DeSantis Orders Florida Colleges To Shut Down Pro-Palestinian Groups

( – Within hours of conflict breaking out in Israel on October 7th, American streets began filling with supporters and protestors from both sides of the intellectual divide. Pro-Israeli and Pro-Palestinian stateside factions squared off with one another in places like Manhattan, Atlanta, and Chicago.

Though many would agree that the institutions have largely been taken over by the left, universities are – at least in theory – supposed to be places of discourse. Young people protesting on college campuses, be they public or private, is nothing new. Free speech, especially the controversial variety, is enshrined in the Constitution.

First Amendment protections as they relate to the apparent support of U.S. government-designated terror groups are making the news thanks to developments out of Florida, where the state’s governor has ordered a crack-down against pro-Hamas student organizations. Governors have immense power that is often difficult to challenge in court and Ron DeSantis appears intent on wielding his.

The ex-naval aviator directed Florida’s public university system chancellor, Ray Rodrigues, to notify both the University of Southern Florida and the University of Florida that they were required to disband the group known as Students for Justice in Palestine. According to the governor’s office, the chapters at each location had allegedly broken Florida terrorism laws.

Rodrigues’ letter stated that “during a holy Jewish holiday,” an officially recognized “terrorist organization” attacked Israeli civilians, “killing babies, women, and the elderly.” The chancellor goes on to list the 1,400 resulting deaths and reminds the letter’s readers that 31 American citizens were among them.

SJP “released a ‘toolkit’” that refers to the Hamas action as part of “the resistance,” Rodrigues writes. He goes on to say that the “toolkit unequivocally states” that Palestinian students in the United States are “part of the movement, not merely in solidarity with it.”

Before ordering SJP’s deactivation, Rodrigues points out that knowingly providing material support to terror groups is a felony offense.

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