Israel

ABACA PRESS/MCT

Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest is reverberating in Israel, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing Likud party are calling for a criminal probe into former prime minister Ehud Barak’s personal and business ties with the accused sex trafficker, Israeli media is reporting.

Jeffrey Schweers / Florida Society of News Editors

When Florida Cabinet members jetted off to Israel in late May, some state employees who traveled at taxpayer expense stayed in a more than $400-a-night luxury hotel in Jerusalem, where a Cabinet meeting was held.

More than a month after the trade mission ended, the full cost of the trip, proposed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, is not clear.

DeSantis Trip To Israel Concludes After Blitz Of Partnerships And Politics

May 30, 2019
Jeffrey Schweers / Florida Society of News Editors

JERUSALEM – At the end of the day for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, it was about building relationships, making new connections and checking in with familiar political allies.

DeSantis spent the last day of his marathon mission to Israel meeting with embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu along with the Cabinet and several lawmakers before placing a prayer in the Western Wall for Florida’s safety this hurricane season and a prayer from a Panhandle girl who lost her house in Hurricane Michael.

DeSantis to meet with embattled Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu

May 30, 2019
Jeffrey Schweers / Florida Society of News Editors

JERUSALEM - After yesterday’s historic and controversial Florida Cabinet meeting in a U.S Embassy Annex, Gov. DeSantis started his last day in Israel with a trip to Shaare Zedek Medical Center for a partnership signing ceremony between the University of Miami and Hebrew University.

At a press briefing, DeSantis rated the business mission a success so far, with a historic number of MOUs, Memorandums of Understanding, signed.

Miami Herald

While traveling in Israel this week, Gov. Ron DeSantis has twice said Florida should lift economic sanctions on the home-sharing platform Airbnb after the company reversed course on a move to delist about 200 West Bank properties.

Early this year, the governor said the company’s policy to remove listings in the West Bank, an area that is a major flash point in Israeli-Palestinian relations, was “dumb” and “discriminatory,” and pushed for sanctions. In early April, the company changed its policy.

Judge Turns Down Bid To Block Cabinet Meeting In Israel

May 29, 2019

A Tallahassee judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit brought against Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet by open-government advocates, who made a last-ditch effort to stop a Cabinet meeting in Israel because they argue it will violate the state’s open-meeting laws.

Trip Builds To Cabinet Climax After Day Of Legal Wrangling

May 28, 2019
FLORIDA SOCIETY OF NEWS EDITORS

TEL AVIV – A marathon Tuesday of partnership signings was followed by a victory lap at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Tel Aviv with the anticipation of a celebratory Cabinet meeting at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem today.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, leader of a trade mission of nearly 100 people to Israel this week, was greeted at a networking reception as a conquering hero by U.S. Ambassador David Friedman, who said “Israel has no greater friend in all the 50 governor’s mansions than Ron DeSantis.”

Space And Water Take Center Stage On Day 3 Of Governor's Trade Trip To Israel

May 28, 2019
jeffrey Schweers / Pool / Florida Society of News Editors

JAFFA, ISRAEL – Tuesday’s agenda for the trade mission to Israel being led by Gov. Ron DeSantis is long and all about the business of space, security and protecting the state's water resources.

First up was a trip through the old town of Joppa to the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, founded by late president Shimon Peres in 1996.

Drones, Drips And Dems: Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried Takes Her Own Path In Israel

May 28, 2019
Jeffrey Schweers / Pool / Florida Society of News Editors

TEL AVIV – Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried – the state’s highest ranked Democrat and first Jewish woman on the Cabinet – arrived in Israel several days ahead of Gov. Ron DeSantis and his entourage of nearly 100 legislators, lobbyists, business people and academics.

She wanted to conduct her own fact-finding mission to see what she could learn that could benefit Florida farmers. She said Israel is basically situated in a desert but has been able to create “survivorship” by emphasizing agricultural technology.

Screenshot / The Florida Channel

During the start of his weeklong trade trip to Israel, Gov. Ron DeSantis said South Florida has one thing in common with Tel Aviv.

“Tel Aviv is worse than Miami traffic,” he told reporters Monday.

The itinerary is set for Governor Ron DeSantis’s trip to Israel. He will be meeting with Israeli business leaders, and he’ll take a cultural visit to the Old City of Jerusalem.

LYNNE SLADKY / AP/MIAMI HERALD

Governor Ron DeSantis leaves for Israel this weekend with a delegation of at least a hundred different lawmakers, lobbyists and business leaders.

DeSantis' trip will include a visit with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a Florida cabinet meeting next Wednesday. But many of the details regarding the trip remain unclear, including the itinerary and whether the cabinet meeting will be streamed for the public.

Questions Raised Over Florida Cabinet Meeting In Israel

May 22, 2019

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is going to Israel with a large contingent of business leaders — not surprisingly, especially as the GOP woos Jewish voters ahead of the 2020 presidential election. But DeSantis' plan to hold a meeting with his elected Cabinet while he's there has raised concerns about whether officials are violating the state's open-meeting laws. 

Golasso / Creative Commons

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently announced that he will be heading a trade mission to Israel in May. He will be joined by Florida's Cabinet -- Attorney General Ashley Moody, Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. An official meeting of the Florida Cabinet will take place at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem during the visit.

The Israeli military said Monday that it had lifted restrictions allowing residents in southern Israel to resume daily activity after two days of intense and deadly fighting. To many, the move is an indication that a ceasefire between Israel and militant groups has been brokered — even if peace only holds temporarily.

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, said that Egyptian mediators brokered the deal, The Associated Press reports. The militant group Islamic Jihad said a "mutual and concurrent" truce with Israel had been reached.

Pages