JERUSALEM, Israel – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis visited Israel as part of his international trade mission where he signed House Bill 269 to provide law enforcement agencies with new enforcement mechanisms to punish perpetrators of antisemitic incidents and those who target religious communities. By signing HB 269, Governor DeSantis has once again made Florida a leader on protecting religious liberty and the State of Israel both in the United States and around the world. To read a summary of the bill, click here.
Governor DeSantis also signed a proclamation to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Israel’s independence. The full proclamation can be read here.
To view the clip, click here. All videos may be used courtesy of the Executive Office of the Governor.
“In 2019, I had the opportunity here in Israel to sign into law groundbreaking legislation to root out antisemitism from our public education system, establishing Florida as a leader in protecting religious liberty,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Four years later, the threats faced by religious Americans of all faiths have evolved. Through this legislation, we are ensuring that perpetrators who commit acts of antisemitism and target religious groups or individuals will be punished.”
HB 269 builds upon Governor DeSantis’ record of safeguarding the free exercise of religion in Florida by:
- Prohibiting a person from intentionally dumping litter onto private property for the purpose of intimidating or threatening the owner, resident, or invitee of such property;
- Prohibiting a person from willfully and maliciously harassing, threatening, or intimidating another person based on the person’s wearing or displaying of any indicia relating to any religious or ethnic heritage;
- Creating a new prohibition against displaying or projecting, using any medium, an image onto a building, structure, or other property without the written consent of the owner of the building, structure, or property;
- Creating a new trespass offense if a person who is not authorized, licensed, or invited willfully enters the campus of a state college or university for the purpose of threatening or intimidating another person, and is warned by the institution to depart and refuses to do so; and
- Prohibiting a person from willfully and maliciously interrupting or disturbing any assembly of people met for the purpose of acknowledging the death of an individual.
Click here to view the misdemeanor and/or felony penalties for each of these violations.
In 2019, Governor DeSantis made history when he held the first-ever overseas meeting of the Florida Cabinet in Israel and signed into law HB 741, legislation that made Florida a leader in combatting antisemitism in public education, and led the way against BDS when he placed economic sanctions on Airbnb when it attempted to boycott Jewish homeowners in Judea and Samaria. Four years later, Governor DeSantis returned to Israel on the first trip abroad of his second term.