Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis, in coordination with Florida’s university system, has issued an order to shut down pro-Palestinian student groups at Florida universities.
The group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has been accused of being pro-Hamas. This decision makes Florida the first U.S. state to outlaw these groups, citing their national leadership’s support for Hamas’ attack on Israel as the reason. The State University System of Florida referred to this move as a “crackdown” on campus demonstrations deemed to provide “harmful support for terrorist groups.” Governor DeSantis, who has taken a strong stance against Palestinians, has been critical of these student organizations, and the university system cited a “toolkit” issued by the national SJP as part of the reason for the ban.
The National SJP had praised Hamas’ attack on Israel as a “historic win for the Palestinian resistance” and called for a “day of resistance” with demonstrations at over 200 colleges in the United States and Canada. The university system’s decision was based on the perceived support for terrorism in the toolkit and the fact that it identified itself as part of Hamas’ attack, which, according to Florida law, is considered a felony to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.