David HaLevy, FISM News Contributor
Recently Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was banned from the Museum of Jewish Heritage in NYC, a move that garnered outrage from the right and praise from the left. While the headlines evoke strong emotions, a deeper look into the situation provides a greater perspective on the true motivation behind the ban.
Florida houses the third-largest Jewish population in the country so any politician wishing to succeed in the state must focus on cementing positive relations with the Jewish demographic. DeSantis seems to have done well in this endeavor by initiating budget spending focused on the protection of the Jewish community while also supporting business development between Florida and Israel. It could be argued that he has been the biggest friend to the Jewish people in Florida in gubernatorial history. Regardless of which political party a Jewish person identifies with, DeSantis’ focus on Jewish safety, religious freedom, Holocaust awareness, and facilitation of business relations with Israel should leave little doubt that he is supportive of the Jewish community
Perhaps this was why it was surprising for many to hear of the governor being banned by the Museum of Jewish Heritage of New York from speaking at an event there organized by the Tikvah Fund, which is a non-profit aimed at, “intellectual, religious, and political leaders of the Jewish people and the Jewish State.” If just reading the headlines, one might garner that DeSantis had said or done something anti-Semitic in nature.
The organizers of the event were told by the museum staff that DeSantis “didn’t align with the museum’s values and its message of inclusivity.” This is a puzzling statement considering that DeSantis has done much to ensure that Holocaust awareness and the safety of the Jewish community in Florida is of highest priority. This leads one to wonder just what the museum’s definition of “message of inclusivity” is. This definition may lie in the mouths of those who have been hosted by the museum to speak.
These include Dem. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. It is no surprise that every one of the aforementioned speakers are Democrats and hold to a much more liberal ideology, leading one to conclude that the museum’s director’s decision was driven much more by politics than values.
DeSantis’ platform is as follows: Marriage should be defined as between one man and one woman; pro-life; Gay couples should not have the same adoption rights as straight couples; the government should not fund Planned Parenthood or other abortion clinics; Pro-2nd Amendment; Businesses should be allowed to deny service for religious beliefs (recall the Christian baker fiascos); No children under 18 years of age should be allowed transgender treatments; No racial sensitivity training (CRT) to federal employees; Transgender athletes should not be allowed to compete apart from their biological sex, Antifa should be declared a domestic terrorist organization, and the list goes on. (Source: isidewith.com)
A brief peek into the Jewish communities around the world will garner a very obvious but oft-overlooked reality . . . Jewish people believe very different things from one another. Amongst the Jewish population there are liberals (Chuck Schumer), conservatives (Adam Sandler), atheists (Bill Maher), gay agnostics (Dave Ruben), Muslims (Cat Stevens a.k.a. Yusef Islam), and yes even followers of Jesus like myself. All Jews, all different, all arguing with one another.
So, as we look at the ban of Ron DeSantis from the grounds of the Museum of Jewish Heritage we must look at the greater picture. Perhaps DeSantis is just one more in a long list of those who have been “canceled” by the left. The inferred claim that DeSantis is “un-inclusive” seems like it revolves around his political and moral stances. Yes, many Jewish people in the U.S. are liberal, yet there are also many who are conservative and are in lockstep with DeSantis’ policies.
Yet this is America, the land of the free. The NY Museum of Jewish Heritage has every right to ban whom they want, and not allow DeSantis to speak if they so choose. However, to imply that this decision is anything more than a political statement is misleading at best.
David HaLevy is a Jewish Texan/American Israeli, Christian apologist, and Founder/Director of Builders of Israel