New York politician withdraws funds from Jewish museum over alleged DeSantis snub

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A New York City politician has announced she is withholding discretionary funds from a Jewish museum after saying it snubbed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Councilwoman Inna Vernikov, one of five GOP city councilors, said in a statement Sunday that she would withhold a $5,000 donation she had previously planned to give to the Museum of Jewish Heritage after claiming the museum had forbidden the Republican governor to speak.

“The Museum of Jewish Heritage, an institution committed to promoting tolerance and inclusion, is excluding Governor Ron DeSantis from attending any event on its premises,” Vernikov said in a letter explaining his decision.

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UNITED STATES – March 29: New York City Council Member Inna Vernikov speaks during a press conference on Tuesday, March 29, 2022 besides the Unisphere at Flushing Meadows Corona Park Queens, New York. (Photo by Barry Williams for NY Daily News via Getty Images)
(Photo by Barry Williams for NY Daily News via Getty Images)

“This decision should send a strong message to museum management: DO NOT politicize the Holocaust! added the counselor in the letter. “You just have to teach it.

Vernikov’s tweet was accompanied by an opening statement from former New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who also condemned the museum.

“Shame on the Museum of Jewish Heritage for politicizing their institution by banning Governor Ron DeSantis, a stellar governor and friend of Jews/Israel!” Hikind wrote with a Wall Street Journal op-ed initially claiming the museum banned DeSantis. “It divides and only harms the museum! »

He added: “I won’t be back until the ban is lifted and neither should you!”

The Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York.
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The Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York.
(Google Maps)

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The money Councilwoman Vernikov, a Ukrainian-American Jew, decided to withdraw from the museum is part of $700,000 in city funds she is expected to donate to New York City organizations over the course of the fiscal year 2023, reported the New York Post.

Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida, speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, U.S., Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.

Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida, speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, U.S., Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.
(Tristan Wheelock/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Museum of Jewish Heritage issued a statement challenging the alleged ban, saying the WSJ editorial contained “numerous factual inaccuracies, including fictitious quotes.”

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“No one has been banned or canceled,” the museum wrote.

He went on to say that it was never a “free speech or censorship issue”, and was “simply a contractual and logistical decision”. The museum has welcomed Governor DeSantis and other elected officials from all political backgrounds to visit.



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