Cornell University campus sidewalks defaced with hateful anti-Israel graffiti - Hindustan Times
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Cornell University campus sidewalks defaced with hateful anti-Israel graffiti

BySumanti Sen
Oct 26, 2023 01:30 PM IST

Statements written to deface the sidewalks were “Israel is Fascist” and “Free Palestine"

Cornell University’s New York campus was reportedly vandalised with hateful anti-Israel graffiti Wednesday morning, October 25. Some of the messages read “F–k Israel” and “Zionism = Racism.”

Cornell University’s New York campus was reportedly vandalised with hateful anti-Israel graffiti Wednesday morning, October 25 (@samaberman/X)
Cornell University’s New York campus was reportedly vandalised with hateful anti-Israel graffiti Wednesday morning, October 25 (@samaberman/X)

As per The Cornell Review, the graffiti began on campus sidewalks of the Ithaca Ivy League school sometime after 9 am. Other statements written to deface the sidewalks were “Israel is Fascist” and “Free Palestine.”

University workers later cleaned up the spray paint. Who made the graffiti remains unclear.

This comes shortly after aprofessor of Cornell University who came under fire for his comments on the Hamas attack in Israel has reportedly taken aleave of absence from the school. A viral video showedRussell Rickford saying the Hamas attack was “exhilarating” and “energising.” Russell, an associate professor of history at the school in Ithaca, New York, made the comments at a pro-Palestinian protest.

"Professor Russell Rickford has requested and received approval to take a leave of absence from the university," a Cornell spokesperson told Fox News Digital.

Russell said that the attack “shifted the balance of politics and punctured the illusion of invincibility” of Israel. The country has imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip since Hamas seized power in 2007. “That’s what they’ve done. You don’t have to be a Hamas supporter to recognize it,” he said.

Russell went on to say that Palestinians who witnessed oppression were “able to breathe for the first time in years” in the hours after the attack. “It was exhilarating. It was exhilarating, it was energising. And if they weren’t exhilarated by this challenge to the monopoly of violence, the shifting of the violence of power, then they would not be human. I was exhilarated,” he is heard saying as the crowd chanted “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

Russell later issued an apology, but not directly tothe Cornell Jewish community. He did not condemn Hamas either.

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