TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis is shutting down pro-Palestine groups on college campuses in Florida.
In a note sent to state university system presidents, Chancellor Ray Rodrigues ordered the deactivation of groups connected to the National Students for Justice in Palestine organization. According to the memo, within the State University System of Florida, at least two campuses have active chapters, including the University of South Florida.
In his message, Rodrigues discusses the “unprovoked attack on Israel’ launched by Hamas which killed ‘babies, women, and elderly.”
Hamas is responsible for this attack and claims it as “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.” In theChancellor Ray Rodrigues
wake of this terror, military leaders of Hamas have called for the mobilization of
Palestinians in support of the Operation. In response, and leading up to a “Day of Resistance,” the National Students for Justice in Palestine (National SJP) released a “toolkit” which refers to Operation Al-Aqsa Flood as “the resistance” and unequivocally states: “Palestinian students in exile are PART of this movement, not in solidarity with this movement.”
The chancellor claims the group is violating state law.
The note reads, “It is a felony under Florida law to “knowingly provide material support . . . to a designated foreign terrorist organization. . .” § 775.33(3), Fla. Stat. (2019). Here, National SJP has affirmatively identified it is part of the Operation Al-Aqsa Flood—a terrorist-led attack.”
While Rodrigues says the student chapters must be deactivated the group is allowed to form another organization as long as it complies with Florida laws and university rules.