‘Jews Against DeSantis’ protesters interrupt Ron DeSantis speech

The protesters were quickly forced off stage

Graig Graziosi
Sunday 16 April 2023 08:43 BST
Moment protesters run on stage during Governor Ron DeSantis’s speech

Governor Ron DeSantis's fundraising speech in New Hampshire was momentarily interrupted when a pair of protesters leapt on stage, according to local reports.

Mr DeSantis was meeting with fellow Republican donors on Friday night when two women leapt onto the stage and began chanting “Jews against DeSantis," according to WFLA.

Security rushed the stage and removed the women. Mr DeSantis quipped about the interruption to deescalate the room.

"You gotta have a little spice in the speech, right," Mr DeSantis said. "You gotta have a little fun."

The women reportedly were carrying a sign that said "Ron DeSantis: Loves Israel, Hates Jews."

The organisation IfNotNow confirmed to WFLA that its members were the ones who interrupted the governor's speech.

“We’re making clear that DeSantis is an antisemite whose actions and policies both support Israeli apartheid and put Jews in danger,” the organization posted on Twitter.

IfNotNow has accused the Republican governor of supporting organisations with ties to illegal settlers in the West Bank and criticised him for not denouncing far-right conservatives that espouse white nationalist and antisemitic beliefs.

"DeSantis refuses to condemn the Nazis who demonstrate across his state and even show up to his fundraisers," the activist group claimed in a Twitter post, citing a New York Times report on the prevalence of Proud Boys in the Miami-Dade County Republican Party.

They also accused the governor of counting Christian nationalists among his allies, citing the inclusion of Pastor Larry Jinks in one of Mr DeSantis's re-election ads.

IfNotNow cited a piece by the Forward that includes a quote by Mr Jinks saying Jewish people should have "known better" than to reject Jesus as the prophesised messiah, and called their unwillingness to embrace him a "shame."

A pair of protesters from IfNotNow are led off-stage by security at a Republican fundraiser event in New Hampshire as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis watches from the podium (Screengrab/IfNotNow)

“It’s a shame that the Jews, who should know better, reject their own Messiah (who fulfilled everyone of their prophecies) still believe that they need sacrifices and the Temple to sacrifice them in,” Mr Jinks wrote in a now-hidden Facebook post responding to a story about the Jewish Temple being rebuilt . “Nonetheless, because of their rejection they will move forward with that plan.”

They also slammed Mr DeSantis for his closeness to AIPAC, the largest pro-Israel PAC in the US. Though ostensibly a bipartisan organisation, AIPAC has been at odds with progressive Democrats who criticise Israeli treatment of Palestinians.

"AIPAC and DeSantis support occupation and apartheid at the expense of Jewish safety," IfNotNow said in a Twitter post. "We believe in the opposite vision: where liberation for Jews and Palestinians are inextricably linked. We fight for equality, justice, and a thriving future for all Israelis and Palestinians."

The Independent has reached out to Mr DeSantis’ office for comment.

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