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May, 2023

From the White House….did you see??

The Administration announces over 100 new actions and over 100 calls to action to combat antisemitism, including new actions to counter antisemitism on college campuses and online; whole-of-society strategy includes new stakeholder commitments.

The Biden-Harris Administration released the first-ever U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism.  It is the most ambitious and comprehensive U.S. Government-led effort to combat antisemitism in American history.

Here is the fact sheet on the strategy:

April, 2023

Resolution condemning Wiesenthal invitation to DeSantis

The Florida Democratic Party Jewish Caucus condemns the invitation by the Israeli branch of the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance which grants a forum to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at their Israel 75th anniversary event.  This invitation is a slap in the face of Simon Wiesenthal who was a stalwart fighter against the Nazis, Fascist, and Communist antisemites everywhere.  Mr. Wiesenthal and the museums and centers that bear his name are all about "tolerance".

They have invited a speaker, Ron DeSantis, that is all about intolerance, as every day he drives a wedge among peoples in the "culture wars" he promotes. Specifically, this Governor is silent in the face of prodigious and growing antisemitism in his state. His support for book banning, including books on the Holocaust, his anti LBTGQ+ actions, and his prohibition in schools on teaching about the history of racism in America speaks volumes. 

That, and his using the anti-Semitic phrase, “Soros funded" in putting down Hillsborough County State Attorney, Andrew Warren, and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, all makes him unworthy of the honor being bestowed upon him by the Israeli Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance.

Florida Democratic Party Jewish Caucus

October 28, 2022 from Crist:  

Jewish Leaders Release Open Letter Slamming DeSantis’s Refusal to Condemn Nazis

“DeSantis has consistently refused to condemn any of the anti-Semitic, violent white supremacist groups openly operating in the Sunshine State.” 

“Florida Jews deserve a governor who will race to denounce anti-Semitism and Nazis every time. That’s what Charlie Crist does.”

FLORIDA — Today, Jewish leaders across the State of Florida signed a powerful open letter slamming Ron DeSantis for refusing to condemn Nazis. The letter details how DeSantis’ refusal to condemn Nazis and other violent, white supremacist groups is fueling anti-Semitism. It remains open for Jewish leaders to sign-on.

Over the last year, Florida has seen a rise in anti-Semitic hate — anti-Semitic flyers left at hundreds of Florida homes, neo-nazi demonstrations in Orlando, and neo-Nazis waving ‘DeSantis Country’ flags in Tampa. DeSantis has refused to condemn these abhorrent displays of anti-Semitism and other violent, white supremacist groups. 

The open letter also follows the Anti-Defamation League citing a 50 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents across Florida in 2021 and 40 percent increase in 2020. The report also includes this horrific detail: 

The Sunshine State Nationalists (SSN) are a new Florida-based neo-Nazi organization established in early 2022 by ‘Pale Heretic,’ an associate of GDL and NSM. The group, which refers to itself as ‘Ron’s Holocaust Task Force,’ a reference to Governor DeSantis, engages in activism ‘to free the state from Jewish rule from Miami, Dayton, Palm Beach County and Boca Raton.’” 

“Floridians of all stripes have condemned the vicious anti-Semitism that has recently polluted our airwaves,” said Charlie Crist. “But Ron DeSantis still refuses to denounce Nazis that carry his flags. Under Ron’s watch, violent, white supremacist groups are openly operating in Florida and even using his name. Florida deserves a governor that will forcefully and unequivocally condemn anti-Semitism and other hate. I will always stand with Florida’s Jewish community, even condemning anti-Semitism from within my own party, and I welcome this effort to shine a light on how DeSantis’ refusal to condemn Nazis fuels rising anti-Semitism.” 

The text of the letter: 

DeSantis’ Refusal to Condemn Nazis Fuels Florida’s Rising Anti-Semitism
An open letter to our fellow Floridians from Jewish leaders

When Florida students are taught about the Shoah, they learn the phrase “Never Again.” After six million Jews were killed by Hitler and the Nazis, our people rebuilt with a dogged determination that it was on all of us – every day – to prevent another Holocaust. 

“Never Again” means that we rip out the weeds of hate wherever they spring. From cowards who paint swastikas under the cover of night to celebrities with a global platform, we fight every single act of anti-Semitism because we all carry the generational trauma of knowing where it can lead. 

Anti-Semitism left unchecked or ignored always leads to violence. This is why we are sounding the alarm. According to the Anti-Defamation League, anti-Semitism and violent extremism is on the rise in Florida. 

