Herzog was invited together with UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba to participate in an event hosted by the American Jewish Committee in Boca.
The national AJC dinner, held to officially welcome incoming CEO Ted Deutch to the agency in his former home district, was attended by over 400 people.
Had a great evening back home in Boca!Thank you to all who came out last night in support of me and my new start with @AJCGlobal and in particular, a special thank you to Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba and @AmbHerzog for the honor of sharing the night with us! pic.twitter.com/WvZztL3j4S— Ted Deutch, CEO of American Jewish Committee (@AJCCEO) December 15, 2022
Following the event, the two ambassadors met with DeSantis for some 30 minutes.
“I had a productive meeting with Governor Ron DeSantis, together with UAE Ambassador Al Otaiba,” Herzog tweeted. “We gave an overview of the Abraham Accords and the strategic significance and opportunities that they present to our region, the world, and to Florida.”
I had a productive meeting with @GovRonDeSantis together with UAE Ambassador Al Otaiba. We gave an overview of the Abraham Accords & the strategic significance & opportunities that they present to our region, the world & to Florida. We invited him to visit our countries in 2023. pic.twitter.com/fYH0LVctlh— Ambassador Michael Herzog (@AmbHerzog) December 15, 2022
He said that the two ambassadors invited DeSantis to visit their respective countries in 2023.
“I also thanked the governor for his strong support for Israel and for the significant steps he has taken to combat antisemitism,” Herzog continued. “We look forward to continuing to work with him to deepen Israel-Florida relations and to connect Florida to the exciting new dynamic in the region,” the Israeli ambassador tweeted.
I also thanked Governor 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 & to connect Florida to the exciting new dynamic in our region. pic.twitter.com/bOtX3pj2yT— Ambassador Michael Herzog (@AmbHerzog) December 15, 2022
There is growing speculation that DeSantis, a Republican, is considering a 2024 presidential primary bid. Last month, he won his reelection campaign with a nearly 20% margin – 59.4% compared to 40% for the Democratic candidate Charlie Crist.
Later that month, he participated at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting in Las Vegas, where he said that the West Bank “is not occupied territory, it is disputed territory – I don’t care what the State Department says.”
He also stated that he was “the first statewide elected official to do public events in Judea and Samaria... because we understand history, we know those are thousands of years of connection to the Jewish people.”
DeSantis has always been a “big advocate” of the US embassy move from Tel Aviv to the Israeli capital of Jerusalem, he said. “You gotta know the history... which is why I was a big advocate as a congressman to move the embassy.
""They said it would spark World War III and they were wrong."Ron DeSantis
“They said it would spark World War III and they were wrong.”
In 2019, DeSantis signed into law legislation that defined antisemitism as calls for violence against Jews, advancing conspiracy theories about Jewish control and Holocaust denial. It also includes “applying double standards” to Israel “by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”
The bill also mandated that discrimination against Jewish people be treated like acts of racial discrimination in Florida’s public education institutions.