Cornell University and the FBI are investigating threats made against the university’s Jewish community.
The threats, posted on an external website, targeted the Center of Jewish Living on campus.
One threat called for harming Jewish individuals, stating that they should have their throats slit.
Cornell University Police Department believes the locations were intentionally selected due to the perpetrator’s bias.
The Steven K. and Winifred A. Grinspoon Hillel Center at the university initially posted, “At this time, we advise that students and staff avoid the building out of an abundance of caution.”
The Cornell University Police Department wrote in a community alert,”Evidence suggests the targeted locations were intentionally selected because of the perpetrator’s bias.”
School President Martha E. Pollack condemned the threats and flagged them as a potential hate crime.
“Threats of violence are absolutely intolerable, and we will work to ensure that the person or people who posted them are punished to the full extent of the law,” wrote Pollack in an email to the Cornell community.
Adding, “Our immediate focus is on keeping the community safe; we will continue to prioritize that. We will not tolerate antisemitism at Cornell.”
“Our students are always our top priority, and we are doing and will do everything we can to ensure their safety. We will continue to notify you with updates as we receive them.” concluded the university’s top official.
The Cornell Center for Jewish Living advised students and staff to avoid the building as a precaution.
These threats follow remarks made by an associated professor expressing support for Hamas, for which he is now on leave.
The on-leave professor Russell Rickford, reportedly said, “Hamas has shifted the balance of power,” to a crowd at a recent rally.
Rickford continued, “Hamas has punctured the illusion of its invincibility. That’s what they’ve done. You don’t have to be a Hamas supporter to recognize that. You don’t have to be a Hamas supporter to recognize that.
“Hamas has changed the terms of debate.” insisted the professor.
Rickford also exclaimed that “It was exhilarating, it was energizing.”
Doubling down on his claim, Rickford said “And if it weren’t exhilarating by this challenge to the monopoly of violence – by this shifting to this balance of power – then they would not be human. I was exhilarated.”
School President Martha E. Pollack also issued a statement about the threats, calling the messages “horrendous.”
Pollack said the police have notified the FBI of the threats, flagging them as a potential hate crime.