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Formella Takes Over Elbit Anti-Israel Vandalism Case

New Hampshire’s top cop is taking control of the case against anti-Israel protesters who targeted a Merrimack worksite, a sign of how important the case is to the state of New Hampshire and Gov. Chris Sununu’s administration.

State Attorney General John Formella told NHJournal he plans to make a tough case against the four pro-Palestinian demonstrators arrested for allegedly attacking the Israeli-owned Elbit Systems facility in Merrimack.

“We took these cases because of the important civil rights and public protection interests involved,” Formella said. “We will do everything we can to ensure that these cases are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and that justice is served.”

Prosecutors with the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office originally brought the charges against the suspects after they were arrested in November at the Elbit facility on Daniel Webster Highway.

Calla Walsh, 19, Bridget Shergalis, 27, and Sophie Ross, 22, were all arrested Nov. 20 when their protest turned violent, according to police. The three were charged with criminal trespass, riot, and sabotage.

“Officers discovered the front of the building had been sprayed with red paint, windows had been smashed, and at least one main lobby door had been locked shut via a bicycle anti-theft device,” Merrimack Police said in a statement following the incident.

Protesters also lit flares and took them to the roof, where more damage was later found.

A fourth suspect, Paige Belanger, 32, of Alford, Mass., was arrested last week.

The assault on the Merrimack facility was supported by the U.S. branch of Palestine Action, an anti-Israel organization that promotes antisemitic views. Six of its members were recently arrested when U.K. authorities foiled a plot targeting the London Stock Exchange.

Formella told NHJournal in December the Palestine Action organization could also face legal consequences for its role in the attack.

“Organizations and entities can be held responsible for the acts of their members. We saw that with NSC-131. We brought an action, not just against two members of NSC-131, but against the organization itself,” Formella said.

NSC-131 is a white supremacy group that hung a “Keep New England White” banner on a Portsmouth bridge last summer.

Palestine Action US says its mission is “dismantling Elbit Systems and the Zionist War Machine.”

Multi-millionaire Communist James “Fergie” Chambers is identified as a founder of Palestinian Action USA. He has paid bail for the women charged in the case. Chambers claims he is not a leader in the group, but he does participate in protests. He frequently posts bail for activists in a range of protest movements like Palestinian Action, Stop Cop City, and others.

“I’ve never said no to a bail help ask,” Chambers previously told NHJournal via text.

Chambers did not respond to a request for comment on Formella taking over the prosecution of the Elbit case.

Hate Crimes Talk Worries Communist Millionaire Funding Anti-Israel Protests

A key figure in the New Hampshire anti-Israel protest movement, multi-millionaire Communist James “Fergie” Chambers, says the new focus on hate crimes by federal and state law enforcement has him worried.

He acknowledged the topic is controversial but doesn’t believe the response is proportional.

“Yeah, this insane backlash equating us with Nazis, charging our friends with insane stuff for what amounts to vandalism….who knows at this point?” Chambers, who lives in the Granite State, told NHJournal via text.

But that wasn’t the only thing Chambers has typed up as of late. For example, the avowed opponent of the nation of Israel posted on Facebook last month, “Make Zionists afraid.”

According to an article in The Free Press, he has also written, “We need to start making people who support Israel actually afraid to go out in public. We need to make all of white America afraid that everything they have stolen is going to be burned to the ground. That’s what makes them listen.”

It is rhetoric like that, along with an increase in anti-Israel and antisemitic rhetoric, that has New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella beefing up the state’s Civil Rights Unit with an additional attorney and more support staff. Formella announced the move after activists with Palestinian Action USA struck the Elbit Systems facility in Merrimack last month. The three women arrested for the vandalism attack were all promptly bailed out by Chambers.

Elbit Systems USA is an Israeli-owned company best known for its work in weapons and aviation. However, the Merrimack facility also does work for the company’s medical instrumentation division.

Formella and Assistant Attorney General Sean Locke have both said they are looking at the Palestinian Action USA protestors for possible Civil Rights Act violations. And the organization itself, which is partially funded by Chambers, could be held accountable as well. 

The possibility he and his comrades could be charged with antisemitic harassment due to their anti-Zionist activism upsets Chambers.

“[Of course] the hate crime rhetoric is concerning, but I think any attorney worth a darn will tell you that weapons companies are not a protected group, lol,” Chambers wrote NHJournal. “In the end, it behooves a ‘Free State’ to back off of this kind of grandstanding. I really don’t believe that the people of New Hampshire are especially committed to Zionism, even if political lobbyists are.”

Though Chambers has maintained the protests against Elbit are focused on stopping a weapons manufacturer, he has not been shy about saying Israel has no right to exist.

“Israel does not deserve to exist,” Chambers told LA Magazine. “It is a false state propped up by the West.”

Chambers is a member of the Cox family, worth about $34 billion, according to reports. Chambers essentially negotiated an early inheritance with the family trust, allowing him to walk away with a reported $250 million. 

The fact the Coxes still own the company outright makes them the eighth richest family in America, with a net worth of around $34 billion.

Chambers has been using his fortune to spread the Gospel of Marx, setting up a commune in Massachusetts, a “People’s” gym in New Hampshire’s Upper Valley, and engaging in protests across the country. He is even footing the bill when fellow activists get arrested.

