DeSantis orders Florida universities to shut down student groups supporting 'Hamas terrorism'

Rodrigues and DeSantis will use "all tools at our disposal to crack down on campus demonstrations" that go beyond "First Amendment speech into harmful support for terrorist groups."

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Florida Governor and 2024 presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis and the chancellor of the state’s university system have ordered groups on Florida college campuses that have supported "Hamas terrorism" to shut down.

DeSantis has been vocal about condemning the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack in Israel that killed over 1,400 Israelis and promised if he is elected president to cancel student visas and deport foreign nationals who celebrate Hamas.



Chancellor of the State University System of Florida Ray Rodrigues wrote in a letter to the state’s universities, "During a holy Jewish holiday, the recognized terrorist organization, Hamas, launched an unprovoked attack on Israel – among those killed were babies, women, and elderly."

"To date, approximately 1,400 Israelis have been killed, including 31 American citizens. Governor DeSantis, our State University System, and the Florida College System have condemned these attacks."

The letter called out the National Students for Justice in Palestine (National SJP) that published a "toolkit" in which it refers to the Hamas attacks as "the resistance" and claims, "Palestinian students in exile are PART of this movement, not in solidarity with this movement."

Day of Resistance Toolkit by Hannah Nightingale on Scribd


 

The toolkit instructs members to "normalize the resistance," stating that "Gaza broke out of prison. Resistance fighters captured one of the bulldozers used to destroy Palestinian homes, and used it to breach the illegitimate border fence back into ’48 Palestine."

Rodrigues stated it is a "felony under Florida law to knowingly provide material support … to a designated foreign terrorist organization.”

He added, "These chapters exist under the headship of the National Students for Justice in Palestine, who distributed a toolkit identifying themselves as part of the Operation AlAqsa Flood."

"Based on the National SJP’s support of terrorism, in consultation with Governor DeSantis, the student chapters must be deactivated. These two student chapters may form another organization that complies with Florida state statutes and university policies. The two institutions should grant these two chapters a waiver for the fall deadlines, should reapplication take place."

Rodrigues says that he and DeSantis will "ensure we are all using all tools at our disposal to crack down on campus demonstrations that delve beyond protected First Amendment speech into harmful support for terrorist groups."

"These measures could include necessary adverse employment actions and suspensions for school officials," the letter states, adding, "promoting excellent educational quality while providing a safe environment for all students is paramount."

According to Fox News, DeSantis is planning to call for a special legislative session in Florida to increase state sanctions on Iran, a state sponsor of Hamas.
 
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