Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, an unwavering supporter of the state of Israel, recently delivered a ringing affirmation that the Jewish people had the best claim to the ancient heartland of Israel, using the names “Judea” and “Samaria.”
DeSantis did not use the phrases “West Bank” or “Occupied Territories,” commonly used by Israel’s detractors to avoid acknowledging the Jewish historical and religious ties to those regions.
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are buried in Hebron, and King David was crowned there.
The Tabernacle stayed in Shiloh for about 370 years. Joseph, who became the right-hand man of the Egyptian pharaoh, is buried in Shechem. God promised the Land of Israel to Abraham at Elon Moreh. David fought Goliath in the Valley of Elah. Some of the biblical Jewish ties to Judea and Samaria are listed above.
DeSantis said in an interview with Israel Hayom that he’s always rejected the idea that it’s occupied territory. (That phrase is commonly used by those hostile to the Jewish state.)
The Governor explained that there was a division plan with the United Nations in the 1940s. The Arabs rejected the Partition Plan. While Israel had the option to accept, they chose not to. Then they went to fight for an extended period. He explained that that makes it “disputed territory,” not “occupied territory.”
After being elected governor of Florida, DeSantis made history at Ariel University by becoming the first major elected figure to hold public engagements in Judea and Samaria in 2019.
He remembered that the United States had placed anti-BDS sanctions on firms that had targeted Israel and that, in most cases, these companies had been going after Jews in Judea and Samaria.
In the six months following Benjamin Netanyahu’s reelection as prime minister of Israel, DeSantis has criticized President Biden for not inviting Netanyahu to the White House.
Florida House Bill 269, which DeSantis signed while in Israel at the end of April, gives law enforcement authorities greater tools to penalize anyone responsible for anti-Semitic events or attacks on religious groups.
For DeSantis, Israel holds a special emotional significance: DeSantis and his wife Casey traveled to the Sea of Galilee when he served as a U.S. congressman for Florida’s 6th congressional district. Casey prepared a plastic container with seawater for use in the baptism of their future children, but somewhere around the time of their second child’s baptism, a cleaning staff member threw it away. After word of this circulated throughout Israel, DeSantis received a second shipment of water from the Sea of Galilee, which he kept on his desk.