Jewish Heritage museum bans Ron DeSantis after Don’t Say Gay law debacle

Ron DeSantis, Disney, Florida, district
Ron DeSantisPhoto: Shutterstock

The New York Museum of Jewish Heritage has banned Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) after he was originally invited to be part of an organization’s conference this coming June because he doesn’t “align with the museum’s values and its message of inclusivity.”

DeSantis has been waging an all out assault on LGBTQ and minority rights this year in the state of Florida.

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He banned some teachers from discussing LGBTQ people with the state’s new Don’t Say Gay law, redrew the state’s Congressional map to increase the number of Republicans Florida sends to Congress, allowed parents to sue schools if they think “critical race theory” is being taught, proclaimed a cis woman the “rightful winner” of a swimming competition just because a transgender woman actually won, took away a self-governance deal from Disney because the company spoke out against his Don’t Say Gay law, and banned abortion after 15 weeks with no exceptions for rape or incest, to name just a few policies from just this year that people who favor human rights may have found objectionable.

According to a column in the rightwing Wall Street Journal by Elliott Abrams and Eric Cohen, leaders of the Jewish non-profit organization Tikvah Fund, the Tikvah Fund invited DeSantis to speak at their Jewish Leadership Conference this coming June at the New York Museum of Jewish Heritage. The Tikvah Fund was founded to support the “intellectual, religious, and political leaders of the Jewish people and the Jewish State.”

They said that Florida has been experiencing a “remarkable Jewish renaissance” and that they wanted DeSantis to talk about “how the ‘Florida model’ has contributed to the growth and vitality of Jewish life.”

But the museum staff didn’t like the sound of that and said that DeSantis was banned from the premises, according to Abrams and Cohen. Abrams and Cohen said that museum staff told them “DeSantis didn’t ‘align with the museum’s values and its message of inclusivity.'” They said that the Tikvah Fund could either uninvite DeSantis or move their conference elsewhere.

Abrams and Cohen complained that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was allowed to speak at the museum in 2018, showing partisan bias from the museum staff even though Ocasio-Cortez does not have the same record on human rights that DeSantis has.

Abrams and Cohen said that the conference is not canceled and that they’re sure DeSantis will be speaking there.

“We hope that this is all a misunderstanding, and the museum leadership will rectify the situation, because a Holocaust memorial should never be politicized,” they wrote.

The museum is not commenting on the matter.

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