Florida Governor Ron DeSantis emphasizes US-Israeli relationship during trade mission to Israel, Japan, South Korea, and the UK

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently visited Israel as part of a four-country trade mission, which also included stops in Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.[0] During his visit, DeSantis emphasized the importance of the US-Israeli relationship, noting that Israel is one of America’s most valued and trusted allies. DeSantis also put forward an Israel policy that was in line with that of the former Trump administration, particularly with respect to Jerusalem.[1] He underscored the need to support Israel’s right to defend itself, and that includes strong military and intelligence cooperation.[1]

DeSantis also spoke at an event sponsored by the Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Post called “Celebrate the Faces of Israel.”[2] He delivered the keynote address at the event, which was held in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the founding of Israel.[3] During his speech, DeSantis claimed to have laid the groundwork for the US embassy’s 2018 move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and he emphasized the importance of maintaining the embassy in Jerusalem, adding that it would always be there, no matter where the political winds may blow.[4]

DeSantis also met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog and complained about the UN and international organizations’ criticism of Israel, saying that groups “targeting the one Jewish state” were engaged in antisemitism.[5] Furthermore, DeSantis claimed that Europeans need to do more on Ukraine, and he urged Russia and Ukraine to reach a ceasefire, saying that it was in everybody’s interest.[6]

DeSantis’s visit to Israel was part of a broader trade mission, which included stops in Japan and South Korea. Japan is Florida’s seventh-largest trading partner, with more than $6.6 billion in trade between both destinations annually.[7] DeSantis emphasized the importance of strengthening Florida’s relationship with Japan, noting that having more opportunities to travel between Florida and Japan could boost tourism and entrepreneurship and enhance relationships between businesses in Japan and Florida.[8]

In recent years, Florida has become a keen target for overseas businesses, owing largely to a mix of industry and convenient access to air and sea ports.[8] According to data compiled by Enterprise Florida, Japan is the sixth-largest foreign investor in the state, employing around 25,000 Floridians.[8]

Overall, DeSantis’s trade mission has focused on building economic relationships with each country, and he has emphasized the importance of maintaining strong relationships with key allies like Israel. DeSantis’s visit to Israel has highlighted the critical importance of the US-Israeli relationship, which remains a pillar of American foreign policy in the Middle East.

0. “DeSantis Suggests He Personally Prayed a Hurricane Away From Florida” Yahoo Life, 28 Apr. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/desantis-suggests-personally-prayed-hurricane-231433372.html

1. “Biden’s alienation of Riyadh makes Israeli-Saudi deal hard – DeSantis” The Jerusalem Post, 27 Apr. 2023, https://www.jpost.com/middle-east/article-741407

2. “DeSantis in Israel: Governor declines to weigh in on Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul” The Washington Post, 27 Apr. 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/04/26/desantis-israel-speech-jerusalem/

3. “Ron DeSantis Tries to Commandeer Trump’s Greatest Israel Accomplishment” Newsweek, 27 Apr. 2023, https://www.newsweek.com/ron-desantis-tries-commandeer-trump-greatest-israel-accomplishment-1797155

4. “In Jerusalem, DeSantis tries to outstump Trump” Forward, 28 Apr. 2023, https://forward.com/fast-forward/544926/jerusalem-desantis-israel-trump-biden-speech-antisemitism-museum-tolerance

5. “In Jerusalem, DeSantis Says U.S. Shouldn’t ‘Butt In’ to Israel’s Judicial Overhaul Debate – Israel News” Haaretz, 27 Apr. 2023, https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/2023-04-27/ty-article/.premium/in-jerusalem-desantis-says-u-s-shouldnt-butt-in-to-israels-judicial-overhaul-debate/00000187-c17d-d1ac-a987-cb7d35a60000

6. “DeSantis urges ceasefire in Ukraine” The Hill, 26 Apr. 2023, https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/3971719-desantis-urges-ceasefire-in-ukraine

7. “Florida’s Governor Meets With ANA and Japan Airlines: Future Flights on The Horizon?” AeroXplorer, 27 Apr. 2023, https://aeroxplorer.com/articles/floridas-governor-meets-with-ana-and-japan-airlines-future-flights-on-the-horizon.php

8. “Florida Governor Meets With Airlines To Discuss Direct Japan Flights” Simple Flying, 26 Apr. 2023, https://simpleflying.com/florida-govenor-meets-airlines-direct-japan-flights/

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