While tens of thousands gathered at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to show their support for Israel, two local state senators released a statement condemning homegrown “hate speech” on the University of New Hampshire campus.
“When free speech escalates into hate speech, and it causes the members of a community to become fearful for their safety, things have gone too far,” wrote state Senate President Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) and Sen. Dan Innis (R-Bradford), a professor at the UNH School of Business and Economics.
The two singled out UNH Associate Professor Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, a progressive activist who has denounced Israel as an “apartheid state” and compared Hamas terrorists who launched the Oct. 7 attacks to the Jews who resisted the Nazis in the Warsaw ghetto.
“Speech should always be protected, but when that speech creates a dangerous environment for others, it must be condemned and stopped. Suggesting that a group of people should be killed is not speech. It is a direct threat to their safety and well-being. Associate Professor Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is guilty of threatening everyone on the UNH campus and beyond, particularly Jewish students, staff, and faculty,” they wrote.
“Her words are hateful and disgusting, and we condemn this behavior. It is our hope and expectation that UNH will do the same.”
UNH has declined to respond to requests for comment about Professor Prescod-Weinstein, who was granted tenure by the university in June. However, in response to students chanting the eliminationist slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine shall be free,” the university told concerned students that the solution to objectionable speech isn’t censorship. It is more speech.
“In as much as I am committed to the safety of our community, I am similarly committed to our role as a public university in protecting free speech on campus,” UNH President James Dean wrote to UNH College Republicans. “It is only at times like these that this commitment is tested. The remedy for speech that some may find objectionable is not for the university to choose sides. Instead, the university should support more speech and opportunities west understand different perspectives.”
New Hampshire has a small Jewish population — about 10,00o of the 1.4 million residents — but the issue of supporting Israel has become a flashpoint in Granite State politics since the Oct. 7 terror attack. U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas (D) voted to censure antisemitic Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and signed a Democratic letter condemning the “from the river to the sea” language, for example. His fellow Democrat Rep. Annie Kuster declined to do either.
Gov. Chris Sununu has condemned the “river to the sea” message at UNH, calling it “nothing short of requesting another Holocaust.”
State Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Donna Soucy (D-Manchester) declined to respond to requests for comment.
In the House, Republican Rep. Judy Aron (R-Acworth), who is Jewish, also took issue with UNH’s refusal to call out the eliminationist rhetoric on its campus.
“The administration at UNH should be loudly condemning UNH Associate Professor Chanda Prescod-Weinstein. They also should be making sure that pro-Israeli support is not threatened or intimidated by these pro-Hamas demonstrations and actions on their campus.
“What is happening on these campuses is just atrocious. It’s such a disgrace to our so-called system of ‘higher learning,’ as it is clear these places do not know or teach history and seem to promote and thrive on terrorist propaganda.
“It is amazing to me that these college kids and their self-aggrandized college professors don’t even realize that Hamas would behead them in an instant for their liberal views,” Aron added.”