On Tuesday, Florida Governor and 2024 Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis slammed a reporter who suggested that Muslims are facing a similar threat level as Jews are after Hamas’ October 7 terrorist attack on Israel.
The reporter asked DeSantis at a press conference about the alleged “increase in violence to Muslims and Muslim schools.” Notably, the question was asked amid a dramatic increase in anti-Semitic incidents that have occurred since Hamas’ attack.
“Yeah, that is not true. They are not experiencing the similar threats,” DeSantis stated. “Are those students being chased for their lives in some of these universities around the country? They had the pro-Israel rally in Washington, D.C., I didn’t see any hate there. I saw American flags. I saw Israel flags. I saw that.”
“I think that’s a totally false equivalence, and that’s what Biden has done,” he continued. “Biden has responded to the unprecedented spike in anti-Semitic fervor around the world, and even in this country, he’s responded by saying that the real problem is Islamophobia. They are not the same thing. That’s just not what’s happening, like it’s happening here in the United States — and in Florida, obviously, we have areas that are targeted.”
“I don’t think those are the same, and I think that there’s one vein of hate that is predominating over all others right now, and that is anti-Semitism,” he added.
DeSantis said that the rise in anti-Semitic incidents after the October 7 attacks has been so shocking that it has surprised those who were already “very concerned about this issue.”
“The number of — the percentage of crimes against people based on identity — Jews always lead that overwhelmingly in America and around the world,” he said. “But in America, not even close. There’s not even a close second. That’s just the fact on it.”