By David Propper
Cornell University was on high alert Sunday night after a series of “horrendous, antisemitic” messages threatening the school’s Jewish community were posted earlier on a public forum, school officials said Sunday night.
The school notified law enforcement agencies and campus police were taking precautions after a series of disturbing online posts made threats directed at Jewish students and the Center for Jewish Living, according to the university’s president Martha Pollack.
The FBI has been contacted of a potential hate crime at the upstate New York Ivy League school amid the Israel-Hamas war, Pollack said.
“Earlier today, a series of horrendous, antisemitic messages threatening violence to our Jewish community and specifically naming 104 West — the home of the Center for Jewish Living — was posted on a website unaffiliated with Cornell,” Pollack wrote.
“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,” she also wrote. “Our immediate focus is on keeping the community safe; we will continue to prioritize that.”
The Cornell University Police Department said in a community alert for the entire city of Ithaca that “evidence suggests the targeted locations were intentionally selected because of perpetrator’s bias.”
Cornell Hillel said in a social media post it was aware of threats made against the 104West, which houses the school’s kosher and multicultural dining hall, and advised students and staff to avoid the building “out of an abundance of caution.”
One of the posts on the website Greekrank called for students to follow Jewish students home and slit their throats, the student newspaper, the Cornell Sun, reported Sunday.
“We will not tolerate antisemitism at Cornell. During my time as president, I have repeatedly denounced bigotry and hatred, both on and off our campus,” Pollack also wrote in her Sunday statement.
“The virulence and destructiveness of antisemitism is real and deeply impacting our Jewish students, faculty and staff, as well as the entire Cornell community.”
New York Governor Kathy Hochul said in a statement on X that State police will “take any steps needed to keep students safe.”
“The disgusting & hateful posts on a message board about Jewish @Cornell students is the latest in a series of concerning incidents on college campuses,” Hochul wrote.
The sickening messages come just days after graffiti was scrawled on university sidewalks that included messages like “F—k Israel” and “Zionism = Racism.”
Earlier this month, a professor called the Hamas attack on Israel that left 1,400 dead “exhilarating” and “energizing.” Russell Rickford, an associate professor of history, is now on a leave of absence until at least the end of the semester.”
There has been a spike in antisemitism across the country and on college campuses since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, leading the Jewish state to retaliate against the terror group.