The January 6th riots at our nation’s Capitol showed that the line between political protest and violent insurrection can be blurred or erased when a leader misuses their power and influence. 

Therefore, it is more important than ever that our leaders address hatred and violence – especially when it comes from their own supporters. The Nazis marching through our streets and littering our neighborhoods with vile, anti-Semitic garbage carry flags that say “DeSantis Country.” Florida Jews deserve a governor who will race to denounce anti-Semitism and Nazis every time. That’s what Charlie Crist does. But Governor DeSantis refuses to condemn Nazis carrying his flag.

DeSantis has consistently refused to condemn any of the anti-Semitic, violent white supremacist groups openly operating in the Sunshine State.

DeSantis’ assault on our freedom is not limited to his repeated refusal to condemn Nazis publicly carrying his flag. He’s banning books, preventing the teaching of history, punishing private companies who dare to disagree with him, destroying reproductive choice, and using Florida taxpayer dollars to fly asylum seekers in other states across the country in a cruel political stunt. He spent millions elevating prominent anti-Semites in his campaign commercials. What line won’t he cross? 

DeSantis winks at the scourge of anti-Semitism afflicting our state. His continued refusal to condemn violent white supremacy, coupled with his assault on our basic freedoms, are a real threat to our community. We will not be silent. Never Again.

Rabbi Mark L. Winer, President, Florida Democratic Party Jewish Caucus
State Senator Lori Berman
State Senator Tina Polsky
State Representative Michael GottliebCo-Chair, Jewish Legislative Caucus                 
State Representative Joe Geller
State Representative Emily Slosberg-King
State Representative David Silvers
Broward County Commissioner and former State Senator Steve Geller
Palm Beach Gardens Mayor Rachelle LittPresident, Palm Beach County Democratic Party Jewish Caucus
Congressman Larry Smith (ret.)
State Representative Richard Stark (ret.)President, Broward County Democratic Party Jewish Caucus
Sheryl Unger, Secretary, Florida Democratic Party Jewish Caucus
Paul Ratner, President, Sarasota Democratic Party Jewish Caucus
Professor Samuel EdelmanVice President, Florida Democratic Party Jewish Caucus
David W. Singer, Esq.,Vice President, Florida Democratic Party Jewish Caucus     
David GellerPresident, Miami Beach Democratic Club
Charles HorowitzEditor-in-Chief, Policy Reform Now


Florida Democratic Party Jewish Caucus  Antisemitism Resolution

March 2022

WHEREAS, antisemitic attacks, vandalism, and demonstrations have dramatically escalated since 2015 worldwide; latest data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Anti-Defamation League indicate that Jewish people comprise approximately only 2% of the US population but are targets of 60% of religious hate crimes in this country; the rise in antisemitic activity has been fueled by former President Donald Trump's collusion with, enabling of, and reinforcement of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, the Klan, Proud Boys, and other violent hate groups; and

WHEREAS many Republican leaders and politicians in Florida and the US refuse to unequivocally condemn these groups and their antisemitic and anti-democratic behavior; these leaders publicly articulate support for these hate groups despite their links to domestic terrorism and the January 6th insurrection; and

WHEREAS our focus on violent white supremacist groups, and domestic terrorism, as a real danger to not only Jews, but to our civil society itself, is not meant to minimize those within our own party who espouse antisemitic beliefs, and who foster old antisemitic tropes dressed in modern clothing. However, we point out not only that these antisemitic attitudes are far from the mainstream of thought within the Democratic Party, but rather represent a fringe, though worrisome, element within our party, but also that the exaggerated influence attributed to them is at odds with the fact that support for the violent white supremacist groups, we here condemn, comes not just from fringe elements of the Republican Party, but from its very highest levels, including the former President himself; and

WHEREAS no individuals should be harassed, intimidated, or threatened because of their ethnicity, race, or religion; and

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Florida Democratic Party denounces all forms of antisemitism; we oppose condemnation, criticism, and censure against the national and international Jewish community because of ancient anti-Jewish hate as well as because of the Jewish community’s ties to Israel; we call on all office holders including unaffiliated, Libertarian, Republican, and Democratic office holders to condemn antisemitism and denounce extremist groups who promote antisemitic behavior; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Florida Democratic Party will continue to stand with the Jewish people as well as Black, Indigenous, Asian, Hispanic, other people of color, and the LGTBQIA+ community, and we will work to combat antisemitism, hatred, and bigotry, wherever we find it.

Sponsors: Rabbi Mark Winer, Caucus President,Jerry Fleischer, Resolutions Committee Member

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