Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), was reportedly banned from speaking at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York City in June because of claims by liberal staff that he doesn’t “align with its values and its message of inclusion.”
Elliot Abrams of Tikvah, which hosts the annual Jewish Leadership Conference, revealed that DeSantis had been trying to cancel it. The Wall Street Journal reported that DeSantis was refused admission by the museum despite his support for the Jewish community and Israel. This is despite the fact that thousands of Jews have moved to Florida from New York, which has created a Jewish communal revival under DeSantis’s supervision.
We had been working closely with the museum to plan the June 12 event. Then, out of the blue we were told that Mr. DeSantis wasn’t “aligning with the museum’s value and its message of inclusion.” They either disinvited the governor or said our event was not welcome.
A Jewish museum gave us a clear message in the name of inclusion: Some people should be excluded. The museum declared that Gov. DeSantis, which includes many Jews, are so hateful that they don’t deserve a voice at the great American conversation. Intolerant tolerance has been made a museum.
When asked for more information, the museum’s CEO used a common doublespeak style: He said that we don’t do politics. This was, unsurprisingly, false. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez was then a Democratic candidate for Congress and was featured speaker at an Immigrant Arts Coalition event in August 2018. The news covered her speech extensively, both before and after it. It also included criticisms of the museum for allowing such a vocal critic of Israel to speak on a Jewish institution’s main stage. The event continued as planned.
Cohen and Abrams noted that the museum’s mission is to preserve the memory of Holocaust survivors. They have also hosted many other Democrats.