Ron DeSantis banned from speaking at NY Jewish Heritage Museum for lacking a ‘message of inclusivity’

Ron DeSantis banned from speaking at NY Jewish Heritage Museum for lacking a ‘message of inclusivity’

As governor of Florida, far-right Republican Ron DeSantis — who is running for reelection this year and will likely seek the GOP presidential nomination in 2024 — has gone out of his way to be as divisive as possible. DeSantis’ authoritarian leanings were evident when he not only championed Florida’s anti-gay, anti-trans “Don’t Say Gay” law, but also, retaliated against Disney for publicly criticizing the law. Now, the New York Museum of Jewish Heritage is speaking out against DeSantis’ extremism by banning him from the premises.

DeSantis was invited to speak at the Tikvah Fund’s Jewish Leadership Conference, which is set to be held at the Museum in June. But the Museum, according to LQBTQ Nation’s Alex Bollinger, is banning DeSantis from the premises because his divisive activities don’t “align with the Museum’s values and its message of inclusivity.”

Tikvah Fund leaders Elliott Abrams and Eric Cohen invited DeSantis to speak at the June event because Florida has been experiencing what they describe as a “remarkable Jewish renaissance.” But the Museum, according to Bollinger, told them that the Tikvah Fund could either uninvite DeSantis or move their Jewish Leadership Conference to another location — either way, the Museum doesn’t want DeSantis speaking on its premises.

Abrams and Cohen have engaged in silly “whataboutism,” noting that Democratic progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York City and former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio have spoken at the Museum. They expressed their displeasure with the Museum’s DeSantis ban in an op-ed published by the Wall Street Journal on May 5.

“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,” Bollinger notes.

Indeed, had Tikvah invited a more moderate GOP conservative to speak at the event — for example, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois or former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele — the Museum probably wouldn’t have had any objections.

Bollinger notes, “DeSantis has been waging an all-out assault on LGBTQ and minority rights this year in the state of Florida. 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.”

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