On the night that Ken Burns’ latest documentary, The U.S. and the Holocaust, premiered, detailing America’s sometimes lackluster response to the greatest humanitarian crisis and most monstrous mass murder of the 20th century, news emerged about the star of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s latest campaign ad.
Nope, it didn’t praise his human trafficking stunt in which he kidnapped 50 migrants from Texas and flew them to Martha’s Vineyard. It didn’t condemn the latest evidence of Nazis in Florida found on the doorsteps of Gainesville residents. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Ron’s latest commercial, paid for by the buckets of cash he’s reeling in from GOP donors eager to install him as America’s first ever fascist dictator (Trump was just the warm-up act), features a St. James City, Florida Baptist Pastor known for spewing antisemitic spittle.
Jewish American news organization The Forward, for which this author has written, says that Pastor Larry Jinks is known for shaming Jews for not converting to Christianity. The DeSantis ad is no less nauseating, explains The Forward:
In the ad, titled “Results,” Pastor Larry Jinks of First Baptist Church of St. James City, Florida, praises DeSantis for protecting the right of religious congregations “to worship together, in person,” during the pandemic. Jinks has a history of inflammatory rhetoric, including saying it’s a “shame” Jews rejected Jesus as their own messiah.
Doubling down on antisemitism isn’t anything new for Florida’s increasingly fascist governor. Just like his vile Vineyard stunt to own the libs, he’s using this ad to dog whistle to his base, the one who keeps him from condemning countless incidences of Nazis in Florida.
DeSantis is highly favored by antisemites such as the Proud Boys, who gave him a special shoutout in their January 6 manifesto, the 1776 Returns.
It's always a good time to remind everyone that Proud Boys pinup Ron DeSantis was given a special shout out in their January 6 manifesto. #NazisInFlorida #RemoveRon #DeSantisIsAFascistGhoul pic.twitter.com/p2QkdyzyyK
— Lesley Abravanel (@lesleyabravanel) September 19, 2022
Just last week, a new report from the Anti-Defamation League said that antisemitic incidents are on the rise in Florida, especially. According to the Miami Herald:
The state saw a 50% increase in anti-Semitic incidents in 2021 compared to the year before, and Florida had the third most anti-Semitic incidents of any state in the country, behind only New York and California, according to the report. Nationally, 2021 saw a 34% increase in anti-Semitic incidents across the country.
Pastor Jinks isn’t hiding his hate for the Jews. On a Facebook thread on his page on April 19, Jinks posted a Jerusalem Post article, “When Blood Spills Over on Passover and Easter, it’s time to build the temple,” on which he commented:
It’s a shame that the Jews, who should know better, reject their own Messiah (who fullfilled everyone of their prophecies) still believe that they need sacrifices and the Temple to sacrifice them in. Nonetheless, because of their rejection they will move forward with that plan.
According to the pastor’s hometown paper the Pine Island Eagle, DeSantis’s campaign was closely following his Facebook page and specifically reached out to him because of his sickening stances.
Although there is no other connection to DeSantis, Jinks said he was told by a campaign worker they’d been checking out his Facebook page, saying, “I was happy as a Christian to do it.”
A Christian? Christo-fascist is more like it.
Meanwhile DeSantis’s Democratic challenger Charlie Crist wasted no time condemning him.
Ron owes Florida’s Jewish communities an answer for his refusal to forcefully condemn these groups and make clear he does not want their support.
— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) September 19, 2022
Don’t expect an answer any time soon.
Lesley Abravanel is a proud Jewish American and a former entertainment columnist who realized that fighting fascism is more important than keeping up with the Kardashians.
Follow her on Twitter@LesleyAbravanel.
This is an opinion column that solely reflects the opinions of the author.