Calls to rape and kill Jewish students at Cornell University provoke response and condemnation from police

Anti-Semitic Threats The allegations posted on a Cornell University fraternity and sorority forum over the weekend, including calls to kill Jews on campus, have prompted a police response and intervention from New York’s governor.

According to the university’s Hillel chapter, at least one of the posts threatened to shoot “pig Jews” at the Cornell Center for Jewish Living and the kosher dining hall.

The posts are the latest in a Series of incidents on university campuses across the country since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas warwhich followed the October 7 terrorist attacks that killed more than 1,400 people in Israel and led to more than 220 being kidnapped by Hamas and taken to the Gaza Strip.

“Today a series of horrific, anti-Semitic messages were posted threatening violence against our Jewish community and specifically naming 104 West – the…” Home of the Center for Jewish Life — was posted on a website not affiliated with Cornell,” Cornell President Martha E. Pollack said in a opinion Sunday.

More: Tired of hiding: Jews at US colleges face increasing anti-Semitism from left and right

Pollack said the FBI has been notified of a possible hate crime and that the Cornell University Police Department will remain at the Center for Jewish Living to ensure the safety of community members.

“Threats of violence are absolutely intolerable and we will work to ensure that the person(s) who posted them are punished to the fullest extent of the law,” Pollack said. “Our immediate focus is community safety; We will continue to prioritize that.”

The threats were posted on Cornell’s Greekrank forums on Saturday and Sunday the school newspaper, the Cornell Sunwhich said some of the posts were eventually removed.

The Sun reported that one post threatened to rape Jewish students and behead Jewish babies in front of their parents. Another urged students to follow Jewish students home from campus and cut their throats.

Cornell Hillel, a center for Jewish life on campus, issued one Statement condemning the threats and urges students to be careful.

“At this time, out of an abundance of caution, we are advising students and staff to avoid the building (104 West!),” the Hillel Center said. “We will continue to provide updates as additional information becomes available. In the dining hall and more generally for Jewish students, faculty and staff.”

On Monday morning, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said she met on the Cornell campus with Jewish students “who are showing incredible strength and unity in response to vile anti-Semitic threats.”

“We have no tolerance for hate or violence and I have taken the lead @nyspolice to increase security on campuses and throughout New York,” Hochul said in a series of messages on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The Cornell Daily Sun also reported that students encountered graffiti on campus last week criticizing Israel and comparing Zionism to genocide.

And it said that on October 15, a Cornell professor who specializes in African-American political culture, Russell Rickford, gave a speech at a pro-Palestinian rally in which he said he initially found that Hamas attack on Israel is “exciting” and “energizing.” After backlash, Rickford apologized and requested a leave of absence from Cornell.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Cornell University is the latest college campus to address anti-Semitism

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