Conservatives have plenty of experience with being deplatformed and having speaking engagements canceled. So this is nothing new.
A few years ago, we helped launch the Jewish Leadership Conference, an annual gathering to consider the challenges facing the Jewish people and Israel. It is hosted by Tikvah, a 20-year old Jewish educational and cultural institution whose main activity in America is teaching young Jews about Jewish history and civilization. We thought it would be interesting to invite Gov. Ron DeSantis to discuss how the “Florida model” has contributed to the growth and vitality of Jewish life in his state. The event was to be held at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City. Until, as the saying goes, we got canceled.
Over the years, Tikvah has hosted numerous conferences at the museum, always including prominent Jewish, Israeli and American thinkers and leaders of various political and religious points of view. 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.” Either we disinvite the governor, they said, or our event was unwelcome.
Any event would have been approved by staff, so the cancellation likely resulted from either pressure by the museum’s leadership or donors.
The Museum of Jewish Heritage’s ex-officio staffers include Gov. Hochul, Senator Schumer, and Mayor Eric Adams. Hochul used it for the rollout of her big pitch to Jewish voters.
More significantly, its chairman is Bruce Ratner, a major real estate figure who has plenty of political connections, especially to Schumer, and would be quite vulnerable to political pressure.
Is that what happened? Who knows. But it’s altogether plausible.
Meanwhile, antisemitic Democrats like AOC who have a history of spewing hate at Jews and allying with antisemities like Rep. Ilhan Omar are welcome.
In August 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. Her speech was widely covered in the news—both before and after the event—including public criticism of the museum for giving such a vociferous critic of Israel a prominent platform at a Jewish institution. Yet the event went on as planned.
No problem there. Antisemites are welcome as long as they’re Democrats.