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Antisemitic Threats Shake Cornell's Jewish Community: Governor Hochul Takes Swift Action with State Police Protection

Antisemitic Threats Shake Cornell's Jewish Community: Governor Hochul Takes Swift Action with State Police Protection

"Antisemitic Threats Prompt Heightened Security at Cornell's Jewish Campus Organization; Gov. Hochul Denounces and Deploys State Police for Protection"

Cornell University's Jewish community faced a distressing situation as state and campus police were deployed on Monday following explicit and hate-filled threats of violence against the student group. President Martha Pollack termed the antisemitic threats as "horrendous," revealing that the university had promptly involved the FBI in the investigation. The threats, posted on Greekrank, included an alarming statement about intending to "shoot up" the Center for Jewish Living, as reported by The Cornell Daily Sun.

In response to the threats, security measures were reinforced at Cornell Hillel, with a scheduled guest lecture adopting an RSVP-only format for enhanced security. Governor Hochul visited the campus to express the state's solidarity with Cornell students, emphasizing ongoing efforts by federal and state law enforcement to identify the source of the threats. Governor Hochul acknowledged the heightened anxiety on campus, assuring that students should not fear basic activities like walking from their dorms to classrooms.

This unsettling incident adds to existing concerns about antisemitism at Cornell, where recent events included a controversial statement by a history professor and instances of anti-Israel messages spray-painted on campus thoroughfares. The university, located in Ithaca, is grappling with maintaining a secure environment for its diverse student body, which includes a significant Jewish population.

A coalition of students supporting the Palestinians released a statement condemning the antisemitic messages, illustrating the complex dynamics on campus surrounding these incidents.

"In a collective statement, nine student groups at Cornell, including Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Educational and Cultural Association, unequivocally condemned the racist conflation of Jewish identity with the actions of the state of Israel. They emphasized that any action endangering the well-being of Jewish students at Cornell goes against their shared beliefs. The coalition called for protections, a thorough investigation, and answers from the perpetrator of the threats. State Attorney General Letitia James, on social media, described the posts as 'absolutely horrific,' asserting that there is no space for antisemitism or violence on campuses. Governor Hochul, in coordination with public New York City and New York State universities, addressed concerns about campus safety. President Pollack affirmed Cornell's intolerance for antisemitism, acknowledging the real and deep impact on the university community. The incident underscores the need to combat forces dividing and driving toward hate. Occurring amidst heightened tensions from the Israel-Hamas conflict, Pollack urged unity, empathy, and support for each other in these challenging times."

"As Cornell University grapples with the alarming antisemitic threats targeting its Jewish community, the resounding condemnation from a coalition of student groups underscores a unified commitment to combatting hate and preserving the safety of all students. In the face of rising tensions and external conflicts, the campus is reminded of the imperative to stand together, transcending diverse beliefs and backgrounds. State officials, including Governor Hochul and Attorney General Letitia James, have pledged their commitment to ensuring the safety of academic environments. President Pollack's call for unity and empathy resonates as the campus community navigates the aftermath of these distressing incidents. The hope is that, through collective resolve and a commitment to understanding, Cornell can emerge stronger and more resilient against the forces of division and hatred."

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