A person who made Antisemitic threats against Jewish students at the Ivy League institution over the weekend has been discovered and put into prison, according to a Cornell University statement on Tuesday.
“We thank the FBI and other law enforcement agencies for their coordination,” said Joel M. Malina, vice president for university relations. “We will update the public as we have further details to release.”
Students on the Ithaca, New York campus of the university were frightened by the threats, which also brought more national attention to the claimed surge in antisemitism in the United States since the beginning of the conflict between Israeli and Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.
Since Hamas terrorists rushed into Israel on October 7, killing over 1,400 people, the Anti-Defamation League claimed last Tuesday that preliminary data reveals a nearly 400% spike in recorded incidences of antisemitic harassment, vandalism, and violence.
FBI Director Christopher Wray stated during a Senate hearing on Tuesday that antisemitism threats in the United States are at “historic levels” and that terrorists are “targeting the Jewish community really across the spectrum,” from “homegrown violent extremists” to “foreign terrorist organizations.”
The confrontation between Israel and Hamas has also increased concerns about the spread of Islamophobia in the United States and other Western nations.
Since October 7, Muslims around the country have filed almost 800 complaints and alleged instances of bigotry, according to a statement released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations on Wednesday.
It said, “Actual numbers may be higher, as hate crimes against Muslims in America remain massively underreported.”
The threats at Cornell came after weeks of vehement protests and demonstrations over the war at schools around the nation, according to the university’s president, and were explicitly directed at the school’s Center for Jewish Living.
Interviewees from colleges have reported rising tensions on campus, to the point where university administrators have occasionally been compelled to step in.
For instance, Syracuse University said earlier on Tuesday that a “teach-in” presentation by a professor with expertise in Middle Eastern studies would not be taking place because of a faculty member’s “safety concerns.”
“Syracuse University is not able to confidently ensure the safety of the attendees, the speaker and our whole campus community and, thus, has made the decision that this event will not occur as scheduled today,” the school’s chancellor and president said in a message to the community Tuesday afternoon.
Concerns of more antisemitic threats on college campuses have grown in the last few days due to pictures and videos that have been making the rounds on social media.
A man in a video posted to X claims to have been tearing down leaflets featuring the faces of hostages held by Hamas terrorists at Harvard Square, close to Harvard University. He also adds that Jews should be “exterminated.”
A Harvard University spokesman said in a statement on Tuesday that the event occurred on a Cambridge municipal sidewalk and that the local police department was “looking into it.” The spokesperson also mentioned that the school’s police department was “supporting… as needed.”
The university spokesperson said there was “no indication” that the masked man in the video is “a Harvard student or community member.”