New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced on Tuesday a ‘person of interest’ is in custody in the case of death threats against Jewish students at Cornell University, located in Ithaca, that were posted to the independent student message board Greekrank over the weekend. No details about the person in custody were immediately released.
The messages, which threatened a massacre at a building housing a kosher dining hall and called for the throats of Jewish students to be slit, prompted Jewish students to hide in their rooms. A sample:
“When I met with Cornell students yesterday, I promised them New York State would do everything possible to find the perpetrator who threatened a mass shooting and antisemitic violence on campus. Earlier today, law enforcement identified a person of interest as part of the investigation and this individual is currently in the custody of the New York State Police for questioning. Public safety is my top priority and I’m committed to combatting hate and bias wherever it rears its ugly head.”
When I met with Cornell students yesterday, I promised them we would do everything possible to find the perpetrator. Public safety is my top priority and I’m committed to combatting hate and bias wherever it rears its ugly head.
— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) October 31, 2023
Earlier Tuesday Hochul announced steps to combat the recent rise in threats (excerpt):
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a series of actions to deploy all available resources to keep New Yorkers safe following a surge in hate and bias incidents in the weeks following the October 7 Hamas terror attacks. In an address to New Yorkers, Governor Hochul highlighted $50 million available for local law enforcement agencies to prevent and solve hate crimes and other crimes, $25 million in security funding for at-risk community groups and cultural centers, an expansion of the New York State Police’s social media analysis unit, and a new initiative from the Division of Human Rights. Governor Hochul also announced that Judge Jonathan Lippman, the widely respected former Chief Judge of New York and Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, will conduct an independent third-party review of the City University of New York’s policies and procedures related to antisemitism and discrimination.
“My top priority is to protect the safety and well-being of all New Yorkers,” Governor Hochul said. “Let me be clear: we cannot allow hate and intimidation to become normalized. As Governor, I reaffirm that there is zero tolerance in New York for antisemitism, Islamophobia, or hate of any kind, and it’s critical we deploy every possible state resource to keep New Yorkers safe.”
Cornell Law School professor William Jacobson spoke to Fox News about the conditions at Cornell (excerpt):
…William A. Jacobson, a clinical professor at Cornell Law School who joined the faculty in 2007, called on the Cornell Board of Trustees to pause new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism and form a special independent commission to investigate antisemitism on campus and the negative effects of DEI.
“There has been a long problem at Cornell that the administration has just shut its eyes to. The faculty is extremely anti-Israel, not necessarily the majority of them, but there is a core group of faculty who agitate continuously for the destruction of Israel,” Jacobson told Fox News Digital.
…”I’ve heard from a lot of students, and I’ve seen a lot of chatter that Jewish students in particular are extremely upset. They were extremely upset with the vituperative hostility towards Israel expressed by numerous student groups, expressed by faculty, and they don’t feel welcome at Cornell. They feel there’s a problem here. And I think the administration needs to get a handle on that.”
…”I’ve seen this coming for a long time. I’ve covered problems at many campuses with the anti-Israel movement for over a decade at my website Legal Insurrection, including problems at Cornell,” Jacobson said. “There have been multiple instances of Students for Justice in Palestine at Cornell disrupting pro-Israel events.”
Jacobson appeared on the Ingraham Angle Monday night:
“this hyperfocus, this obsession with race is actually making matters worse. I know that at Cornell it’s making matters a lot worse for Jewish students…. this whole racialist DEI anti-racism structure has really balkanized the colleges.” https://t.co/gyFmi0gZdz pic.twitter.com/zIFTs6sMUG
— William A. Jacobson (@wajacobson) October 31, 2023
Jacobson is founder of Legal Insurrection.