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Cornell professor admits Hamas terrorist attack on Israel left him 'exhilarated': 'It was energizing'
Image source: YouTube screenshot

Cornell professor admits Hamas terrorist attack on Israel left him 'exhilarated': 'It was energizing'

Cornell University professor Russell Rickford is defending himself after admitting he was "exhilarated" when Hamas terrorists invaded Israel to torture, rape, and murder more than 1,400 innocent people.

On Sunday, Rickford spoke at a pro-Palestine rally in downtown Ithaca, New York. During his speech, the history professor appeared to celebrate Hamas' terrorism because the attack upset the "balance of power" in the region.

"Hamas has challenged the monopoly of violence," Rickford said. "[Palestinians] were able to breathe for the first time in years. It was exhilarating. It was energizing. And if they weren't exhilarated by this challenge to the monopoly of violence, by this shifting of the balance of power, then they would not be human. I was exhilarated."

Rickford, meanwhile, also claimed he "abhor[s]" violence and the targeting of civilians.

Cornell Prof. Russell Rickford Speaks at Pro-Palestine Rallywww.youtube.com

After the controversial remarks generated attention online, Rickford doubled down and compared Israel's leaders to Hamas.

According to Rickford, his jubilation at Hamas' invasion was a reference to the terrorists' ability to break "through the apartheid wall," which he said ushered in a "a new phase of resistance in the Palestinian struggle."

"It really signaled that the Palestinian will to resist had not been broken," Rickford told the Cornell Daily Sun. "In subsequent days, we learned of some of the horrifying realities. I want to make it clear that Hamas is a fundamentalist organization. It's important to note that in some ways, the fundamentalism of Hamas mirrors that of Israeli leadership."

Finally, Rickford without evidence accused Israel of "war crimes" and denounced "the equation of any form of Palestinian resistance with terrorism."

On Monday afternoon, Cornell University President Martha Pollack condemned Cornell faculty and students who have spoken positively about Hamas, though she did not name anyone specifically.

"I am sickened by statements glorifying the evilness of Hamas terrorism. Any members of our community who have made such statements do not speak for Cornell; in fact, they speak in direct opposition to all we stand for at Cornell. There is no justification for or moral equivalent to these violent and abhorrent acts," Pollack said.

"I am outraged by them and, along with senior leadership of the Cornell Board of Trustees, I again condemn them in the strongest possible terms," the statement added.

Still, Cornell students want Rickford fired over what they believe was an "abhorrent" and "offensive" speech that was "against the principles of humanity."

Two separate petitions demanding that the university terminate Rickford have each received more than 2,000 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon.

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Chris Enloe

Chris Enloe

Staff Writer

Chris Enloe is a staff writer for Blaze News
@chrisenloe →