Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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Notorious Antisemitic Group Moves to Florida With a Target on DeSantis

The head of GoyimTV, the video platform of the antisemitic group Goyim Defense League (GDL), recently said he’s moving his headquarters from the San Francisco Bay Area to Florida.In his December 6 announcement shared on the Gab social media platform, GDL and GoyimTV founder Jon Minadeo Jr. also said that he was relocating to Florida “to keep the pressure on” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis because of the Republican’s support for Israel.

Minadeo founded GDL in 2018, and the group and its associated personalities have gained national attention for spreading antisemitic messages and pushing conspiracy theories on various topics, including COVID-19. In October, Minadeo and other GDL members made headlines when they hung a banner over a Los Angeles highway that read “Kanye is right about the Jews.” The stunt came after rapper Kanye West—who legally changed his name to Ye in 2021—posted antisemitic comments on social media.

“My time in this state is over,” Minadeo says in a voice-over of the announcement video as he’s seen driving a moving truck.

The video also contains antisemitic imagery, clips of Ye and footage of Disney World, alligators and flamingoes. Eventually, the video’s theme shifts to DeSantis and shows part of a 2019 news segment on the governor attending a meeting in Israel and praying at Jerusalem’s Western Wall.

At the 2019 meeting, DeSantis signed a bill that prohibits antisemitism in Florida’s schools. The law defined antisemitism as including “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis,” ″blaming Israel for all interreligious or political tensions,” or “requiring behavior of Israel that is not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation,” according to the Associated Press.

Liora Rez, executive director of StopAntisemitism, told Newsweek in an emailed statement that DeSantis should be doing more to address antisemitism in Florida, “particularly if GDL is setting up shop there.”

“Governor DeSantis must always be among the first to condemn antisemitism in Florida especially since the state boasts one of the largest Jewish populations in the United States,” Rez wrote. “But, over the past few months, blatant and frightening antisemitism has surfaced in DeSantis’ backyard that have not been met with lackluster response…The lack of proactive and swift condemnation is a disappointment.”

Reached for comment by Newsweek, Jeremy Redfern, DeSantis’ deputy press secretary, highlighted multiple initiatives the governor has taken for Florida’s Jewish community. These include allocating millions of dollars in state funding for professional security at Florida’s Jewish Day Schools and helping enact a curriculum that teaches students about the Holocaust.

“Governor DeSantis rejects attempts to scapegoat the Jewish community—it has no place in Florida,” Redfern said. “Through legislative proposals, laws and decisive executive action, Governor DeSantis has a proven record of supporting the Jewish community and fighting antisemitism and the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement in Florida.”