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Ivy League Professor Calls Hamas Terrorist Attacks ‘Exhilarating’ and ‘Energizing’ at Campus Rally


By: Harold Hutchison, Daily Caller News Foundation

A Cornell University professor called Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attack against Israel “energizing” and “exhilarating” during a Sunday campus rally in Ithaca, New York.

The radical Islamic terrorist group attacked multiple locations in southern Israel Oct. 7, killing over 1,200 people. Hamas holds 199 hostages taken during the attack in the Gaza Strip, according to Haaretz.

“What has Hamas done?” Russell Rickford, an associate professor at Cornell, asked according to video posted on X. “Hamas has shifted the balance of power. Hamas has punctured the illusion of invincibility. That’s what they’ve done! You don’t have to be a Hamas supporter to recognize that.”

“There are many thousands of goodwill, many Palestinians conscious, who abhor violence, as do you, as do I. Who abhor the targeting of civilians, as do you, as do I. Who were able to breathe,” Rickford said. “They were able to breathe for the first time in years!”

Rickford’s areas of study include post-World War II African-American political culture, transnational social movements and the “Black Radical Tradition,” according to Cornell University’s website. The academic is also a card carrying member of the Democratic Socialists of America, according to The Ithaca Voice.

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

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted a photo from the scene of one attack Tuesday, and has vowed that Israel’s response to Hamas would “echo for generations.”

Rickford wrote that Israel bore full responsibility for the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, according to ProfessorWatch.org, a project of Turning Point USA. He has spoken at other anti-Israel events, ProfessorWatch.org noted.

The crowd later chanted “From the river to the sea, Palestine will soon be free,” a slogan that has connotations of wiping out Israel.

Rickford did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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