strategies, Ltd focused on strengthening the US-Israel relationship by focusing on the strong shared values between our countries and a desire to create a better future for us all.

Interview with Congressman DeSantis in DC in January 2018

This interview took place soon after Congressman DeSantis spearheaded a trip to Jerusalem to scout out potential locations for a US Embassy, even before President Trump announced that the US would even move the Embassy.

He has always been ahead of everyone else in taking bold steps to strengthen the US-Israel relationship, because he knows that a strong Israel is in the interest of America to be a strong USA.

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