'Israel Day at the Capitol' Pushed for by Book

'Israel Day at the Capitol' Pushed for by Book

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
February 22, 2024

Florida Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book (D-35) has filed legislation to designate February 29, 2024 as “Israel Day at the Capitol.”

Senator Book introduced SR1826 as sundry Israeli student organizations, companies, public advocacy groups, and related entities prepare to lobby at the Florida Capitol on February 29th. 

The event is being organized by the Miami Israel Consul General Maor Elbaz-Starinsky and has received ample support from Representatives Randy Fine (R-33) and Michael Gottlieb (D-102) as well as Senator Jonathan Martin (R-33).

The resolution emphasized Florida’s “large and vibrant Israeli and Jewish communities” and student groups across the state that “ combat antisemitism on campus and strengthen the United States-Israel alliance.”

The “longstanding alliance” between Florida and the State of Israel was also underscored. 

According to Book’s resolution, Florida’s exports to Israel accounted for more than $400 million in 2022 alone, and joint projects have included partnerships with the Israel Innovation Authority regarding space exploration.

Florida is home to over half a million Jews, many of which have familial ties with the State of Israel.

Notwithstanding Book’s resolution, ‘Israel Day at the Capitol’ comes after months of increased reporting on anti-Semitic events across the globe. 

Many of such events have derived from anti-Israel demonstrations protesting Israel’s armed response to Hamas’ attacks against the former on October 7th, 2023. 

Aside from Hamas, Israel has also been defending itself from other Iranian-backed foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs). 

The Houthis, an Iranian-backed rebel group, have been attacking Western ships traversing the Red Sea in retaliation for Israel's attacks against Hamas.

Last week, the US House of Representatives passed a bipartisan resolution condemning Hamas’ use of sexual violence in its war against Israel. 

However, a noticeable segment of the American population have outright supported Hamas and condemned Israel’s actions against the former. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI),  neither of which voted in approval of the House resolution, have echoed such sentiment. 

Florida residents have also witnessed their own share of anti-Semitic behavior. Just last week, a Neo-Nazi rally was held over St. Valentine’s weekend. 

Florida Representative Anna Eskamani (D-42) broke the news via X.

“Sad to report that Nazi scum and losers are back in Winter Park, holding their disgusting flags and banner,” said Representative Eskamani.

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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