The University of Akron is investigating a student whose Aug. 24 Instagram comments included threats against Jews.
“I wanna kill the Zionist who have killed my people for 75 years,” Mahmoud Habbiyyieh of Tallmadge wrote in an Instagram message to a Jewish woman in Florida in the early hours of Aug. 24, according to Liora Rez, founder and executive director of StopAntisemitism.
Habbiyyieh also said in an audio file in Arabic in the same conversation, “I’m going to kill the horrible people you call Zionists,” according to Rez.
Rez said StopAntisemitism, a grassroots watchdog organization that exposes antisemitism, notified The University of Akron as well as the Tallmadge Police Department and the FBI on Aug. 24 upon learning of Habbiyyieh’s threats.
Rez told the Cleveland Jewish News that Habbiyyieh had deactivated his Instagram account as of Sept. 6 and that he scrubbed the majority of his Facebook page.
A University of Akron spokeswoman confirmed in a Sept. 6 email to the CJN that the university is investigating Habbiyyieh.
“The university is fully aware of the situation and is currently investigating it,” the email read.
Rez also said StopAntisemitism has made a request of The University of Akron.
“We are requesting that students who issue threats like this on social media to Jews be immediately removed from campus as we deem them a credible threat,” Rez said.
She said, as of Sept. 8, “We wrote administrators at The University of Akron and they have not responded.”
Lee C. Shapiro, regional director of AJC Cleveland, condemned the remarks.
“Even if these disgusting comments were made on a private social media account, the University of Akron should be concerned when one of its students threatens violence against Jews,” Shapiro wrote in a Sept. 8 email to the CJN. “At a time when campus antisemitism nationwide has risen to alarming levels, schools must redouble their efforts to ensure Jewish students are safe and free from intimidation.”