Hillsborough County demonstration sparks controversy as Gov. Ron DeSantis criticizes support for Palestine

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


On Sunday, hundreds gathered near Tampa to show support to the people of Palestine. However,  Governor DeSantis took to social media to call the demonstrations abhorrent.

The demonstration came after Hamas fighters attacked Israel during a surprise attack a day prior. Israel declared war afterward.

Demonstrators met in North 56th Street and East Fowler Avenue.

DeSantis later posted on social media Sunday that the rallies in Tampa and Fort Lauderdale were “supporting Hamas” are “abhorrent.”

Abdullah Jabar is with CAIR Florida, a Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization. He was at the protests.

“Siding with one side is again, the root of the problem. We are siding with one side without really looking at the root cause.”

Hassan Shibly, a civil rights lawyer, was also in attendance.

“I see many of my fellow Americans outraged when they see an Israeli child killed, as they should be, as we all are, but we heard deafening silence when, day after day, we see Palestinian children killed.”

Also on Sunday, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor issued a statement in support of Israel.

The mayor and governor joined President Biden and other US leaders in declaring support for Israel.

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