TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (NEWS SERVICE FLORIDA) - Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday his first international excursion on behalf of the state will begin May 25, as he makes a previously announced trip to Israel after the legislative session.
“I think it’s a really unprecedented effort to strengthen the ties between Florida and Israel,” DeSantis said while at Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El in Plantation.
The week-long trip is being organized by the state’s business-recruitment arm, Enterprise Florida, and will include an entourage of about 75 to 80 people from business, academic and emergency-management fields, DeSantis said.
DeSantis will also be the keynote speaker at the 2019 Israel-American Business Summit, which is being held that week by the Federations of Israeli Chambers of Commerce and the U.S. Embassy, he said.
DeSantis said the two countries have “shared values” in addition to economic ties and military relationships. “You have a tiny little country in a troubled part of the world standing for freedom, for democratic principles, for entrepreneurship, for innovation,” DeSantis said. “And really, the foundation of our civilization here in the United States, and really the entire West can be traced back to that plot of land.”
DeSantis also has made other efforts to support Israel. In January, DeSantis led the state Cabinet in taking a first step toward imposing economic sanctions against the home-sharing platform Airbnb because of a company decision against listing properties in the West Bank, an area that is a major flashpoint in Israeli-Palestinian relations.
The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.