Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has called Florida the most Israel-friendly state in the country and he demonstrated the friendship lately by going to the US embassy in Jerusalem to ceremonially sign a new law that prohibits expressions of anti-Semitism in Florida schools. (On that trip DeSantis also endorsed Benjamin Netanyahu for reelection, said Netanyahu could run in the U.S. if things didn’t work out over there, and held a meeting with Cabinet officials in Israel, triggering constitutional concerns).
The new law requires educational institutions to treat anti-Semitism as they would “discrimination motivated by race,” and it passed the Florida House by 114-0 and the Florida Senate by 40-0 in April, despite civil rights concerns. As the Sun Sentinel’s editorial said: “A student accused of anti-Semitism could be disciplined or expelled. A teacher or professor could be fired, entirely on the basis of constitutionally dubious language.”
The new law cites these supposed examples of anti-Semitism:
Applying a double standard to Israel by requiring behavior of Israel that is not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation, or focusing peace or human rights investigations only on Israel.
Delegitimizing Israel by denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination and denying Israel the right to exist.
However, criticism of Israel that is similar to criticism toward any other country may not be regarded as anti-Semitic.