State orders deactivation of UF’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter

Photo from UF SJP Facebook page


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – State University System Chancellor Ray Rodrigues, in consultation with Governor Ron DeSantis, issued a memo yesterday, ordering the deactivation of two chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) in Florida universities–the University of Florida and the University of South Florida.

The memo points to a toolkit that was released by the National Students for Justice in Palestine in preparation for a “Day of Resistance” on October 12, 2023. The memo refers to the United States and Canada as “occupied Turtle Island” and calls on the student chapters to host demonstrations “in support of our resistance in Palestine and the national liberation struggle–one which they play a critical role in actualizing… Resistance comes in all forms–armed struggle, general strikes, and popular demonstrations. All of it is legitimate, and all of it is necessary… We as Palestinian students in exile are PART of this movement, not in solidarity with this movement… We must act as part of this movement.”

The toolkit uses the slogan “from the river to the sea,” which is used by some to call for the elimination of Israel as a nation.

The memo from Rodrigues cites a Florida statute passed in 2019 that makes it a felony under Florida law to “knowingly provide material support… to a designated foreign terrorist organization.” Since the toolkit calls on SJP chapters to join forces with Al-Aqsa Flood, the Palestinian term for the terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians on October 7, Rodrigues writes, that indicates that the chapters are providing support to a terrorist organization.

The memo directs universities to deactivate the chapters but states that the students may form “another organization that complies with Florida state statutes and university policies” and further directs that the chapters should be granted a waiver on any deadlines for fall semester registration, if they decide to reapply.

The memo concludes by stating that Florida will continue to “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.”

  • When the far right protested in Charlottesville, carrying tiki torches and shouting, “Jews will not replace us,” no conservatives seemed especially bothered by it. But, when radical Arab sympathizers do it, all hell breaks loose. Thanks, Gov. Ron, for helping conservatives maintain a monopoly on antisemitism.

    • I did notice these exact same Cons were silent about the anti-sematic fliers left in Gainesville neighborhoods, the anti-sematic message scrolled on the outside of TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville during the Georgia-Florida game in 2022 and the anti-sematic pro-Kanye West, or “Ye,” group on UF.

      • Threats and vandalism are crimes which should be investigated and punished, but first the perpetrators have to be found and prosecuted.

        That’s different than a registered student group at a public university distributing terrorist toolkits. Ignoring known terrorist grooming is irresponsible and wrong.

        I think your comment is classic “whataboutism”. We should do nothing about this known evil because we can’t address every evil?

        As a conservative Christian woman, I condemn antisemitism in all forms, anywhere, at any time. True conservatives aren’t racist or fascist.

        There are hateful pretenders who claim conservatism, but actual conservatives like me disavow them.

    • You have no clue what you speak of. What you say here is pure propaganda. Congratulations for being a tool.

    • Conrad, typical snowflake repeating lies that were proven wrong. Those with tiki torches were liberals pretending to be conservatives.

  • Good riddance; now maybe they can shut down the pro-Israel student groups too and we can let these desert tribes fight their wars without bothering/sacrificing Americans. Won’t keep my hopes up though

  • History has winners and losers. Palestinians were on the losing side of two world wars, siding with Germany both times. The winners drew the lines, and Israel got reparations for persecution of Jewish migrants crossing the border. Why can’t losers accept it and coexist?

  • Government funded college schools should focus on learning, open discussions and critical thinking to solve problems. Activism should be kept out of the school environment.

  • In 2012 the U.N. General Assembly voted 138 to 9 to recognize Palestine as an independent State. Yesterday, Biden advocated for a 2-state solution. Political pressure from China and Saudi Arabia (BRICS) are looking for Israel to revert borders back to what they were in 1967. The outcome to look for is reduced US/Israeli influence in the Middle-east while Palestine becomes a self-sustainable economy as they become empowered to mine vast natural gas and oil resources in the offshore waters of Gaza — So here’s your clue as to why there’s so much fighting in Gaza.

    • DeS wants any money he can get his pudding-hands on and is riding Florida state funds to the White House. While he’s campaigning against fake threats (groomers, critical race theory, etc) the insurance industry is having a field day in Florida, raising our rates so we can’t afford to insure our homes.

      And why doesn’t DeS care about that? Because the insurance lobby has donated millions to his campaign. He, like Trump, doesn’t care about anyone but his own power and pockets.

  • As Ben Sasse stated, protests and pamphlets are fine, but criminal behavior and vandalism are offenses that will not be tolerated. Since they are giving support to a designated terrorist organization, which is a felony, the Students for Justice in Palestine is guilty of criminal behavior. All they have to do is quit supporting terrorist organizations.

  • This is nonsense! This is not a third-world dictatorship. People have the right to take their positions whether we are with them or not. DeSantis is the worst governor in the history of this state. Where was he when the Nazi’s were touring all over Florida.a few weeks ago? What a joke.

  • Fact: The Palestinian’s government in Gaza, Hamas started the war. Fact: Instead of limiting themselves to military targets they killed civilians including, horrifically, babies (if that’s not terrorism I don’t know what is). Fact: when ANY country gets attacked, there’s retaliation. Yet in spite of all this some people still support the Palestinians? And they”re outraged the Israelis are fighting back bombing Gaza from where the attacks came defending themselves? How stupid can you be!

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