Violent Threats Against Cornell Jewish Students, Kosher Dining Hall Launch Campus Investigation | JP
Jewish students at upstate New York’s Cornell University were reportedly “scared to leave their rooms” on Sunday night after a series of messages threatening extreme violence against them appeared on a website unaffiliated with the Ivy League campus.
At least six screenshots allegedly taken from the Greek Rank website displayed online threats from anonymous users who said “‘israel’ deserved 10/7” and “eliminate jewish living from cornell campus” to another user who claimed they would “shoot up 104 west.”
There’s more. https://t.co/NgdZX3OOXO pic.twitter.com/AMqWvrlu87
— Isaac de Castro (@isaacdecastrog) October 29, 2023
Cornell Hillel, a chapter of the self-described largest Jewish campus organization in the world, warned on social media for students and staff to avoid the 104 West building, which is home to the university’s Kosher Dining Hall and nearby the Center for Jewish Living, following the online threats.
“The Cornell University administration has been made aware of this concerning language, and the Cornell Police Department is monitoring the situation and is on site at 104West to provide additional security as a precaution,” officials for the group wrote in a statement.
According to the organization’s website, approximately 3,000 undergraduate and 500 graduate Jewish students attend Cornell, comprising 22% of the student body.
Cornell President Martha E. Pollack issued a statement on Sunday following the online threats, calling the posts “horrendous, antisemitic messages threatening violence” toward the university’s Jewish community and the Kosher Dining Hall.
“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,” Pollack wrote in part. “Our immediate focus is on keeping the community safe; we will continue to prioritize that.”
Pollack emphasized campus police were on the scene investigating and said authorities notified the FBI of a potential hate crime.
“We will not tolerate antisemitism at Cornell,” Pollack added. “During my time as president, I have repeatedly denounced bigotry and hatred, both on and off our campus. The virulence and destructiveness of antisemitism is real and deeply impacting our Jewish students, faculty and staff, as well as the entire Cornell community. This incident highlights the need to combat the forces that are dividing us and driving us toward hate. This cannot be what defines us at Cornell.”
It is unknown the source or severity of the extreme threats or who posted the messages online.
Still, the threat against Jewish communities on U.S. soil continues to rise after the Israel-Hamas war entered its fourth week over the weekend, which has sparked a wave of antisemitism from supporters of Hamas.
Last week, anti-Israel graffiti appeared on the Cornell University campus on the same day one of the Ivy League professors suddenly took leave of absence from his position after cheerleading the brutal assault on Israel by Hamas terrorists on October 7, referring to the terror group’s actions as “exhilarating.”
Amid increasing Jew-hatred and several pro-Hamas rallies on campus, including one at which a professor called Hamas’s massacre “exhilarating,” students at @Cornell were greeted by this egregious, hateful display this morning.
What is Cornell doing to protect its Jewish students? pic.twitter.com/lDvSA6fKA3
— Israel War Room (@IsraelWarRoom) October 25, 2023
One week after the terror attacks — during which over 1,300 Israeli men, women, and children were murdered, many of them civilians — Professor Russell Rickford, an associate history professor at the prestigious upstate New York institution, appeared at a pro-Palestinian protest and spoke about his reaction.
Rickford later apologized for the “horrible choice of words,” calling the language “reprehensible.”
Virginia Kruta contributed to this report.