New York Dem lawmaker speaks out against ‘deepening rot of antisemitism’ in colleges after Cornell threats


New York Democrat Rep. Ritchie Torres spoke out on what he described as “horrifying” antisemitism at Cornell University Sunday night following a series of threats made against the New York school’s Jewish community.

Torres, who represents the Bronx in New York City, posted Sunday that the “antisemitism of the Cornell Discussion Forum is horrifying” and called on academia to address antisemitism on campus.

“Threatening violence against Jewish students. Dehumanizing Jews as ‘rats’ and ‘excrement’ to be ‘eliminated.’ Advocating for the genocidal destruction of both the Jewish people and the Jewish State.”


“The academic establishment can no longer turn a blind eye to the deepening rot of antisemitism on American college campuses,” the Bronx Democrat continued.

In a second post, Torres commended Cornell University president Martha Pollack “for issuing a crystal-clear condemnation of antisemitism.”

“Credit where credit is due,” Torres continued, sharing Pollack’s statement.

Pollack denounced the “horrendous, antisemitic messages” sent on the university’s online message boards.

Rep. Ritchie Torres speaks with Fox News in Washington, D.C.

New York Democrat Rep. Ritchie Torres spoke out on the on-campus antisemitism seen at Cornell University Sunday night, calling it “horrifying.” (Jon Michael Raasch/Fox News Digital)

Pollack said the police have notified the FBI of the threats, flagging them as a potential hate crime.

“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. We will not tolerate antisemitism at Cornell.”

“Our students are always our top priority, and we are doing and will do everything we can to ensure their safety. We will continue to notify you with updates as we receive them,” the Cornell Center for Jewish Living wrote in an email to its community.

Torres, a vocal supporter of Israel, also put the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) on blast on Saturday after they organized against him over his Israel stance — in the wrong congressional district.

“The DSA is organizing against me—in the wrong Congressional District!” Torres wrote. “The Chase Bank at 5581 Broadway is in the neighboring district, not mine.”

“The DSA is a bunch of trust-fund babies and hipsters that knows nothing about the Bronx and has never won a race in the Bronx precisely because it knows nothing,” the congressman continued.


“The appeal of DSA is confined to white gentrifier,” he added. “Communities of color have no use for it.”

The threats were posted to a website not affiliated with the university and targeted “104 West,” where the Center of Jewish Living is located on campus.

The Steven K. and Winifred A. Grinspoon Hillel Center at Cornell said it was aware of the threats in a social media post, saying the Cornell University Police Department is monitoring the situation and on the scene at 104 West.

“At this time, we advise that students and staff avoid the building out of an abundance of caution,” the post read.

Students protest for Palestinian people

An anti-Israel sign with the phrase “from the river to the sea Palestine will be free” at a protest at Tulane University. (Credit: Ryan Zamos)

“Evidence suggests the targeted locations were intentionally selected because of the perpetrator’s bias,” the Cornell University Police Department wrote in a community alert.

The threats came days after Cornell associated professor of history Russell Rickford said he was “exhilarated” and “energized” by the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks in Israel. Rickford is now on a leave of absence, the university confirmed to Fox News Digital.


“Hamas has shifted the balance of power,” Rickford said at a rally in Ithaca, New York, on Oct. 17. “Hamas has punctured the illusion of its invincibility. That’s what they’ve done. You don’t have to be a Hamas supporter to recognize that. You don’t have to be a Hamas supporter to recognize that. Hamas has changed the terms of debate.”

“It was exhilarating, it was energizing,” Rickford continued. “And if it weren’t exhilarating by this challenge to the monopoly of violence – by this shifting to this balance of power – then they would not be human. I was exhilarated.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department are working with campus law enforcement across the country in a Biden administration effort to combat the “alarming rise” in antisemitic incidents and threats against Jewish communities at schools and universities across the nation in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war, a White House official told Fox News on Monday.

Fox News Digital’s Greg Wehner contributed reporting.


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