Governor Ron DeSantis directed the chancellor of the State University System of Florida to deactivate the “Students for Justice in Palestine” (SJP) group. The directive comes after it was revealed that the group distributed a “toolkit” inviting members to aid Hamas in their Operation Al-Aqsa Flood terrorist attacks.
In a letter from Chancellor Ray Rodrigues of the State University System of Florida, he wrote, “During a holy Jewish holiday, the recognized terrorist organization, Hamas, launched an unprovoked attack on Israel—among those killed were babies, women, and elderly. To date, approximately 1,400 Israelis have been killed, including 31 American citizens.”
Governor DeSantis, the State University System, and the Florida College System have all condemned these attacks. “Hamas is responsible for this attack and claims it as ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.’ In the wake of this terror, military leaders of Hamas have called for the mobilization of Palestinians in support of the Operation,” the letter continued.
Earlier this month, the Hamas terrorist group issued a statement declaring Friday, October 13, as a day of general mobilization for the “Al-Aqsa Flood” operations. The militant organization has called on Palestinians in the West Bank and within Israel to participate in large-scale rallies towards the border of Israel and confront Israeli soldiers at every opportunity.
The statement also calls upon Arabs, Muslims, and Palestinians worldwide to converge in massive gatherings and support the Palestinian cause.
Khaled Mashal, the former leader and founding member of Hamas, has called for a global Muslim uprising in support of Palestine on the 13th as “the Friday of Al-Aqsa flood. ” During an address posted on Youtube, Mashal emphasized the need for Muslims to sacrifice and carry Jihad, including the willingness to offer their blood and souls to advance the Palestinian cause on
In response to the attacks and leading up to a “Day of Resistance,” the National Students for Justice in Palestine (National SJP) released a “toolkit” which refers to Operation Al-Aqsa Flood as “the resistance.”
The toolkit states:
“We as Palestinian students in exile are PART of this movement, not in solidarity with this movement. This is a moment of mobilization for all Palestinians. We must act as part of this movement. All of our efforts continue the work and resistance of Palestinians on the ground.”
According to the letter, it is a felony under Florida law to “knowingly provide material support… to a designated foreign terrorist organization,” according to § 775.33(3), Fla. Stat. (2019). Here, National SJP has affirmatively identified itself as part of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, a terrorist-led attack. This is a clear violation of Florida’s anti-terror laws, and Governor DeSantis has acted accordingly.
The State University System of Florida has at least two institutions with active National SJP Chapters.
“These chapters exist under the headship of the National Students for Justice in Palestine, who distributed a toolkit identifying themselves as part of the Operation Al-Aqsa Flood. Based on the National SJP’s support of terrorism, in consultation with Governor DeSantis, the student chapters must be deactivated,” stated Chancellor Rodrigues.
However, the Chancellor also noted that 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,” he added.
Governor DeSantis’s decision to deactivate the SJP chapters is a strong message that Florida will not tolerate any form of support for terrorism.