Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis welcomed experts of the Home Front Command search-and-rescue team from Israel Defense Force (IDF) Sunday to strengthen the recovery mission at the Surfside Condo Collapse site.
The IDF team was also greeted by other prominent officials of the Sunshine State before embarking on their mission. Republican Florida Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio both voiced their gratitude for the Israeli team, as well as assistance from Mexico. The newly-elected Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett offered his prayers and support.
Yesterday, @IsraeliPM @naftalibennett offered Israel’s full support to Florida, and today, at the request of some Surfside families, we welcomed an expert IDF recovery team to supplement Surfside’s search and rescue efforts. pic.twitter.com/i2QBpph2uz
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) June 27, 2021
We stand together.
משלחת פיקוד העורף של ישראל במיאמי.
צילום: הקונסוליה הישראלית במיאמי pic.twitter.com/C6U9ZEa9LC
— Naftali Bennett בנט (@naftalibennett) June 28, 2021
DeSantis greenlighted the Israeli team’s entry after considering the request by many families at Surfside, the home of over 2,000 Jewish residents, almost half of the total municipal population. People with Jewish heritage are reportedly among the dozens missing. (RELATED: Condo Collapse Aftermath: At Least 4 Dead As Search Continues For 159 Missing People In Miami)
“I’ve stood there for 17 to 18 hours on my feet from 7 AM until I went to sleep, now I’m on the way back there again,” said a family member of one of the unaccounted victims.
I just spoke to a family member of missing victims in the Surfside condo collapse who expressed frustration about the progress of the search and recovery operation #Surfside #SurfsideBuildingCollapse @nbc6 pic.twitter.com/orL6zFcPlf
— Johnny Archer (@JohnnyNBC6) June 25, 2021
“It’s been so heart-wrenching to see what the families are going through and knowing that we can’t do more,” said Rabbi Mendy Levy.
Expressing frustration toward DeSantis, Washington Post reporter Hannah Dreier alleged that the governor’s response to the disaster has been insufficient. However, according to the Federalist, Dreier never reached out to the governor’s press team for comment regarding Florida’s timely approval of deployment by the Federal Emergency Management Administration.
This is missing important context, @hannahdreier never asked me for comment. emergency response started within minutes of the disaster led by Miami Dade County, amazing first responders. county mayor signed local emergency dec 4:40 & @GovRonDeSantis signed eo less than 1hr later https://t.co/3YkkumZDCC
— Christina Pushaw (@ChristinaPushaw) June 27, 2021
However, Democratic Mayor of Miami-Dade Danielle Levine Cava dispelled the suggestion that DeSantis was at fault for the lack of resources in an interview with NBC News, saying that “the state of Florida has been here in force.” (RELATED: Building Inspector Was On Roof Of Florida Condo Just Hours Before It Collapsed)
The DC media is suggesting @GovRonDeSantis failed to provide resources to Surfside.
The mayor of Miami-Dade, a Democrat, was asked about this on Meet The Press and said it’s not true:
— Giancarlo Sopo (@GiancarloSopo) June 27, 2021
Meanwhile, DeSantis has been a vocal supporter of Israel and the Jewish community. In his fight against alleged big tech censorship, he questioned why Twitter allows blatant anti-Semitism by Iranian leaders while de-platforming former President Donald Trump.