Holocaust Museum Refuses to Host Jewish Leadership Conference Over Gov. DeSantis Invitation
© AP Photo / Marta LavandierFlorida Gov. Ron DeSantis announces that he will ask the legislature for $25 million to renovate the Freedom Tower, Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, in Miami.
© AP Photo / Marta Lavandier
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' popularity among conservative politicians in the United States has been gaining momentum amid his decisive measures against what he called the “vicious ideology” of "wokeness" promoted by Disney and Twitter. While the outspoken governor has gained fans on the right, he appears to have made enemies among Democrats.
The Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City museum announced to the leaders of the Jewish Leadership Conference that they would cancel their annual event, dedicated to the Jewish people and Israel, if they don’t withdraw the invitation for Gov. DeSantis, who was expected to deliver a speech.
Co-directors of the Jewish Leadership Conference, Elliott Abrams and Eric Cohen, wrote in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal that they thought it would be interesting to invite Gov. Ron DeSantis to discuss how the 'Florida model' has contributed to the growth and vitality of Jewish life in his state at the event, scheduled to take place at the museum on June 12.
20 April 2022, 21:11 GMT
According to the directors, they had worked closely with the directors to prepare for June 12, when the museum staff said that “Mr. DeSantis didn’t 'align with the museum’s values and its message of inclusivity.”
“Either we disinvite the governor, they said, or our event was unwelcome,” museum staff said. “Things are bad when a Jewish institution—in this case, a museum whose purpose is to keep Jewish heritage alive by remembering the Holocaust—turns on its own and tries to make a virtue of its own intolerance.”
When Abrams and Cohen sought to clarify the ultimatum, the museum said, “We don't do politics, whether left or right.”
“Not surprisingly, this was false. In August 2018, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, then a Democratic candidate for Congress, was a featured speaker at an event at the museum, sponsored by the Immigrant Arts Coalition… The museum has hosted other politicians, including then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo and then-Mayor Bill de Blasio,” the directors said.
Abrams and Cohen also noted that the museum hosted Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the United Nations, in April.
Thomas-Greenfield recently described the US as "a society plagued by white supremacy and lauded America’s re-entry into the anti-Israel Human Rights Commission."
The directors stated the event won’t be canceled but will take place at a different location. Gov. DeSantis’ office said in a press release that he “has always been a steadfast friend of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.”
Last month, the governor signed a law abolishing The Walt Disney Company's special tax district, which allowed the company to manage land on its own and save tens of millions of dollars a year. The legislation was passed earlier in the Florida House of Representatives and Senate.
The conflict between Disney and Republican Governor Ron DeSantis arose over a recent parental rights law that prohibits teachers from discussing gender identity and sexual orientation with students in elementary grades. Disney, along with Democrats, opposed the law, saying it represents a politically motivated attack on the LGBTQ community.