“I support a ton of bail funds for protestors and folks facing state repression,” Chambers said.

Despite being self-identified as a founding member of Palestinian Action USA, Chambers denied he is, technically, a founder or bankrolling the group or that he has a real leadership role within Palestinian Action USA at all. Chambers is just another activist, albeit one with more cash.

“PAL Action is not now and never was an ‘org,’” Chambers wrote NHJournal. “It is a social media platform that shares news of direct actions people have taken against Elbit or other weapons companies. We’ve shared things in Cali, VA, TX, MA, NH, etc. If someone sends us [something], we share it. Bears zero connection to who did it.”

When it comes to Palestinian Action USA, Chambers is just another member of the organization that isn’t an organization, he said.

“I [definitely] participated in the Cambridge [Mass.] action, and I spray painted a McDonald’s in D.C. Other actions I have zero say about. Pal Action UK provides training to people. I was a founding organizer because I did the first action in Cambridge, and I’ve helped with media thereafter. There is no staff, no budget, nothing. As in, there’s nothing to finance.”

When Palestinian Action USA protesters Sophie Marika Ross, 22, of Housatonic, Mass.; Cala Mairead Walsh, 19, of Cambridge, Mass.; and Bridget Irene Shergalis, 27, of Dayville, Conn., were charged with criminal trespass, riot, and sabotage for the Merrimack vandalism attack, Chambers ponied up $50,000 to get the three women released. 

“After the fact, I’ve paid bail funds because I do that all over the place,” Chambers wrote. “I’m about to grant a bunch of legal support for Alabama prisoners; I’ve supported the ‘Cop City’ bail and legal funds; I’ve done tons of support for pipeline funds, including when I was at Standing Rock. I’ve never said no to a bail help ask, as is my right as a funded with the 1st amendment.” 

‘Cop City’ is the name progressives, Black Lives Matter members, and Antifa activists have given the Atlanta Police Foundation’s training facility, currently under construction and under protest. Antifa and others have repeatedly attacked the construction site, engaged in riots, and gotten arrested by the score in an attempt to stop the facility’s construction.

Despite numerous stories naming him as a founder and funder for Palestinian Action USA, Chambers said his checkbook support for arrested activists does not mean he’s “bankrolling” the group, which, again, isn’t a group.

“So to say I ‘bankroll Pal Action’ is crazy. There’s literally nothing to bankroll. It’s a network of independent affinity groups, and the social media accounts have shared stuff, while Pal Action UK remains the founders and leaders,” Chambers wrote.

Despite his Marxist, distributiionist politics, Chambers said he moved to New Hampshire last year in part due to the Granite State’s low tax burden. He has plans for the properties he bought in Lebanon, though they are still being worked out.

“I’m not sure exactly what we’ll do with NH at the moment,” Chambers wrote. “We have an office space in Lebanon that was tentatively going to be a free gym and a place to do media and research work, and to offer free office space to local groups who might be in need.”

Law Enforcement Responds After Synagogue Bomb Threats

Days after five New Hampshire synagogues were victims in a nationwide bomb threat stunt, local law enforcement leaders delivered a message to would-be criminals.

“If you threaten people, if you commit crimes, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This isn’t a game, this isn’t a joke,” said United States Attorney Jane Young. “People want to be able to worship their Creator in peace.”

Young, along with New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella, FBI Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Timothy DeMann, New Hampshire State Police Colonel Mark Hall, and Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg, spoke Tuesday at the Manchester Police Department about how they are fighting back against rising hate and, particularly, antisemitism in the Granite State.

“There is no greater priority for us than protecting the people of this state,” Formella said.

Threats targeting the New Hampshire synagogues were part of a nationwide effort to call in bomb threats at synagogues and Jewish spaces throughout the weekend. According to DeMann, the threats were not credible. The point seemed to be causing alarm among the Jewish communities.

Jews are not the only targets. There have been threats targeting a broad spectrum of people, particularly people of faith, like New Hampshire’s minority Muslim community. There is also national intelligence pointing to potential threats at upcoming holiday gatherings, especially religious services, DeMann said.

“It’s a heightened threat environment,” DeMann said. 

DeMann and Formella cited the current war in Israel as one factor behind the recent surge in antisemitism. While there are known threats to Arabs and Muslims living in the United States, Formella said antisemitism is the driving force in recent weeks.

Police and FBI agents have been working with synagogues throughout the state to ensure congregants are safe. Hall said State Troopers are working with synagogues to make sure security plans are in place, and to make sure police are visible during worship times. One synagogue told him parents with children won’t come if there isn’t a police officer on duty.

Police are reaching out to Jewish communities and other minority groups to make sure they know they can call for assistance. Aldenberg said people are frightened and need to know they can rely on the police.

“We have to recognize and be aware of the fear and concern the community feels,” Aldenberg said.

Aldeberg interrupted his comments during the press conference in order to respond to a text from a Manchester rabbi.

Young is adding a civil rights prosecutor to the United States Attorney’s Office as part of the response. It is the first time New Hampshire’s federal prosecutor has had a dedicated civil rights attorney. It comes as Formella is adding three staffers to the state’s civil rights unit. 

