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Cornell professor who was ‘exhilarated’ after Hamas attack issues apology for ‘reprehensible’ remarks

A Cornell University professor who said he was “exhilarated” and “energized” after the Hamas atrocities in Israel issued an apology on Wednesday for the remarks.

“I apologize for the horrible choice of words that I used in a portion of a speech that was intended to stress grassroots African American, Jewish, and Palestinian traditions of resistance to oppression,” Cornell University professor Russell Rickford said in a letter published in the Cornell Daily Sun.

“I recognize that some of the language I used was reprehensible and did not reflect my values,” Rickford stated. 

The professor added that he opposes and denounces “racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, militarism, fundamentalism and all systems that dehumanize, divide and oppress people.”

Russell Rickford cornell university

Russell Rickford is a history professor at Cornell University.  (FOX News Digital | Getty)

Rickford’s letter came after a rally in Ithaca, New York, on October 17 where he responded to Hamas attacks on Israel. 

“Hamas has shifted the balance of power. Hamas has punctured the illusion of its invincibility. That’s what they’ve done. You don’t have to be a Hamas supporter to recognize that. You don’t have to be a Hamas supporter to recognize that. Hamas has changed the term of debate,” he said to the crowd.

He proceeded to say that Hamas challenged the monopoly of violence: “It was exhilarating, it was energizing. And if it weren’t exhilarating by this challenge to the monopoly of violence – by this shifting to this balance of power then they would not be human. I was exhilarated.”

Rickford did not immediately respond for comment.

FOX News’ Rebecca Rosenberg contributed to this report.

Joshua Q. Nelson is a reporter for Fox News Digital.

Joshua focuses on politics, education policy ranging from the local to the federal level, and the parental uprising in education.

Joining Fox News Digital in 2019, he previously graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Political Science and is an alum of the National Journalism Center and the Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. 

Story tips can be sent to joshua.nelson@fox.com and Joshua can be followed on Twitter and LinkedIn

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