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Florida Legislature expands sanctions in support Israel in special session

Special session in Tallahassee where Gov. DeSantis' foreign policy is put in action by expanding sanctions

In a decisive move, the Florida Legislature concluded a special session on Wednesday, enhancing Governor Ron DeSantis' foreign policy standing by expanding sanctions against companies engaged with Iran. This strategic move took place just ahead of Wednesday night's GOP presidential debate in Miami.

Unity against terrorism: Legislature strongly backs Israel through sanctions

The Legislature, demonstrating unity, passed a resolution strongly supporting Israel in its ongoing battle against Hamas via sanctions. This terrorist organization, funded by Iran, invaded Israel on Oct. 7, unleashing a violent rampage.

The session also addressed domestic concerns by approving a $416 million relief package for Hurricane Idalia victims. Notable allocations included $45 million to enhance security at Jewish day schools and other institutions combating anti-semitism. Additionally, school vouchers were expanded for children with special needs and disabilities.

Despite some criticism from Democratic lawmakers who viewed the sanctions as performative politics, the unanimous passage of all five bills indicated a consensus that the session achieved positive outcomes.

Flags of the US and Israel merged to indicate support.

Aid for Hurricane Victims: Legislation Focuses on $416 Million Hurricane Recovery Package

"I didn’t get a sense this was for DeSantis," remarked Sen. Victor Torres, D-Kissimmee. "I got a sense from the speaker and president that this was more to up our game for the community."

The centerpiece of the legislation was a $416 million hurricane recovery package, encompassing tax reductions, fuel tax rebates, and grants for rebuilding. Significantly, $181 million was earmarked to eliminate a waiting list of over 17,000 applicants for the My Safe Florida Home program.

Further, the Florida legislature approved funds for security at Jewish day schools and other organizations facing anti-semitic attacks. To underscore the session's true focus, Israel’s Consul General in Miami, Maor Elbaz-Starinsky, met with senators. He presented graphic videos of Hamas attacks on Israeli villages, emphasizing the devastating impact on the day the war started, Oct. 7.

Elbaz-Starinsky, who had accompanied Governor DeSantis during his visit to Israel, highlighted the critical support Florida provides. He underlined the significance of solidarity, especially during challenging times.

"Whatever support we can secure here has a big impact," he emphasized.

Florida Legislature's stance on supporting Israel resonates internationally, echoing in Israel's darkest hours. Senator Alexis Calatayud expressed, "We are happy to be united in Florida, that we stand with Israel, and do what we can to ensure your sovereignty can be maintained."

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