Texas Gov. Abbott orders universities to address 'sharp rise' in antisemitism

Pro-Palestinian student groups criticized the order as "a masked, targeted attack to slow the student movement for liberation."
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Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order instructing state universities to review and establish policies that will address antisemitism on campus. 

Texas will continue to support Israel and Jewish residents, Abbott said in his order last week. He issued the order after an increased number of incidents of antisemitic graffiti and protests on college campuses in the state following the Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas terrorist attack on Israel.

The schools are instructed under the order to "review and update free speech policies to address the sharp rise in antisemitic speech and acts on university campuses and establish appropriate punishments, including expulsion from the institution."

Furthermore, the schools are required to equally discipline any group that breaks the policies, and Abbott specifically named two student groups, the Palestine Solidarity Committee and Students for Justice in Palestine, as examples. 

The two groups, which have student chapters across the country, including several on Texas college campuses, criticized Abbott's order as "a masked, targeted attack to slow the student movement for liberation," per The Dallas Morning News

"We condemn the racist campaign being launched in violation of our state and federal constitutions and reaffirm our commitment to fight for the liberation of Palestine in our communities," the groups said. 

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