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Florida to issue 'Florida Stands with Israel' license plates


A car drives along an empty highway in Miami before the arrival of Hurricane Irma in south Florida (photo credit: CARLOS BARRIA / REUTERS)
A car drives along an empty highway in Miami before the arrival of Hurricane Irma in south Florida
(photo credit: CARLOS BARRIA / REUTERS)

Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation (HB 1135) on Friday, before Rosh Hashanah, which authorized the creation of the special license plate.

Florida will now be issuing specialty "Florida Stands with Israel" license plates for those who wish to support the Jewish state throughout the Sunshine State.
Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation (HB 1135) on Friday, before Rosh Hashanah, which authorized the creation of the special license plate.
The Israeli-American Council (IAC) lauded the "heartwarming expression of solidarity," saying that it "affirms the strong bond between the State of Florida’s citizens and the Jewish State of Israel."
"This kind of warmth is why Florida has always been a leading destination for Israeli-Americans," said  IAC Board Member and IAC for Action Board Chairman Shawn Evenhaim. "This gesture celebrates a long and close relationship. Florida and Israel share many ties, including bilateral trade, common values and leadership in cutting-edge fields that have a quality of life impact for all citizens," he said.
"Florida has been a leader over the years in the fight against anti-Jewish hatred and discrimination – for example, its groundbreaking anti-BDS law and codification this past year of the IHRA definition of antisemitism," Evenhaim said. "We applaud and sincerely appreciate this meaningful expression of solidarity and are pleased that the Israeli-American community can play a part in support of these efforts. Thank you, Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature. Shana Tova U’Metuka [a good and sweet year]."
The design of the license plate is still up for debate, however, and Florida will host a 30-day design contest which will receive submissions by the general public. The contest itself is sponsored by the IAC and coordinated by Artists for Israel.
The judging panel will include lead sponsors of the legislation: senators Aaron Bean and Lauren Book, representatives JW Grant,  Kionne McGhee and Scott Plakon, and Bal Harbour Mayor Gabe Groisman.
Following the selection of the design, the IAC will lead a marketing campaign to pre-sell the 3,000 plates necessary in order to continue into production. A portion of the sales goes to Hatzalah of Miami Dade County.
"This is an incredible gesture of friendship following Governor DeSantis's highly successful 2019 trade mission to Israel and signing of a tough antisemitism law in Jerusalem," said IAC co-founder and CEO Shoham Nicolet.
"When considering the special Florida-Israel relationship, it is critical to examine the cutting-edge nature of the bilateral trade and exchange taking place. Trade with Israel encompasses many of the state’s most vital sectors, such as agriculture, water desalinization, health sciences, disaster relief, avionics, and essential technology research and development," he said.
"The Florida-Israel relationship has a beneficial quality of life impact around the world. We applaud the efforts of the sponsoring legislators who made this happen," Nicolet noted. "We also thank our friends at Artists 4 Israel and the Broward Jewish Federation for their co-sponsorship in this campaign. We thank our counterparts at IAC for Action, and my colleague executive director Joe Sabag, who is a leading Floridian pro-Israel advocate, for their excellent work in providing policy guidance and expertise throughout the authorization process."


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