(WNY News Now) – Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-24) has called for the immediate resignation of Cornell University Professor Russell Rickford due to his recent comments, described as anti-Semitic and pro-Hamas, made during a pro-Palestine protest on the university’s campus.
Washington D.C. – In a strongly worded letter addressed to Cornell University President Martha Pollack, Congresswoman Claudia Tenney has demanded the immediate resignation of Professor Russell Rickford. The controversy revolves around Professor Rickford’s remarks made during a pro-Palestine protest on Cornell’s campus, which have been labeled as anti-Semitic and pro-Hamas.
The call for Professor Rickford’s resignation comes in the midst of heightened tensions in the Middle East, particularly the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, which has led to the tragic loss of over 1,300 lives in Israel. During the protest, Professor Rickford reportedly referred to the acts of violence against Israeli civilians by Hamas as “energizing” and “exhilarating.” These comments have drawn sharp criticism and condemnation.
In her letter, Congresswoman Tenney underscored the gravity of Professor Rickford’s remarks and the potential implications of his actions. She insisted that such expressions of anti-Semitism and vocal support for terrorism should not be tolerated in academia or any other facet of society. She also highlighted the significant role that educators play in shaping young minds, asserting that this role requires a higher standard of behavior.
Congresswoman Tenney expressed her concern that Professor Rickford’s comments not only violated his ethical responsibility as an educator but also posed a potential threat to the safety of the Jewish community. Furthermore, she asserted that these comments had the potential to tarnish Cornell University’s reputation.
The letter concludes with a plea to Cornell University’s President, Martha Pollack, urging her to take the matter seriously and recognize the seriousness of the statements made by Professor Rickford.
This call for resignation has ignited a debate over the boundaries of free speech, academic freedom, and the responsibility of educators in the face of contentious international conflicts.