PARKLAND, FL. (WSVN) – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed anti-Semitism in the Sunshine State at a local stop, just hours after hate struck some members of the Jewish community.
The governor spoke to hundreds of people at the Teach Florida Annual Legislative Breakfast in Davie on Sunday morning.
“The last few weeks have been a very difficult time – for the world, for Israel of course, but for many people in the United States and very, very many people here in the state of Florida,” he said.
In his speech, DeSantis discussed the increase in anti-Semitic incidents in South Florida.
“We took immediate action and activated the Florida Highway Patrol Quick Response Force,” he said. “We have mobilized these resources to ensure the safety of our Jewish institutions: our day schools, our synagogues.”
Less than 24 hours before DeSantis’ appearance, a group of children shouted insults as they rode past on bicycles outside the Kol Tikvah Synagogue in Parkland.
The synagogue’s leaders addressed their congregation in a message, writing in part: “Approximately three to five people, believed to be teenagers, shouted ‘Death to the Jews’ as they rode bicycles past the synagogue.” A small handful of our parishioners have been victims of profanity. These individuals never stopped their bikes or entered our property. The incident lasted less than 20 seconds in total. At this point we do not know who these individuals are.”
U.S. Rep. Jared Moskowitz, who represents Florida’s 23rd Congressional District, said in a statement: “Without a doubt, ‘Kill the Jews’ is something those kids on bikes saw on TikTok or Instagram… our country is steeped in anti-Semitism and hate .”
On CNN, Moskowitz said: “This has come to a terrible point that, quite frankly, reminds the Jewish community of the reason Israel was founded in the first place, because there is an enormous level of anti-Semitism in the world.”
Back on October 21, three scrawled anti-Semitic messages were found in Monterra, a gated community in Cooper City.
One of the messages read: “I am a Muslim and say: Kill all Jews.” Another read: “By Allah, liberate Gaza, kill all Jews.”
“You know, in 2023, kids are going to have to come to our Hebrew school or our synagogue services and see an armed guard, and that’s really sad,” Rabbi Adi Goodman said outside the Chabad of Monterra.
As hate crimes continue to rise across the country, security has been increased at several South Florida institutions, including houses of worship.
“Jews all over the world are under attack. Jews around the world are under threat,” said Maor Elbaz-Starinsky, Consul General of Israel in Miami. “We have to go through this as a community — not just as a Jewish community, not just as a Jewish people — as a community, to fight, to fight Hamas, to fight the terrorists, to fight the anti-Semites.”
Officials with the Broward Sheriff’s Office said they were unable to locate the group on bicycles that targeted the Parkland synagogue. Your investigation continues.
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