“We are really putting our money where our mouth is,” Formella said.

The bomb threats come in the wake of an attack on the Merrimack facility of Israeli-owned Elbit Systems USA, in which antisemitic protesters with the group Palestine Action US blocked access to the building, broke windows, and took flares onto the roof. Three people, all from out of state, were arrested and face charges of criminal trespass, riot, and sabotage.

Hate crime reports in New Hampshire have exploded in the last five years, going from 40 to 186 and counting for 2023. Formella wants people in the Live Free or Die state to be free to worship, love, and simply be — without fear of harassment or violence. 

There is also worry that events like the weekend bomb threat hoax may not be a hoax next time. That is part of the reason Formella and the others are trying to get out in front of the trend of hate-inspired crime.

“We’re not going to wait,” Formella said. “We want to be proactive.”

Hate crime victims should not hesitate to contact local police, the FBI, or the state’s Civil Rights Unit, Formella said.

NH AG Files Civil Complaint Against Neo-Nazi Group

New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella is making good on his promise to target hate groups, announcing a new civil complaint against a notorious gang of New England Neo-Nazis.

The move comes as the state is also considering hate crimes charges against the three people who conducted an antisemitic, pro-Palestinian attack on an Israeli-owned business in Merrimack.

Christopher Hood, founder of NSC-131, and 19 NSC-131 members are accused of violating New Hampshire’s anti-discrimination law for allegedly trying to stop a drag queen story hour event at Concord’s Teatotaller Cafe this summer.

The identity of the other 19 men is not known. They are listed as John Does in the complaint.

Assistant Attorney General Sean Locke heads up the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Unit and said Wednesday that NSC-131’s actions at Teatotaller crossed the line from protest to discriminatory harassment.

“This isn’t a protest where a person, or a couple of people, are standing out on a sidewalk with a sign saying, ‘I don’t agree with what’s going on here,’” Locke said.

According to the complaint, “Hood and the other men stood outside the café and, for over an hour, faced into the café shouting homophobic slurs and phrases, loudly chanting and saluting in a fashion reminiscent of Nazi Germany. The complaint alleges that the men, led by Hood, banged on the café’s glass windows, and made intimidating gestures and comments directed at the performer and those in the café.”

Hood and his NSC-131 followers posted videos and photos of the incident on the group’s social media. Hood and his gang are behind dozens of sometimes violent demonstrations targeting racial minorities and members of the LGBTQ community throughout New England.

Despite the intimidating actions, NSC-131 did not stop the drag event at Teatotaller, according to drag performer Juicy Garland. Garland posted on social media soon after the event, saying the show continued.

“The cafe (and community) there is FANTASTIC, and racist outsiders came in to make it miserable,” Garland wrote on Twitter. “We prevailed and had a great time with the families anyway.”

Amid a surge of antisemitic words and actions in the wake of the Hamas attack on Israel, Formella announced plans last month to step up enforcement against hate groups in the state, adding another attorney and additional staff to the Civil Rights Unit.

According to Formella, the Civil Rights Unit has seen a 465 percent increase in complaints and referrals over the last five years, from 40 to 186. He attributed the rise to various factors, including the increased racial and ethnic diversity, an increase in divisive political rhetoric, and “a rise in tension and conflict around the world.”

Last month, three women were arrested at the Elbit Systems facility in Merrimack after vandalizing the building, breaking windows, and setting off smoke bombs. Members of Palestine Action USA — Calla Walsh, 19, Bridget Shergalis, 27, and Sophie Ross, 22 — were charged with criminal trespass, riot, and sabotage for the incident.

Locke said his unit is working with Merrimack Police and the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office. More charges in the case are possible, including hate crime charges.

“Any and all charges that can be brought will be bought,” Locke said.

When Formella announced the increase in resources in the Civil Rights Unit, which was made at Temple Beth Abraham in Nashua, NHJournal asked if the state’s hate crimes laws gave his office the authority to prosecute Palestine Action USA for any role it may have had in the Elbit attack.

“The answer is yes,” Formella said. “Organizations and entities can be held responsible for the acts of their members.”

Palestine Action USA is being bankrolled by multi-millionaire Communist James “Fergie” Chambers.

At the University of New Hampshire, Locke’s team is in contact with the Durham campus police department as several antisemitic incidents are currently under investigation. However, one incident in which students and faculty called for Jewish genocide is not being investigated.

UNH granted the Pro-Palestinian group Answer Coalition permission to hold a rally on Nov. 9, the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht, or Night of the Broken Glass.

Locke said the UNH Police Department has not asked for his assistance in that matter.

Locke is still trying to secure a win against NSC-131 for a July 2022 incident in which the group hung a banner with the message “Keep New England White” off a Route 1 overpass in Portsmouth. After the case was dismissed in court on free speech grounds, the Attorney General’s Office filed an appeal with the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

Locke said Wednesday he expects NSC-131 to raise the First Amendment in its defense, and he and his team are prepared to make their case.

“We expect the First Amendment is going to be an issue raised, and we certainly expect it to be raised,” Locke said.

Hood and his gang are facing a civil rights case in Massachusetts after the Bay State brought a case last week. The gang allegedly targeted LGBTQ events and immigrants.

