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 Gottlieb, Co-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 Litt, President, 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 Edelman, Vice President, Florida Democratic Party Jewish Caucus
David W. Singer, Esq.,Vice President, Florida Democratic Party Jewish Caucus
David Geller, President, Miami Beach Democratic Club
Charles Horowitz, Editor-in-Chief, Policy Reform Now