Cornell Police were immediately notified about the “series of horrendous, antisemitic messages” and are investigating the matter, Pollack said. “Police will continue to remain on site to ensure our students and community members are safe.”
The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
One post called Jewish students “rats” and said, “If you see a Jewish ‘person’ on campus follow them home and slit their throats.” Another post was titled “gonna shoot up 104 west,” an apparent reference to Cornell’s kosher and multicultural dining room.
The messages directed at the Jewish community at Cornell are the latest in a string of incidents that have rattled college campuses since the attack on Israel by Hamas militants killed more than 1,400 people on Oct. 7, according to Israeli authorities. Since then, Israeli attacks have killed at least 8,005 people in Gaza, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
Earlier this month, someone wrote “Free Palestine” outside a Jewish fraternity house at Georgia Tech, The Washington Post reported. At Stanford University, an instructor asked Jewish and Israeli students to stand in the corner of a classroom, the Jewish news organization the Forward reported. And at Cornell during a rally, a professor declared that, while he abhorred violence, he felt “exhilarated” by Hamas’s attack, the Cornell Daily Sun, a student newspaper, reported.
War in Mideast inflames college campuses and raises fears of antisemitism
“Jewish students are fearful and isolated,” Melanie Schwartz, 20, a junior at Cornell, told The Post earlier in October.
Across the United States, antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents have spiked, advocacy groups say.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations said Wednesday that it had received 774 complaints of incidents motivated by Islamophobia since Oct. 7 — the largest wave of complaints since 2015, the group said. Included among that total was the fatal stabbing of a 6-year-old Muslim boy in Illinois who authorities said was targeted because he was Palestinian American.
The Anti-Defamation League said Wednesday that it had recorded a total of 312 antisemitic incidents since Oct. 7, including incidents of harassment, vandalism and assault. The incidents represented a nearly 400 percent increase over the same period last year, the ADL said.
After the violent messages at Cornell on Sunday, a Jewish organization at the school, Cornell Hillel, asked students and staff to avoid the Cornell Center for Jewish Living “out of an abundance of caution.”
The center is a student-run Jewish organization that leads daily religious services, provides kosher food, offers a residence hall and organizes social programming. “Through our various Jewish resources, it is our mission to provide a warm, welcoming, and supportive Jewish experience for you at Cornell,” the center’s website states.
“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 said in her statement. “Our immediate focus is on keeping the community safe; we will continue to prioritize that.”
Nick Anderson contributed to this report.
Elaine Hadley is a dedicated journalist covering the ever-evolving landscape of U.S. news. With a keen interest in politics and a commitment to uncovering the truth, she provides insightful commentary and in-depth analysis on domestic issues. When not reporting, Elaine enjoys exploring the diverse cultures and landscapes of the United States.