Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a likely Republican presidential contender, will visit Israel next month and deliver an address in Jerusalem.
The Jerusalem Post and the Museum of Tolerance announced that DeSantis would serve as the keynote speaker of the two organizations’ event, which is scheduled for April 27.
In a statement to the Jerusalem Post, DeSantis noted the tensions between President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and stressed Florida’s continued unwavering support to the Jewish state.
“At a time of unnecessarily strained relations between Jerusalem and Washington, Florida serves as a bridge between the American and Israeli people,” DeSantis said in the statement.
The Florida Governor is a known supporter of Israel. He recently defended the right of Jews to live in their Biblical homeland of Judea and Samaria and reiterated that he does not consider these territories to be "occupied".
“I don't care what the State Department said, they are not occupied territory; it is disputed territory,” DeSantis said during a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) political conference.
In December, DeSantis met Israel’s Ambassador to the US, Michael Herzog, who said he thanked DeSantis “for his strong support of Israel & for the significant steps he has taken to combat antisemitism. We look forward to continuing to work with him to deepen Israel-Florida relations and to connect Florida to the exciting new dynamic in our region.”
Should he announce a 2024 Presidential bid, he would be challenging former President Donald Trump. A recently released poll found that Republican and Republican-leaning voters favor DeSantis as their presidential candidate.
Trump has warned DeSantis against running for president in 2024, saying, “I think he would be making a mistake. I think the base would not like it. I don’t think it would be good for the party.”