For the past several weeks, the Tikvah Fund—the Jewish non-profit educational institution that publishes Mosaic—had been planning to hold its annual conference at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan. When the conference’s organizers informed the venue that the keynote speaker would be Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, the museum then decided that the conference could no longer be he held on its premises because DeSantis does not “align with the museum’s values and its message of inclusivity.” Jonathan Tobin examines the implications of a mainstream Jewish organization’s decision to ban a major American political figure:
[F]or this sort of behavior to find a foothold in a leading Jewish institution—much less one dedicated as a “living memorial to the Holocaust”—is a sign of the abandonment of its Jewish responsibilities in favor of a partisan cause.
You can agree or disagree with everything the governor does or stands for. But the notion that a Holocaust museum should be off-limits for any leading voice in mainstream American politics, let alone a figure who has been as closely aligned with the Jewish community on many important issues as DeSantis, isn’t so much ill-advised as it is absurd.
Subsequently, the museum claimed that it opposed DeSantis because it didn’t host political events. But . . . the same museum welcomed Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez —the leading voice of the leftist “Squad” that is deeply hostile to Israel—in 2018. Equally controversial politicians like the former New York governor Andrew Cuomo . . . have also appeared there.
The museum’s hypocrisy in canceling DeSantis while welcoming controversial liberal or left-wing Democrats demonstrates its shameless embrace of partisanship. But it also shows that for those involved in this institution, remembering the Holocaust isn’t a sacred Jewish duty but just another way . . . to back up the political agendas of its staff and funders.