Cornell University Professor Calls Hamas Attacks ‘Exhilarating’

Podium lectern with two microphones and Afghanistan flag in back

( – Following the deadliest attack in Israel’s history, college administrators across the United States have faced backlash for lukewarm condemnations of the Hamas terrorists. Additionally, they have failed to speak out against student groups appearing to support the Hamas during campus rallies in support of Palestine. Some student groups have released statements blaming Israel for the attacks. CEOs of large American corporations have demanded to know the names of people who signed on to a statement from student groups at Harvard University. A prominent alumni donor to the University of Pennsylvania announced that he would cease donations to the college after they failed to adequately condemn the attack.

Cornell University has now taken the spotlight as an associate professor by the name of Russell Rickford praised the attack during a pro-Palestinian rally in Ithaca, New York. Rickford, who is a proud member of the Democratic Socialists of America Party, said that “Hamas has shifted the balance of power” and that they proved that the invincibility of Israel was just an illusion. He later said that he was “exhilarated” by the attack. Rickford has expressed anti-Israel sentiment on multiple occasions in the past, including when he blamed the country for the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Several online student petitions began circulating shortly after Rickford’s comments, calling for his removal. Cornell University President Martha Pollack condemned Rickford’s comments and stated that they were the exact opposite of the university’s stance. She and the Board of Trustees chair released a statement on October 17 recognizing the seriousness of Rickford’s comments. The statement said that they are conducting a review of university procedures. Rickford subsequently doubled down on his comments in a statement to the Cornell Daily Sun. He claimed that his comments were about the actions taken by Hamas at the beginning of the attack and how they demonstrated resistance. He then compared the fundamentals of Hamas’ leadership to Israeli leadership.

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