update deskSchools & Higher Education

Florida senator cautions campus president prior to BDS conference

Sen. Rick Scott is concerned about safety in regards to an upcoming anti-Israel event to be held at the University of South Florida.

The main library at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Credit: James E. Scholz via Wikimedia Commons.
The main library at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Credit: James E. Scholz via Wikimedia Commons.

Rhea Law, president of the University of South Florida in Tampa, received a letter from Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) warning about potential chaos prior to an anti-Zionist event on campus at the end of the month.

The Tampa Bay BDS Conference is scheduled for Oct. 27, organized by Students for Socialism and Students for Justice in Palestine. It is being billed as an inaugural event.

“I was proud to lead an effort as governor to implement Florida’s anti-BDS law, which prohibits public entities from entering into contracts with companies that boycott Israel to show the world that Florida does not support those who boycott Israel,” Scott wrote to Law.

In his letter, the senator cited the recent “Palestine Writes” literary festival that took place at the University of Pennsylvania during the last weekend of September and pointed out vandalism that occurred at the school’s Hillel before the event.

He wrote, “This is not the first time that anti-Israel events held on college campuses have led to antisemitic attacks and violence.”

Scott also posted on X, presenting his letter, that “I will ALWAYS stand with our nation’s great Jewish community and NEVER support those who boycott Israel.”

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