Gov. DeSantis and Florida contingent to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu


  • Photo by Joey Roulette
A meeting next week in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will conclude Gov. Ron DeSantis’ first international trade mission, according to the governor’s office.

A contingent of about 100 people from Florida, including government officials, businesspeople, lobbyists, religious leaders and academics, will participate in a series of business meetings and receptions, according to an itinerary released Thursday. Also, the itinerary lists a planned state Cabinet meeting Wednesday at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem as a “ceremonial” event.

The itinerary shows the state’s traveling party will arrive Sunday in Tel Aviv, where business meetings and a series of signing ceremonies for memorandums of understanding will be held Monday and Tuesday. Visit Florida, the state’s tourism-marketing arm, will hold a networking reception Monday night, and a reception will be held Tuesday by the U.S. ambassador.

The road show will move to Jerusalem on Wednesday, when DeSantis is slated to give a keynote address at the 2019 Israel-America Business Summit. The Cabinet is also scheduled to meet Wednesday — at 8:30 a.m. Tallahassee time — for a series of presentations and a resolution on the relationship between Florida and Israel. DeSantis is expected to sign into law a bill (HB 741) that seeks to combat anti-Semitism. The bill would add religion as a protected class when it comes to discrimination against students and employees.

DeSantis’ party will participate in a “cultural visit” to the Old City of Jerusalem on Thursday afternoon, when they will meet with Netanyahu. No other information regarding the meeting was immediately available. A delegation reception and dinner will be held Thursday night before the group departs Friday from Jerusalem to return to Florida.

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