Experts who monitor hate groups, like Kristopher Goldsmith’s Task Force Butler, said NSC-131 ought to be treated like a violent, terrorist gang by authorities. The group’s demonstrations feature assaults and escalating violent behavior, Goldsmith has said.

Hood, whose last address was in Newburyport, Mass., started NSC-131 after he was kicked out of the white supremacist group, Patriot Front. He also has reported ties to violent hate groups like The Base.

The Teatotaller case is first being filed with the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights, and Locke said he is asking the commission to refer the complaint to the Superior Court for civil prosecution. He said he hopes the process will be done in the next 20 to 30 days.

Anti-Israel Activists Arrested in Merrimack Tied to Mass. Dems, Disney Channel

One of the three women charged in Monday’s antisemitic vandalism at Elbit Systems in Merrimack is a former teen celebrity who has been the subject of fawning press coverage for years. Another appeared on several Disney Channel TV shows.

Calla Walsh, 19, Bridget Shergalis, 27, and Sophie Ross, 22, are all charged with criminal trespass, riot, and sabotage after they were arrested Monday on the roof of the Elbit facility in Merrimack armed with spray paint and incendiary devices. Walsh and Ross were issued $20,000 cash bail due to previous arrests. Shergalis was given $5,000 bail.

Their stunt at Elbit’s Daniel Webster Highway location is part of a long-standing campaign by Palestine Action US. Elbit Systems of America’s parent company – Israel-based Elbit Systems – is the largest defense contractor for Israel. Palestine Action US says its mission is “dismantling Elbit Systems and the Zionist War Machine.”

Walsh may just be 19 years old, but she has an extensive history of Democratic activism and support for Palestinian violence toward Israel.

Walsh is active in the anti-Israel “Boycott/Divest/Sanction (BDS) movement, which many critics say is antisemitic due to its sole focus on the Jewish State. More problematic is Walsh’s involvement in the so-called “Boston Mapping Project,” which created an interactive map identifying places where Jews tended to congregate as well as the locations of Jewish community organizations in Massachusetts. The map included locations of Jewish daycares and schools.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, the Mapping Project identifies Jewish communal groups as “‘Boston’s Zionist NGO circuit” and accused not only of “supporting the colonization of Palestine” but also of “violence worldwide.”

The New York Times has described Walsh as “representative of an influential new force in Democratic politics,

Calla Walsh

activists who cut their teeth on the presidential campaigns of Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.”

But U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-Mass.) was no fan of her work on the Mapping Project.

“This is just chilling to me. It is tapping into millennia-old antisemitic tropes about nefarious Jewish wealth, control, conspiracy, media connections, and political string-pulling,” Auchincloss, who is Jewish, told the news site Jewish Insider at the time. “To name names and keep lists, which has a very sinister history in Judaism, in terms of how we are targeted, is very irresponsible. [The group] needs to take this down and apologize.”

Walsh is also the founder of Students for Markey, the army of young people who knocked on doors and worked the phones to get progressive Sen. Ed Markey past Joe Kennedy III in the 2020 Massachusetts Democratic Senate primary. Walsh became a semi-celebrity for her Markey activism.

“I just support whoever is the most progressive in the race … I definitely do tend to support the person who’s challenging the incumbent, but Ed, I think, is a special case just because he’s led on so many issues that matter to young people,” Walsh told Dig Boston at the time.

Walsh is credited for being a leader in the “Markeyverse,” the online army of hundreds of teens who used their social media accounts to campaign for the Massachusetts progressive.

Markey’s office did not respond to a request for comment, nor did representatives for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) with whom Walsh campaigned.

Walsh never hid her feelings about Israel and her support for Palestinian violence while she was working on the campaigns of prominent Massachusetts Democrats.

“There is no ‘peaceful solution’ under military occupation. One can’t claim to want to see Palestine liberated if one doesn’t support Palestinians’ actually means of liberation,” Walsh tweeted last year.

Bridget Shergalis

Shergalis had been a working actress with television roles in teen shows like “So Random” on Disney, “See Dad Run” on Nickelodeon, and “Criminal Minds” on CBS. Her social media appears politics-free, and it isn’t clear when she became involved in the anti-Israel BDS movement.

Representatives with A3 Artists Agency in Los Angeles, which represents Shergalis, did not respond to a request for comment.

Ross, unlike Walsh and Shergalis, has a low profile and appears to not have public social media accounts. 

Both Walsh and Ross were ordered held on $20,000 bail Tuesday. The pair had recently been arrested at an Elbit protest in Cambridge, Mass., and were out on bail when they were arrested Monday. Shergalis’ bail is set at $5,000.

Police were called to the Elbit facility around 8 a.m. Monday for reports of people blocking the entrance and smoke coming from the roof. According to a Merrimack Police Department press release, “Officers discovered the front of the building had been spray painted with red paint, windows had been smashed, and at least one of the main lobby doors had been locked shut via a bicycle anti-theft device.” 

The three women reportedly lit “incendiary devices” and took them to the roof, where more damage was found.

