There are at least two Students for Justice in Palestine chapters at Florida universities facing cancellation due to ties to the national organization, according to Rodrigues, who did not specify where the groups were located in the memo. However, the University of Florida and the University of South Florida appear to have active SJP chapters.
Florida is targeting the groups over a “toolkit” published by the national organization that has received increasing attention from officials. Rodrigues, for his part, took advantage of a part of the toolkit that labeled the attack, now known as “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood” as “the resistance” and stated that “Palestinian students in exile are PART of this movement, not in solidarity.” with this movement.”
By linking this document to SJP branches in Florida, the state maintains that the groups are violating a state law that makes it a felony to “knowingly provide material support… to a designated foreign terrorist organization.”
“The National SJP has affirmatively identified that it is part of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, a terrorist-led attack,” Rodrigues wrote on Tuesday. Rodrigues did not detail any specific punishments that groups or schools would face if they did not comply.
The heated rhetoric over the war between Israel and Hamas has shaken universities across the country, leaving some of the The best schools in the country fight to address campus consequences.
The punishments handed out to student groups come as state policymakers, such as DeSantis and Florida’s only Jewish Republican state lawmaker, state Rep. Randy Fine, have pressured university leaders to criminalize anti-Israel dissent on campuses. from all over the state. More could also be coming, according to Rodrigues, who said Tuesday that in the future “actions could include necessary adverse employment actions and suspensions for school officials.”
Fine applauded the decision to deactivate SJP chapters, but also criticized DeSantis for not acting sooner on the issue. Earlier in the day, the outspoken Republican lawmaker dropped his endorsement of DeSantis for president and supported Donald Trump after claiming that the Republican governor has not done enough to counter anti-Semitism in Florida.
“Why did I have to support [Trump] Why do you act? Good posted on social media Tuesday. “I gave them all this on October 9. I have the texts. “All I got was a bunch of handshakes.”
SJP chapters that dissolve will be able to form new student groups outside the scope of the national organization, Rodrigues said in his memo. The chancellor called on universities to grant exemptions to groups seeking to re-apply as new organizations.