Cornell investigating threats to ‘slit’ throats of Jewish students, advises to avoid Kosher dining hall

Ivy League antisemitism spread to Upstate New York as violent death threats triggered a community crime alert and contact was made with the FBI.

While some Hamas sympathizers opted to sugarcoat their sentiments, calling for the eradication of Jewish people with tried and true slogans like “from the river to the sea,” expressions of hatred intensified in Ithaca, New York over the weekend.

Taking to a message forum said to be unaffiliated with Cornell University, members of the school’s Jewish community became the target of a series of threatening messages from Saturday night into Sunday morning that called to “shoot up” the kosher dining hall and to follow Jews home and “slit their throats.”

Screenshots of the messages were spread across social media like one attributed to a poster with the handle “hamas soldier” that read, “watch our pig jews. jihad is coming. nowhere is safe. your synagogues will become graveyards. your women will be raped and your children will be beheaded. glory to Allah.”

Another, from the handle “kill jews,” said, “allahu akbar! from the river to the sea, palestine will be free! glory to hamas! liberation by any means necessary!”

As others called to “shoot up” a building on campus, another remarked, “if you see a jewish ‘person’ on campus, follow them home and slit their throats. rats need to be elimination from Cornell [sic]” and another spoke to stabbing, raping and beheading in opposition to the “zionist globalist genocidal apartheid dictatorial entity known as ‘israel’.”

Once alerted to the threatening messages, students were advised to avoid the area as Cornell University Police opened an investigation and notified the public of a “Crime ALERT: Community Threat — City of Ithaca” that stated, “Evidence suggests the targeted locations were intentionally selected because of the perpetrator’s bias.”

Another message posted by the Steven K. and Winifred A. Grinspoon Hillel Center detailed, “Cornell Hillel is aware of a threatening statement that was directed toward the building at 104West, which houses the university’s kosher and multicultural dining hall, as well as more generally toward Jewish students, faculty, and staff.”

“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,” the statement from the center continued.

President Martha E. Pollack said in her own reaction to the posts, “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.”

Additionally, her statement read, “The virulence and destructiveness of antisemitism is real and deeply impacting our Jewish students, faculty and staff, as well as the entire Cornell community.”

The threats were similar to protests witnessed elsewhere like at New York University where, on Wednesday, Jewish students found themselves trapped by anti-Israel protesters and were barricaded within the school library as they were terrorized.

What’s more, the threats at Cornell University appeared to be part of growing hostility on campus where a professor had recently taken a leave of absence after he reacted to the Oct. 7 terror attacks in Israel by stating he was “exhilarated.”

“Hamas has challenged the monopoly of violence,” Professor Russell Rickford had said at an Oct. 15 rally that voiced pro-Hamas sentiments. “[Palestinians] were able to breathe for the first time in years. It was exhilarating. It was energizing. And if they weren’t exhilarated by this challenge to the monopoly of violence, by this shifting of the balance of power, then they would not be human. I was exhilarated.”

Though he went on to apologize for the statements, many have called for Rickford to be terminated from his position as a statement from Pollack noted that the incident was being reviewed. Still, further displays of antisemitism were spotted around campus begging the question “What is Cornell doing to protect its Jewish students?”

According to the Anti-Defamation League, by Oct. 23 antisemitic incidents had risen 388% in the weeks since Hamas attacked Israel compared to the same period in 2022.


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