Cornell University police are investigating a series of antisemitic threats made against the school’s Jewish community in online posts over the weekend. “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,” said university president Martha Pollack. The online messages surfaced Sunday and included threats to shoot Jewish students at the 104 West building, which houses the campus’ kosher and multicultural dining hall, and messaging encouraging others to harm Jews. The threats come amid rising tensions on college campuses across the U.S. as the war between Israel and Hamas rages in the Middle East, CNN reports. At many universities, students are engaging in fervent protests as some administrators grapple with how to acknowledge students’ wide-ranging concerns while also fielding backlash from influential donors demanding colleges take a clearer stance on the conflict.
New York State police will increase their security on Cornell’s campus, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said Monday, calling those who made the threats, “terrorists” and warned that anyone making threats “will get no refuge.” Hochul said she had talked with Cornell students in response to the threats and said state police will be “increasing our (Cornell’s) security opportunities as well.” The university’s police department also said it increased patrols and has “arranged additional security for our Jewish students and organizations on and off campus, and the university is in constant communication with these groups.” There are approximately 3,000 undergraduate and 500 graduate Jewish students at Cornell, comprising 22% of the student body. Authorities said they would remain at 104 West“to ensure our students and community members are safe,” the school’s president wrote.