Florida Lawmakers Begin Special Session to Express Support for Israel, Further Sanction Iran

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Legislature returned to the Capitol on Monday for a special session that will allow lawmakers to express their support for Israel, while giving Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis some talking points as he campaigns for president.

Lawmakers are expected to consider new sanctions against Iran, which has supported Hamas, as well as vote on resolutions expressing support for Israel’s right to defend itself.

“I urge you all to stand with me and view the world from my eyes,” David Schachter, a 94-year-old Holocaust survivor from Miami, told House members as the session began. “As someone who watched marches and protests in Europe that led to gas chambers and mass graves, I am here to tell you that our world needs a rude awakening.

Following Schacter’s remarks, Republican House Speaker Paul Renner said, “Know that in this House we will always stand with Israel and the Jewish people throughout the globe, today, tomorrow and forever.”

After Hamas militants attacked Israeli citizens last month, a large, bipartisan group of Florida lawmakers met in the Capitol to express their horror and to stand with Israelis. Now, they’ll be taking official action to send a similar message, both about the current war and against antisemitism at home.