Ron DeSantis. (AP/Andrew Harnik) (AP/Andrew Harnik)
Ron DeSantis

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Governor Ron DeSantis says it is more appropriate  to consider Judea and Samaria ‘disputed territory’ rather than ‘occupied.’ ‘Those are the most historic Jewish lands.’

By United with Israel staff

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at a conference in Israel on Thursday signed a bill  to strengthen his state’s ability to combat antisemitism.

Speaking at the conference in Jerusalem organized by The Jerusalem Post and the Simon Weisenthal Center Museum, DeSantis commented that “we are doing what we can do in Florida to enhance the ability to hold people accountable when that really crosses the line into threatening conduct.”

“We are fighting back.”

“When your focus is only on one Jewish state, and you hold it up to a different standard than any other country in the world, that is antisemitism,” DeSantis emphasized.

DeSantis called the BDS movement “DOA” (dead on arrival) in Florida.

“We must reject those who reject Israel’s right to exist – that is antisemitism.”

DeSantis said that the Biblical heartland of Israel known as Judea and Samaria should be seen as “disputed territory” rather than “occupied territory,” as it is often called by anti-Israel activists.

“It’s disputed territory. Okay, you had a [UN] Partition Plan and ’48. Israel obviously declared independence, they were willing to accept that partition. The Arabs rejected the partition, they went to a war rather than accept partition,” DeSantis said.

“Those are the most historic Jewish lands going back thousands and thousands of years. There’s never been a Palestinian Arab entity,” he emphasized. “It’s more appropriate to consider that land to be disputed land.”

DeSantis said the US embassy in Israel, which was moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem under the Trump administration, will “remain in Jerusalem no matter where the political winds of change blow.” He also emphasized the US “must defend Israel against disfavored treatment by the UN and agenda-driven international bodies.”

“Israel’s rebirth has been a momentous development in world history,” DeSantis said. Israel yesterday celebrated 75 years since its independence.

Noting the slew of challenges the Jewish state has faced since its rebirth, he added, “throughout all these challenges, Israel stands tall as a beacon of freedom in a troubled region.”

“Just as David defeated Goliath, the Jewish people beat the odds,” he said.