State universities told to ban pro-Palestinian student group

Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s administration is taking the extraordinary step of ordering state universities to ban a pro-Palestinian student organisation from campuses, saying it illegally backs Hamas militants who attacked Israel earlier this month, write Brendan Farrington and Collin Binkley for AP News.

As Israel’s attacks on Gaza have intensified, some college students have expressed solidarity with Palestinians, resulting in swift censure from some Jewish academics and even some prospective employers. But Florida has gone further, saying Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is supporting a “terrorist organisation”.

Florida State University System Chancellor Ray Rodrigues wrote to university presidents on Tuesday 24 October at DeSantis’ urging, directing them to disband chapters of SJP. He quoted the national group’s declaration that “Palestinian students in exile are PART of this movement, not in solidarity with this movement”. Rodrigues wrote: “It is a felony under Florida law to ‘knowingly provide material support ... to a designated foreign terrorist organisation’.”
Full report on the AP News site