Antisemitic threats posted to a Cornell University fraternity and sorority forum over the weekend, including to kill Jews on campus, have prompted a police response and intervention by the governor of New York.
At least one of the posts threatened a shooting of “pig jews” at Cornell’s Center for Jewish Living and kosher dining hall, according to the university’s Hillel chapter.
The postings are the latest in a series of incidents on college campuses across the nation since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, which followed the terrorist attacks on Oct. 7 that killed more than 1,400 people in Israel and resulted in more than 220 being kidnapped by Hamas and brought to the Gaza Strip.
“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,” Cornell President Martha E. Pollack said in a statement Sunday.
Pollack said the FBI had been informed of a potential hate crime, and that the Cornell University Police Department would 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 or people who posted them are punished to the full extent of the law,” Pollack said. “Our immediate focus is on keeping the community safe; we will continue to prioritize that.”
The threats were posted to Cornell’s Greekrank forums on Saturday and Sunday, according to the school newspaper, the Cornell Sun, which said some of the posts eventually were taken down.
The Sun said one post threatened to rape female Jewish students and behead Jewish babies in front of their parents. Another called for students to follow Jewish students home from campus and slit their throats.
Cornell Hillel, a center for Jewish life on campus, issued a statement condemning the threats and urging students to be cautious.
“At this time, we advise that students and staff avoid the (104 West!) building out of an abundance of caution,” the Hillel center said. “We will continue to provide updates as additional information becomes available. dining hall, as well as more generally toward Jewish students, faculty, and staff.”
On Monday morning, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said she met with Jewish students on the Cornell campus, “who are showing incredible strength and unity in response to vile antisemitic threats.
“We have no tolerance for hate or violence, and I have directed @nyspolice to increase security on college campuses and across 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 that criticized Israel and compared Zionism to genocide.
And it said that on Oct. 15, a Cornell professor specializing in African-American political culture, Russell Rickford, gave a speech at a pro-Palestinian rally saying he initially found the Hamas attack on Israel to be “exhilarating” and “energizing.” After a backlash, Rickford apologized and requested a leave of absence from Cornell.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Cornell University the latest college campus dealing with antisemitism