Hate on Campus: UNH Professor Compares Hamas to Jewish Victims of Nazi Germany

Jewish students at the University of New Hampshire say they are feeling fearful as the anti-Israel slogan, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” is heard across the campus and swastikas appear on the walls. The chant was also heard at an anti-Israel rally in Manchester on Saturday, along with attacks on Israel as an “apartheid state.”

Thus far, New Hampshire’s elected officials are largely standing with Israel. All four members of the state’s federal delegation have condemned the use of the “from the river to the sea” language, and Gov. Chris Sununu has declared the phrase “nothing short of requesting another Holocaust.”

But New Hampshire’s far-left activists denouncing Israel are getting support from some members of the UNH faculty, including a nationally-known progressive academic who is using her large social media following to attack Israel as an “apartheid state” and to compare Hamas terrorists to the Polish Jews who fought Nazi SS troops during the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

Assistant Physics Professor Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is paid close to $100,000 a year to teach physics and gender studies at UNH. In the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel that claimed the lives of 1,400 people and injured another 3,400, Prescod-Weinstein has kept up a flurry of anti-Israel posts on the X social media site. Her feed, which has more than 115,000 followers, includes denunciations of what she calls Israel’s “setter colonialism” and defenses of antisemitic Rep. Rashid Tlaib (D-Mich.)

“Everyone harassing Rashida Tlaib — who is wildly popular with her constituents — looks like a complete *a**hole* attacking her while her people are facing *genocide*,” Prescod-Weinstein posted on X. “Complete a**hole. Cannot stress this enough.”

Particularly troubling, critics say, is her Nov. 9 tweet in which she appears to compare Hamas terrorists to Polish Jews during World War II.

Describing the current political conversation surrounding Israel’s military response to the Hamas terror attack, Prescod-Weinstein posted, “The people in charge are those who would have condemned the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.”

Prescod-Weinstein did not respond to an email from NHJournal seeking clarification on her tweet. She has tweeted almost nonstop in support of Palestine, and in strong opposition to Israel over recent weeks. NHJournal could find no tweet or written statement from Prescod-Weinstein in which she condemned the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

Asked directly by an X user if she is “saying that condemning Hamas is like condemning the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising?” Prescod-Weinstein responded cryptically: “If that’s what I wanted to say, that’s what I would have said. Instead, I said what I said.”

This isn’t Prescod-Weinstein’s first political controversy.

In the past, she signed a letter opposing a call for more free speech and intellectual diversity on campus. And she argues that human beings should rethink going to Mars over concerns of “colonialism.”

“Can we be trusted to be equitable in our dealings with each other in a Martian context if the U.S. and Canadian governments continue to attack indigenous sovereignty, violate indigenous lands, and engage in genocidal activities against indigenous people?” Prescod-Weinstein asked at a 2018 symposium on “Decolonizing Mars.”

 And according to a January 2020 story by Campus Reform, Prescod-Weinstein wrote posts claiming Black people cannot be anti-semitic. Prescod-Weinstein describes herself as an “agender queer” Black feminist. She grew up in Los Angeles with a Black mother and a White Jewish father.

“Antisemitism in the United States, historically, is a White Christian problem, and if any Black people have developed antisemitic views, it is under the influence of White gentiles,” she wrote. “White Jews adopted whiteness as a social praxis and harmed Black people in the process … Some Black people have problematically blamed Jewishness for it.”

In June, UNH rewarded Prescod-Weinstein with her tenure. A university professor with tenure can only be fired for cause, or under extraordinary circumstances. 

After news of the “river to the sea” chants at UNH, Sununu told NHJournal he hoped “the leadership over at UNH was swift and firm to condemn this language.”

Instead, the university released a statement merely acknowledging the phrase is “hurtful” to many.

“The university is proud of its record of protecting free speech on campus, including speech that may be objectionable,” UNH said in a statement. “The individuals in the video participated in an assembly to speak out on an issue, as is their right. We understand the phrase used in the video has deep and hurtful meaning to many. Neither these individuals nor anyone exercising their free speech rights on campus speak on behalf of the University of New Hampshire.”

Within hours of the pro-Palestinian protest on campus, students reported finding fresh swastika graffiti. Student Mark Rittigers found a swastika drawn on the bathroom tiles in his dorm.

“It’s gross; no one wants to see that in their bathroom,” he said.

The 18-year-old said there is a sense of hostility on campus when it comes to Israel. The pro-Palestine rally was an effort to direct hate at Jewish people and those who support Israel, he said. Rittigers is not Jewish, but he supports Israel’s right to exist and defend itself. Those are not opinions he is always comfortable expressing on campus.

“It feels unsafe,” he said. “There are people who I am sure would get violent over this. There are people who are quite passionate about their beliefs and more than willing to use violence.”

UNH did not respond to NHJournal’s request for comment on the swastikas. 

 

Anti-Israel Dartmouth Protestors Edit Out Threats After Arrest

When two anti-Israel progressive Dartmouth College students were arrested last weekend, they claimed the college administration’s accusations that they had made violent threats were a smear.

In fact, the statement issued by the two students specifically violated the school’s policy on violent threats, as evidenced by the fact they edited the document after their arrest to soften the language.

Early Saturday morning, Dartmouth students Roan Wade and Kevin Engel, who were camping outside of college President Sian Leah Beilock’s residence, were arrested on misdemeanor charges of criminal trespassing. The two are student leaders of the far-left Sunrise Movement. They had issued a document listing a series of demands, including that Dartmouth act against “Israeli apartheid by divesting the College’s endowment from all organizations that are complicit in apartheid and its apparatuses.”

The demands, which they called the “Dartmouth New Deal,” also include paying reparations to Native Americans, going carbon neutral, and cutting ties with the military-industrial complex.

“We are taking action now, but we will escalate. You have until the first day of the winter term to publicly address our demands and outline a plan to meet them. If you fail to do so, we will escalate and take further action,” they wrote.

The threat to “escalate” and “take further action” violated Dartmouth’s rules against threats, and as a result, the Hanover police were called.

“(T)he situation changed when two students … threatened in writing to ‘escalate and take further action,’ including ‘physical action,’ if their demands were not met,’” Beilock wrote.

In an open letter published in The Dartmouth, Wade and Engel denied they made any threats.

“The administration’s accusation that the demonstrators threatened violence is a lie. Beilock cited a decontextualized sentence from the Dartmouth New Deal as justification for the arrests,” they wrote.

However, the Sunrise Movement at Dartmouth’s own document showed it was edited two days after the arrests to soften the objectionable language.

“Sunrise is committed to nonviolent direct action, such as hosting vigils, sit-ins, and rallies. In this context, to escalate and take further action means that the organization will host larger events and mobilize a greater number of people in order to achieve the demands listed in the Dartmouth New Deal. (Edited October 30 at 2:40 p.m.)”

The incident comes as progressives organize anti-Israel marches, often featuring antisemitic rhetoric, on many of America’s most elite college campuses. The protests come in the wake of the Hamas terror attack on Israeli civilians on Oct. 7, in which more than 1,400 people were murdered, and Hamas terrorists took hundreds more hostage.

The Dartmouth New Deal urges the university to embrace the views of the so-called “Palestine Solidarity Coalition, or PSC. The organization, of which Wade is a member, blames all of the Hamas violence targeting Jews on Israel.

“The root cause of this violence is apartheid, the institutionalized system of oppression and domination by one ethnic group over another,” the Coalition wrote. “Israel today is an apartheid state, designed to deny Indigenous Palestinians their democratic representation and civil rights.”

Casey Stockstill

Wade did not respond to a request for comment.

Wade’s position on Israel is similar to Dartmouth Associate Sociology Professor Casey Stockstill, one of hundreds of sociology professors who signed an open letter in response to Hamas’ deadly terror attacks. Stockstill and fellow academics wrote of the need to “contextualize” the murders, kidnappings, and beheadings committed by Hamas terrorists “in the context of 75 years of settler colonial occupation and European empire,” the letter stated.

 

Dartmouth has a history of antisemitism. In the 1940s, as European Jews were fleeing the horrors of the Nazi regime, then-President Ernest Hopkins told the New York Post the school had a policy of turning away Jewish students.

“We cut the quotas more on our Jewish applicants than we do the basis of applications from Anglo-Saxons,” Hopkins said. “I think if you were to let Dartmouth become predominantly Jewish, it would lose its attraction for the Jews … Dartmouth is a Christian college founded for the Christianization of its students.” 

In NH, Dozens Gather To Defend Hamas While Hundreds Rally for Israel

Joy Douglas and two dozen fellow members of New Hampshire’s Party of Socialism and Liberation (PSL) took to the streets of Manchester Wednesday night, chanting in support of Palestine and the “resistance” to Israel.

They were far outnumbered by the 300 or so people who gathered at the State House in Concord to rally on behalf of Israel in the wake of the worst terrorist attack on the Jewish state in its history.

 

 

At least 1,200 people were killed by Hamas terrorists, including entire families. There are confirmed reports of infants being beheaded and Israelis being burned to death. At least 22 Americans were murdered as well. Over 150 people have been taken hostage by Hamas, and the terrorists have threatened to execute the hostages and livestream the video.

“We are heartbroken over the terrorist attacks at the hands of Hamas against innocent Israelis – including beloved children, brothers, sisters, and parents,” Gov. Chris Sununu said in a letter of support. “New Hampshire stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Israel today, and every day, and antisemitism will never be tolerated here.”

Rep. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.), who has long supported the Biden administration’s outreach to Iran and voted against pro-Israel resolutions in the past, announced Wednesday he was calling for the White House to reverse course on the $6 billion in assets released by the U.S.

“We must use every tool available to degrade Hamas’ ability to wage war against Israel. The Biden administration must re-freeze the $6 billion in assets currently held by Qatar and ensure that none can be used to aid and abet these heinous acts of terror.”

Even far-left progressives like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) have decried anti-Israel protests, breaking with her fellow members of “The Squad” like Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.)

It might be a change of heart. Or it might be Democrats addressing the new political realities after Saturday’s attack.

A poll released Wednesday found nearly 7 in 10 voters sided with the Israelis (68 percent), while just 18 percent sided with the Palestinians. That included a majority (59 percent) of Democrats, a significant shift over polling in March that found more Democrats backed the Palestinians than Israel.

Opponents like Douglas and the PSL are undaunted.

“We stand with the struggle of the oppressed against the oppressors,” Douglas said. “The U.N. states clearly that those facing oppression, those who are facing apartheid and genocide, have every right to fight back.”

At the same time, Douglas insisted reports of mass Israeli civilian deaths at the hands of Hamas are untrue. No civilians were murdered in their homes, no hostages were taken by terrorists, and no 300 concertgoers were gunned down by terrorists using paragliders.

“There’s no documented evidence that those people are dead,” Douglas said. 

Douglas claimed the stories were lies propagated by a compliant media controlled by Israel.

PSL members are typically found protesting outside city hall, opposing any measure to curb Manchester’s rampant homeless problem. On Wednesday night, Douglas and the dozen or so other PLS members waved Palestinian flags and signs and chanted, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” It is a phrase used by Hamas and other antisemitic organizations calling for Israel’s destruction.

Some downtown pedestrians joined the chants, and passing drivers honked and shouted support.

The antisemites of the New England-based neo-Nazis at NSC-131 have also spoken out on behalf of Hamas.

NSC-131 posted a memo on its Telegram channel after the attack with a photo of a Nazi and a Hamas terrorist with the hashtags #DeathToIsreal and #OneStruggle.

Douglas said despite sharing a message with NSC-131 in favor of Palestinian terror against Israelis, the PSL group has nothing in common with the neo-Nazis. Instead, Douglas lumped NSC-131 and the Jews into the same group.

“They are fascists and Nazis; they are a fascist group just as the Zionists are a fascist group,” Douglas said.

Fired Cops and ‘Defund the Police’ Activists Sit On NH House Criminal Justice Committee

One is a former cop who is fighting to keep the records surrounding his firing from the force secret.

Another is a progressive who has spoken at “defund the police” rallies urging drastic restrictions on policing.

And another used her social media account to echo antisemite Louis Farrakhan’s language about Jews being “termites.”

What do they all have in common?

They all play a key role in overseeing law enforcement and crime policy in the Granite State as members of the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.

The committee is currently chaired by Rep. Terry Roy (R-Deerfield) who was fired from the Gardner, Mass. police force for lying on his Massachusetts license to carry a firearm application, according to court records.

He serves alongside fellow Republican Rep. Jon Stone (R-Claremont), who is fighting a Superior Court order to unseal the Claremont Police Department internal affairs records that might allow voters to know why he was fired from being a police officer.

Democrats on the committee include Rep. Allisandra Rodríguez-Murray (D-Manchester), who supported the “defund the police” movement and has made problematic statements regarding allegations of antisemitism among her fellow progressives.

 

 

Peterborough Democrat Jonah Wheeler, another new member of the committee, also aggressively promoted the “defund the police” movement speaking at rallies advocating the policy.

Those members of the Criminal Justice committee will weigh in on proposed law changes, like the one to eliminate the physical fitness requirements for police officers, or one allowing convicted felons to own guns, or another legalizing Dimethyltryptamine, a powerful hallucinogenic drug used in some native peoples’ religious ceremonies.

Pat Sullivan, executive director of the New Hampshire Chiefs of Police Association, said he and other advocates in the law enforcement and public safety community, will work with whoever sits on the committee.

“The New Hampshire legislature is the third or fourth-largest legislative body in the world, we get what we get,” Sullivan said.

Neither Stone, Murray, nor Wheeler responded to requests for comment.

According to court records, Roy was fired from the Gardner, Mass. Police Department in 1999 after then-Police Chief James Dufort discovered Roy lied on his original application for his license to carry a firearm. Dufort sent Roy a letter detailing why he was revoking the license.

“I find that you are not a suitable person to be licensed to possess a firearm,” Dufort wrote.

According to a court opinion affirming the revocation, Dufort believed Roy lied on his original application when he claimed he never had a prior criminal conviction, and that he had never used drugs.

“Chief Dufort discovered, however, that Roy’s criminal records indicate that he twice appeared before a juvenile court on delinquency complaints, one for a false alarm and another for larceny. In addition, while serving in the United States Army in 1990, Roy admitted to possession and use of cocaine,” Judge Timothy Hillman wrote.

Roy would keep fighting his termination in court, which he said was payback from some in Gardner City Hall after he arrested a city councilor for drunk driving. He eventually reached a settlement with the city, had his personnel record cleared, and had his termination changed to a resignation. Even though Roy would get his firearms license back and go on to work as an investigator for the state of Massachusetts, his time in Gardner continues to be used by political enemies.

“Because they know, that no matter how small the position, whether it pays, is volunteer, or as in this case, actually costs the person money to do; the other party will attempt to drag them and their families through any mud they can find, regardless how old or how untrue,” Roy said. “I was a much younger and healthier man a quarter century ago when I originally fought and won this in the press and the courts. It would be nice to be able to stop at some point.”

Stone, like Roy, became politically active after his career in New Hampshire law enforcement ended with termination. He is currently a member of the Claremont City Council and won a close vote in November to take the seat in the state House.

In 2006, Stone was fired from the Claremont Police Department for reasons that have never been made public. This reporter made a 2020 Right to Know request seeking Stone’s internal affairs records, and Stone has been attempting to keep the investigations into his actions as a police officer, and the possible reasoning for his firing from the department, hidden from the public since.

