Stockholm Syndrome: Jewish Cornell president thanks anti-Israel protesters

A Cornell professor described the president’s gratitude for anti-Israel protesters as ‘some form of Stockholm Syndrome.’

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Departing Cornell University president Martha E. Pollack was called out by Jewish students, parents, and professors for expressing her “gratitude” for anti-Israel protesters after they ceased occupying parts of the campus.

In a letter to the student body, Pollack, who is Jewish, wrote, “While I do not condone the encampment, which was in clear violation of university policies, I want to acknowledge and express gratitude that in contrast to what has taken place at some other universities, the participants here remained peaceful and nonviolent throughout, and for the most part they tried to minimize the disruption caused.”

Martha E. Pollack announced that she was leaving her position as Cornell University president, but she emphasized that the decision was “mine and mine alone” to dispel rumors that she had been pressured to leave.

Unlike many other universities, Cornell’s anti-Israel protesters decided to depart from their encampment without facing mass arrests or demanding concessions from the administration.

No details were provided about what led to the decision. Still, there was an implication that the group wanted to leave on their terms rather than be forced into a face-off with the administration or face disciplinary action.

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Pollack was criticized for expressing “gratitude” to anti-Israel protesters when Jewish students, parents, and professors instead felt the college president should have addressed the many antisemitic incidents they faced while protesters were occupying the campus, blocking Jews access from buildings and verbally harassing them.

Cornell University student Amanda Silberstein told Fox News Digital that Pollack’s letter was “an embarrassment and symptomatic of Cornell’s broader epidemic of antisemitism.”

Silberstein said that Pollack “is cultivating an atmosphere where not only is hate speech against Jews being tolerated, but even explicit calls for violence against Jews are being condoned.

Jewish students recalled being confronted with harsh antisemitic epithets, threatened with violence, and witnessing faculty members and students express open support for Hamas.

Silberstein described the “incessant calls for fierce violence against Israelis and Jews, chanted by both professors and students, echoing Hamas’ unambiguous and unequivocal objective.”

Sarah Cohen, a parent of a freshman Cornell student, described the climate of fear on campus and said, “We are called ‘Nazis,’ ‘Zionist pigs,’ ‘Baby killers,’ ‘Colonialists,’ ‘Death cult,’ and the list goes on,”

She added, “These words were not used once, but repeatedly. Calls for Intifada were done all the time.”

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William A. Jacobson, Cornell law professor and founder of said, “Jewish and pro-Israel students who have endured seven months of non-stop harassment, insults, defamation, and intimidation.”

He added, “Pollack’s statement of praise and appreciation of anti-Israel protesters was ‘some variation on Stockholm Syndrome.'”