Pro-Palestinian protesters gathered outside the Elbit Systems of U.S. facility in Merrimack, New Hampshire, on Saturday. The same building was targeted by antisemitic vandals from out of state on Nov. 20.

According to reporting at the Patch, “The group carried signs, used bull horns, and chanted, and proceeded down Greeley Street, where police provided officers to stop traffic at Camp Sargent Road and the Everett Turnpike offramp.”

Protesters announced the event on social media, along with their anger toward New Hampshire Democrats like Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

Pro-Palestinian activists protest outside Elbit Systems US in Merrimack, NH, on Dec. 9, 2023 (CREDIT: Jeffrey Hastings)

“No more weapons for apartheid!” read a post by Comrade Ariel, a self-declared “revolutionary Marxist” who attended the protest.

Among the signs held by the protesters was the message, “River to the Sea,” a call for the destruction of the state of Israel. Others read “Jeanne Shaheen: Elbit Systems Bought for $10,500” and “Goths for Gaza.”

Elbit Systems of America’s parent company – Israel-based Elbit Systems – is the largest defense contractor for Israel. The Nov. 20 vandalism was organized by Palestine Action US, which says its mission is “dismantling Elbit Systems and the Zionist War Machine.”

Pro-Palestinian activists protest outside Elbit Systems US in Merrimack, NH, on December 9, 2023
(CREDIT: Jeffrey Hastings)

Saturday’s protest, however, was organized by the Communist Party of Southern New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Democratic Socialists of America, and Black Lives Matter of Manchester.

“Elbit America employs thousands of Americans who are dedicated to the mission of creating innovative solutions that protect and save lives,” the company said in a statement to NHJournal. “We support the rights of protesters to peacefully express their views.

“More than 650 employees work at Elbit America’s Merrimack site providing a variety of defense, commercial aviation, sustainment & support, and medical instrumentation solutions in large part to American customers from the U.S. government to local health providers.”

The issue of Israel’s war on Hamas continues to roil New Hampshire politics.

On Thursday, state Sen. Dan Innis (R-Bradford), a professor at the UNH School of Business and Economics, found a pro-Palestinian flier had been placed on his car’s windshield while he was parked on campus. The flier also had a note attached urging him to “vote against genocide.” It was placed specifically on his car, not part of a larger leaflet distribution.

In a podcast interview with NHJournal, Innis said he reported the incident to UNH officials “just to be safe.”

“I don’t feel any threat, but I think it’s a good idea to document these things,” Innis said.

Innis has been an outspoken critic of the “From the River to the Sea” protests on campus and the silence of the UNH administration.

“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,” Innis wrote in a joint statement with Senate President Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) 

The lawmakers also called out UNH Associate Professor Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, a progressive activist who has denounced Israel as an “apartheid state.” In the wake of the Oct. 7 terror attack that killed some 1,200 people in Israel and featured the mass rape of female victims by Hamas, Prescod-Weinstein posted a statement on social media comparing the terror organization to the Jews of Poland’s Warsaw Ghetto who fought back against the Third Reich.

Prescod-Weinstein has declined to respond to multiple requests for comment.