NEW BRUNSWICK —  A congressman from New Jersey wants Rutgers University to uninvite a trio of speakers he says are antisemitic, anti-Israel, and hate-filled" from speaking on campus Thursday.

The guests are scheduled to appear at a Rutgers-sponsored event called “Race, Liberation, and Palestine: A Conversation with Noura Erakat, Nick Estes, and Marc Lamont Hill" at 4:30 p.m. on the Cook/Douglass campus.

Making Jewish students feel unsafe

U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J. 5th District, asked Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway to not allow their appearance as will “promote hate speech and exacerbate the potential for violence and attacks toward Rutgers’ Jewish students.”

"Students deserve to feel safe on their campuses, and allowing these speakers to present their antisemitic, anti-Israel views will promote hate speech and exacerbate the potential for violence and attacks toward Rutgers’ Jewish students," Gottheimer wrote in his letter. "While differing views are a critical part of building cultural understanding, they cannot provide a bully pulpit for those who seek to divide others and spew hate. The First Amendment does not give students the right to bully, intimidate, and instill fear onto other students."

Rutgers has 7,000 Jewish undergraduates and graduate students, the largest Jewish undergraduate population in the United States, according to Hillel International, the largest Jewish college campus organization in the world.

Who are the speakers at Rutgers?

Erakat is a human rights attorney and an Associate Professor at Rutgers University, New Brunswick in the Department of Africana Studies and the Program in Criminal Justice. Estes is an enrolled member of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe while Lamont is a former CNN host who used the phrase “from the river to the sea" in a speech before the United Nations about Palestine. Many consider the phrase a call for the elimination of Jewish people.

Nick Estes, Noura Erakat, Marc Lamont
Nick Estes, Noura Erakat, Marc Lamont (Rutgers University)

Rutgers responds

Spokeswoman Dory Devlin acknowledged receipt of the letter and said the school would respond directly to Gottheimer. She did not disclose the school's response.

Marvin and Eva Schlanger, a couple that graduated from Rutgers and have donated $130,000 through their foundation stopped financial donations to the university because of “continued silence” about an increase in anti-Semitic and volatile behaviors and activities on campus.

"Rutgers stands against hate in all its forms, including antisemitism and Islamophobia. It is our aim to ensure that Rutgers is a safe place where students and others enjoy the right to voice their opinions without fear of retribution and where every member of our community is free from intimidation," the school said at the time.

Glossary of NJ winter weather words and phrases

Gallery Credit: Dan Zarrow

9 NJ counties with highest home values

Gallery Credit: Jeff Deminski/Townsquare Media

Biggest NJ company layoff notices in 2022 and 2023

In some cases, workers may be offered back their jobs or transfers to different locations. 

Here’s a look at more than a dozen of the biggest announcements within two years.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

More From WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM