GUEST ROOM | Holding Prof. Rickford Accountable

Just over a week later, Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority condemned Hamas’ actions, stating that they do not represent the Palestinian people. The same day, on Sunday, Oct. 16, Cornell University Prof. Russel Rickford, history, called Hamas’ actions “exhilarating” and “energizing.” Instead of condemning acts of terrorism, Professor Rickford celebrated Hamas’s actions as they “changed the balance of power” in Israel. Professor Rickford’s words stand in stark contrast to the values of Cornell University’s ideal of “free and open inquiry and expression.” We cannot stand idly by as students are traumatized by hateful speech from a professor, as this creates a culture of fear of presenting alternative perspectives, lest their academic standing suffer.