On Thursday, WFLA reported that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has been banned from the grounds of the New York Museum of Jewish Heritage — following an invitation to speak there by organizers of the Jewish Leadership Conference in June.
This was first revealed in an editorial by two of the organizers in the Wall Street Journal.
"Elliott Abrams and Eric Cohen are leading members of Jewish non-profit Tikvah Fund. Abrams is the chairman, while Cohen has been executive director of the organization since 2007, according to biographies of them on the Jewish Leadership Conference website," reported Sam Sachs. "The Tikvah Fund is a philanthropy organization, founded to support the 'intellectual, religious, and political leaders of the Jewish people and the Jewish State.' According to the Tikvah Fund, the organization 'invests in a wide range of initiatives' around the world, including in the United States and Israel."
"The two writers said staff from the museum had told them that DeSantis was banned while the Tikvah Fund was still planning out the event details," said the report. "Museum staff reportedly told Abrams and Cohen that 'DeSantis didn’t ‘align with the museum’s values and its message of inclusivity.'' Conference leaders were told that either the governor could be disinvited, or the event would not be welcome at the museum, according to the editorial."
Abrams and Cohen complained about the decision in the editorial. "We know 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," they wrote, arguing that Florida is experiencing a "remarkable Jewish renaissance" they thought DeSantis could offer some perspective on.
DeSantis has inflamed controversy by signing a law that prohibits teachers from even mentioning sexual orientation or gender identity in classrooms, known by critics as the "Don't Say Gay" law. He compounded this by signing a bill seeking to strip the Walt Disney corporation of its special district status for criticizing the measure, which could reportedly cause taxes to skyrocket for families in Orlando and Kissimmee.