On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla.. spoke at the 2019 AIPAC Policy Conference on Florida’s continued support of Israel, and the need to stand up against all forms of intolerance and anti-Semitism. His remarks as prepared for delivery are as follows:
We can all agree in this room that Israel is America’s greatest friend and ally.
But, we are living in a scary time. We are seeing a rise in anti-Semitism. We have seen this before. And we know it is a cancer upon humanity. And the proliferation of it can happen overnight. Before you know it, this hatred could become normalized.
As a new U.S. senator, I am very concerned that anti-Semitism is being excused and accepted in Congress…and many Democrats running for president are refusing to come to this conference.
I appreciate that AIPAC is not partisan…but that should not stop you or me from being honest about the fact that the new left in America contains a growing strain of anti-Semitism. It’s ridiculous that it took Democrat leaders in Congress more than a week and countless negotiations to simply agree on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism. What is there to negotiate….There is nothing to negotiate on.
I am obviously not a Democrat, but I would suggest to you that the Democrat party has a problem on their hands, and they better do something about it fast. Anti-Semitism must not be allowed to gain an ounce of credibility in either political party. We would not allow anyone in either party to disparage our alliances with Canada or the UK, and we should not allow anyone in either party to disparage our alliance with Israel.
As governor, I signed legislation to ensure the state of Florida will not support those that participate in the BDS movement and we invested millions in the security of our Jewish day schools because they were receiving a lot of threats. After the shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh, I ordered state troopers to increase patrols at religious institutions all across the state.
We shouldn’t have had to do any of this – but unfortunately, anti-Semitism continues to be a major issue across our country. And, it is incumbent on all political leaders to support policies to try and eradicate it.
When you see people like Representative Omar make awful statements about AIPAC and Israel, it is a reminder how important it is that we elect people are willing to fight for Israel every single day. And, unfortunately, many of my colleagues in Congress have abandoned that fight.
We’ve worked hard in Florida to stand up against intolerance and fight for our Jewish community, and as U.S. senator, I will continue to support Israel and take action against those who wish to do them harm.
I think that President Trump has done a good job fighting for Israel. I was very vocal about moving the embassy and I was actually in Jerusalem the night the president made his announcement. Last year, I also went to the opening of the embassy – I think I was the only governor that went and it was an honor to be there for this piece of history.
I also applaud President Trump’s decision last week to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. This president is acting boldly to honor the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel.
I leave you with this: Each one of us has to fight against anti-Semitism. It’s not going away. And, if we don’t fight, no one will.
U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., was first elected to the U.S. Senate after two terms as governor.