The chancellor of Florida’s university system wants schools to disband chapters of National Students for Justice in Palestine

Free Palestine
Palestine solidarity protest in Tampa 15 May 2021. By Blannie Whelan/WMNF News.

The chancellor of Florida’s university system is calling on schools to disband chapters of the group National Students for Justice in Palestine amid the war between Israel and Hamas.

Chancellor Ray Rodrigues on Tuesday wrote in a letter to the presidents of Florida’s 12 state universities that the group released a “toolkit” that referred to Hamas’ initial attack on Israel this month as “the resistance” and said Palestinian students “in exile” are part of the movement.

In the letter, Rodrigues cited a Florida law that prohibits providing materials in support of a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Rodrigues said at least two universities have National Students for Justice in Palestine chapters.

The letter did not identify the universities, but Instagram accounts exist for chapters at the University of Florida and the University of South Florida.

In calling for the chapters to be disbanded, Rodrigues said they could be restarted in ways that comply with state law.

“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 wrote. Rodrigues’ letter was published on Fox News’ website, and a link to the story containing the letter was shared by a Twitter account associated with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 2024 presidential campaign.

©2023 The News Service of Florida

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