Last month, Sullivan Superior Court Judge Martin Honigberg ordered Stone’s records released, but stayed that order to give Stone time to appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

House Majority Leader Jason Osborne (R-Auburn) dismissed concerns about Roy and Stone’s past.

“I can’t imagine why I would concern myself with the distant past HR file of a legislative colleague,” Osborne said.

Rodríguez-Murray and Wheeler have both been vocal in their support for defunding police. They are also part of the progressive Rights and Democracy organization that targeted former Rep. Nicole Klein Knight (D-Manchester) after she complained about Rep. Maria Perez’s anti-Semitic statements.

Wheeler was following Klein Knight out of a committee meeting when she got into a verbal exchange with him, during which she used the n-word several times. She later claimed she was using the word as an example of offensive, and not pejoratively directed at Wheeler, who is African American.

During the ensuing fallout, Rodríguez-Murray decried Klein Knight’s lack of an apology two weeks after the incident and employed an anti-Semitic trope.

“Two weeks without an apology from @RepNicoleK and I’m done expecting one. we kicked the termite nest and uncovered racism permeating further into the party than we could’ve anticipated, and I for one am done wasting my energy on so-called allies,” she wrote on Twitter.

The “termite nest” reference echoes a highly-publicized statement by notorious antisemite Louis Farrakhan who declared, “I am not an antisemite. I am anti-termite.”

Klein Knight herself had been a member of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee until the incident with Wheeler.

House Minority Leader Rep. Matt Wilhelm (D-Manchester) did not respond to a request for comment.

Sullivan said he and the police chiefs who go before the committee work hard to connect with all the members and educate them about the realities of police work. Ultimately, it is the voters who decide who gets to go to Concord he said.

“These are elected folks and their constituents elected them,” he said.

Disavowed FBI Memo Targeting Traditional Catholics Names NH-Based Group

Does attending Latin Mass make you more likely to support white supremacist violence?

That was the premise of a leaked FBI memo naming “Radical-Traditionalist Catholics” (RTCs) as a potential threat and outlining opportunities for agents to recruit assets within the Catholic Church.

The memo, which was disavowed by the FBI just days after it was leaked, singled out a New Hampshire-based community as a specific concern.

“The writer makes an unsubstantiated leap that a preference for the Catholic Mass in Latin instead of the vernacular and a number of more traditional views on other world religions can amount to an ‘adherence to anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ and white supremacist ideology,’” wrote former FBI agent Kyle Seraphin, who leaked the memo.

“Products like this can be used to support the opening of information-only cases, and there is no reason to expect Radical-Traditionalist Catholics are the end point of this train track – they will be the beginning. Opening the door to associating white supremacists with traditional religious practices based on common Christian positions on abortion and the LGBTQ political agendas is a dangerous step,” Seraphin added.

The memo lists several groups accused of harboring extreme views, including the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary based in Richmond, N.H. They are a splinter group from the original Slaves organization founded by the Rev. Leonard Feeney in the 1950s. Feeney held antisemitic beliefs and was for a time excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.

The leader of the Slaves, Louis Villarubia, who goes by Brother Andre Marie, has been accused of making antisemitic comments in the past. And the order’s strict adherence to the Catholic teaching of “no salvation outside the Church” is a violation of accepted Catholic doctrine. As a result, the group has been barred from calling themselves Catholic by Manchester Diocese Bishop Peter Libasci.

But Villarubia says simply holding unorthodox or unpopular beliefs is no reason to be targeted by the federal government.

“As a citizen of one of these United States—the great state of New Hampshire—I am appalled and outraged that some in America’s most powerful federal agency now propose to surveil peaceful, law-abiding Americans because of their traditional religious beliefs, the same beliefs which for Catholics, until a few generations ago, were held always and everywhere, by everyone,” Villarubbia said in a statement.

William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, said even if there are people with extreme views in the traditionalist community, they do not give up their First Amendment rights by virtue of being outliers.

“Some of these people may be kooky, but they are not exactly Antifa, about which the FBI has done little. So why the probe?” Donohue said.

Seraphin and Donohue see the memo as part of a larger anti-religion, anti-Catholic, anti-pro-life bias inside the federal government. Critics point to the recent case of Catholic father and pro-life activist Mark Houck who was charged with federal felonies for a scuffle outside a Philadelphia abortion clinic. Even though local prosecutors refused to charge Houck, the Biden Department of Justice sent an armed SWAT team to his home to arrest him and charge him with federal crimes. Houck, who had no criminal history, faced up to 11 years in prison.

It took the jury less than an hour to acquit him of all charges.

And if the civil rights of Catholics are under fire in New Hampshire, they can’t count on help from the state’s ACLU. Gilles Bissonnette, legal director at the NH ACLU, did not respond to a request for comment. The organization has been silent on the FBI’s proposal to infiltrate a religious Christian community. 

It is the same NH ACLU that was part of the lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s executive order imposing a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

A group of Republican attorneys general is pushing back, signing on to a letter written by Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares to FBI Director Christopher Wray and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland calling out anti-Catholic bigotry.

“Anti-Catholic bigotry appears to be festering in the FBI, and the Bureau is treating Catholics as potential terrorists because of their beliefs,” Miyares wrote.