Ron DeSantis has once again demonstrated leadership during a tough time. Compared to the White House’s perceived inaction, his proactive approach stands out.
The sudden attack by Hamas on Israel highlighted concerns about President Joe Biden’s ability to effectively handle a crisis. Many Americans found themselves stranded in Israel when major airlines suspended flights. Despite these cancellations, President Biden’s advice to them was to depart using commercial airlines, seemingly overlooking the ground reality.
However, Governor DeSantis didn’t wait. He promptly organized private flights to evacuate the Americans in Israel, collaborating with a nonprofit organization. As the federal government appeared to be absent from immediate action, the state of Florida took charge.
Governor DeSantis didn’t just stop at evacuating American citizens. Recognizing the dire situation in Israel following the attack, he ensured the state dispatched vital supplies to aid the Israeli people. Two major cargo flights were sent filled with relief supplies as Israel faced the conflict with Hamas.
In the initial dispatch, 85 pallets of crucial supplies reached Israel. Governor DeSantis highlighted the lack of leadership at the federal level and expressed commitment to assist the American ally. He affirmed that while Florida was doing its part to bring back stranded Americans, the state was also committed to sending essential healthcare supplies for the injured in Israel.
In a record time of fewer than five days, Florida amassed critical medical resources, such as bandages, IV kits, and syringes. These supplies were intended for Israeli hospitals, which were grappling with the aftermath of the attack. Furthermore, Florida also dispatched hygiene products, clothing, and toys to support the affected communities.
Governor DeSantis has been vocal about Florida’s commitment to the Israeli people. The state’s Division of Emergency Management Executive Director, Kevin Guthrie, lauded the governor’s proactive approach, attributing the swift response to his leadership. The collaboration between the Division and Israeli partners ensured that the most needed supplies reached those in need efficiently.
In a recent development, Governor DeSantis welcomed the first batch of Americans who were evacuated from Israel, expressing his pride in Florida’s role in their safe return.
On Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced that the United States will provide $100 million in aid to help the civilians in Gaza and the West Bank. Governor DeSantis, on the other hand, expressed concern that if the money is sent to Gaza, Hamas might take control of it and use it against U.S. interests.
DeSantis stated that Hamas is still holding people, including Americans, as hostages. As a result, he expressed his disapproval of sending any money to Hamas. Furthermore, he challenged other Republican presidential candidates to support his stance and refrain from providing funds to Hamas. “Don’t send money to Hamas.”
DeSantis stated that he does not support deploying U.S. troops for combat as Israel has never requested such assistance. No plans for combat deployment existed as of Wednesday. However, around 2,000 U.S. troops are in a heightened state of readiness to deploy for other reasons, according to the Department of Defense.
In an interview with NewsNation’s Blake Burman on Wednesday, the GOP presidential candidate suggested imposing financial sanctions on Iran for its reported involvement in the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks.
“I think Biden still holds out hope that there can be a reproaching with the Iranians,” DeSantis said. “To me, this has to end with Hamas suffering an unconditional defeat. Israel cannot live like this.”
However, he did not suggest threatening the nation’s oil infrastructure, which was an idea proposed by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina during an interview with The Hill last week.
“If hostages start getting killed, if Hezbollah in the north attacks Israel in strength, we should tell the ayatollah we will destroy your oil refineries and your oil infrastructure,” Graham said.
DeSantis, however, cautioned against “instigating a broader war throughout the Middle East.” DeSantis said that he thinks that Iran can be put “in the box” by leveraging our leverage without provoking a regional war.