The Manhattan Museum of Jewish Heritage has banned Ron DeSantis from speaking at an event because he ‘doesn’t align’ with their values after signing the so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.
Elliott Abrams and Eric Cohen, the CEO of Tikvah and co-chairmen of the Jewish Leadership Conference, called out the institution for canceling the June 12 conference where the Florida Governor was due to speak.
They slammed bosses in a May 5 Wall Street Journal piece that claimed staff would not air views of someone who did not align with their ‘message of inclusivity’.
But on Friday the museum hit back and claimed the story was ‘a factually inaccurate opinion piece about a proposed rental event’.
It blasted the Tikvah Fund for ‘trying to create a fight where none exists’, adding it was a ‘contractual and logistical decision’ rather than a ‘free speech or censorship’ one.
It comes after DeSantis signed into law the Parental Rights in Education Bill, which forbids discussing homosexuality or transgender issues for children in Florida.
The Manhattan Museum of Jewish Heritage bans Florida Governor Ron DeSantis from speaking at an upcoming event because the museum claims he ‘doesn’t align with their values’ after he signed the controversial so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill
The museum shot back on Twitter on Friday, in response to their alleged claims, calling the WSJ story ‘a factually inaccurate opinion piece about a proposed rental event.’ ‘Let us be clear: No one was banned or cancelled. No contract with the Tikvah Fund was ever signed for this rental event to be held at the Museum and no deposit was ever made,’ the post read. The museum continued: ‘This is not a free speech or censorship issue. The Tikvah Fund is trying to create a fight where none exists. This was simply a contractual and logistical decision’
Abrams and Eric Cohen wrote in the Wall Street Journal: ‘We were working closely with the museum on the details for the June 12 event, until, out of the blue, we were told by the museum staff that Mr. DeSantis didn’t ‘align with the museum’s values and its message of inclusivity.’
They added: ‘Either we disinvite the governor, they said, or our event was unwelcome.’
But the museum were quick to dispute the claims, posting a scathing thread about the discussions on Twitter.
They said: ‘Let us be clear: No one was banned or cancelled. No contract with the Tikvah Fund was ever signed for this rental event to be held at the Museum and no deposit was ever made.
‘This is not a free speech or censorship issue. The Tikvah Fund is trying to create a fight where none exists. This was simply a contractual and logistical decision.’
Tikvah describes itself as a philanthropic foundation, educational and cultural institution that has been around for more than two decades.
Their mission is to help develop and support the next generation of leaders for the Jewish people and the Jewish state.
The museum has hosted other politicians, including then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo and then-Mayor Bill de Blasio. In April the museum hosted a conversation with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations
Both Adams and Cohen said they chose DeSantis because they said ‘a remarkable Jewish renaissance is under way in Florida.’
And, they wanted him to discuss the ‘Florida model’ since it has contributed to the growth and vitality of Jewish life in his state.
They also spoke of how DeSantis supports the Jewish community and pointed out that they weren’t getting that same type of community support from their political leaders when they lived in New York.
‘Our family is part of that renaissance. We moved from New York to Florida in January in large part because of the governor’s leadership.
‘COVID policies were at the forefront of our decision, but DeSantis fighting woke nonsense in schools and putting parental rights at the top of his agenda have also been positive.’
They added: ‘And our governor takes the safety and security of Jews in his state very seriously.’
When both Adams and Cohen asked for the museum for more details on why DeSantis was canceled, they were told by the museum’s CEO: ‘We don’t do politics, whether left or right.’
Both argue that in 2018 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, then a Democratic candidate for Congress, was a featured speaker at an event at the museum, sponsored by the Immigrant Arts Coalition.
In 2018 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (pictured last week), then a Democratic candidate for Congress, was a featured speaker at an event at the museum, sponsored by the Immigrant Arts Coalition
The event that drew widespread media attention including public criticism towards the museum for giving giving Ocasio-Cortez, a critic of Israel, a prominent to speak at a Jewish institution. Yet the event went on as planned.
‘Does that ‘align with the museum’s values’? Is this the ideology we must all be forced to adhere to before renting space at the museum?,’ they asked, The New York Post reported.
The museum said that DeSantis along with other elected officials were invited to visit the Museum of Jewish Heritage, A Living Memorial to the Holocaust for a tour of our new exhibition, ‘The Holocaust: What Hate Can Do,’ when it opens this summer.
The ‘Don’t Say Gay Bill’ that was signed in March 28, states that public school teachers in Florida will be banned from holding classroom instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity after from kindergarten through grade 3.
What is the Parental Rights in Education bill?
HB 1557 was introduced by two Republican members of the Florida Legislature – Representative Joe Harding and Senator Dennis Baxley.
They say the bill’s aim is to ’empower parents’ in their children’s education, and make teachers recognize the distinction between ‘instruction’ and ‘discussion.’
‘What we’re prohibiting is instructing them in a specific direction,’ Baxley said about how teachers lead students in a classroom.
‘Students can talk about whatever they want to bring up, but sometimes the right answer is, ”You really ought to talk to your parents about that.”’
The bill applies to children in kindergarten through third grade.
It states that ‘classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur.’
It also requires districts to ‘adopt procedures for notifying a student’s parent if there is a change in the student’s services or monitoring related to the student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being,’ something LGBTQ advocates argue could lead to students being outed to their parents without the student’s knowledge or consent.
It was passed on March 8 in a 22-17 vote. The state House had approved the bill late last month. DeSantis signed it into law on March 28 and it will come into effect on July 1.
The museum has hosted other politicians, including then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo and then-Mayor Bill de Blasio.
In April the museum hosted a conversation with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who recently described America as a society plagued by white supremacy and lauded America’s re-entry into the anti-Israel Human Rights Commission.
Adams and Cohen said their event will go on but just at a different venue.
‘The Jewish Leadership Conference won’t be canceled, and the governor of the state with America’s third-largest Jewish population will speak. We will hold our event as planned, at a different, secular venue. But it is sad to see that the misguided leadership of a Jewish museum won’t allow alternative ideas a seat at the Jewish table,’ they wrote in the WSJ.
When DailyMail.com contacted the Museum of Jewish Heritage they were unavailable for comment.
DeSantis has become the face of the so-called Don’t Say Gay Bill which has caused controversy in certain circles.
His Parental Rights in Education bill has pitted him against Disney, Democrats and even the White House which decided to intervene.
It forbids discussion of homosexuality or transgender issues for children from kindergarten to third grade.
The bill passed through the state legislature despite protests from the LGBTQ community and from some Disney employees.
It was signed into law by Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor, on March 28 and comes into effect on July 1.
In response to the bill, Disney announced it would pause making campaign donations in Florida.
The company also said it hoped that the law was repealed or struck down by the courts.
A federal lawsuit has already been filed by a group of LGBTQ advocates while President Joe Biden described the bill as ‘hateful’.
DeSantis, angered by the response, suggested reviewing Disney’s special status in the state that allowed it to be self-governing.
This was passed last month but he is now being sued by four people in neighboring states – which could be hampered with paying off Disney’s $1billion debt.
Meanwhile the company claims he has no right to strip it of its special status – known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District – and vowed to challenge it.