Steven K-Brooks

A soulless recitation of the party line

BRATTLEBORO-At a Jan. 25 dialogue at Georgetown University between an Israeli woman, Robi Damelin, and a Palestinian man, Mohamed Abu Jafar, who both lost family members in the ongoing Mideast conflict, Damelin spoke of how surprised she was by her own spontaneous reaction upon hearing that her son was killed by a Palestinian sniper.

"One of the first things that I said is, 'You cannot kill anybody in the name of my child,'" she said. "I've no idea where that came from. But I knew that I was going to do something to prevent other mothers [...] from experiencing this pain."

Damelin's reaction has astounding impact. It comes from the heart.

What a contrast with the Jewish Voices for Peace article, which sounds like a committee-generated, official communique - a soulless recitation of the party line.

Read More

Absurd assurance

BRATTLEBORO-Thomas Hill tells us that, "like Hamas, the African National Congress (ANC) and Mandela were labeled as terrorists," and assures us that Hamas will lead the Israelis and Palestinians to a peaceful transition. The absurdity of that speaks for itself. Steven K-Brooks Brattleboro This letter to the editor was...

Read More

'Peace' activist got personal

BRATTLEBORO-This afternoon at the Co-op, when I greeted a fellow with whom, for years, I have enjoyed mutually friendly encounters, I got ambushed. Without prelude or preliminaries, he accused me of hating Palestinians. Blind-sided, confused, offended, I wanted an explanation. "I read what you wrote in the paper," he...

Read More


Jewish Voices for Peace parrots Hamas

The news report of the Oct. 7, 2023 attacks posted to the Jewish Voice for Peace website is basically regurgitated Hamas party line. There is no horror, no outrage at the Hamas atrocities of that day. Instead, an anemic recital of general concern in the style of an official position drafted by a committee, followed by a standard-issue justification for Hamas's crimes, normalizing those atrocities and blaming Israel as entirely responsible for the Hamas attack. "Right now, Palestinians, Israelis, and...

Read More

Opinions decry atrocities by one side while encouraging them on the other. How helpful is that?

At first I thought I would refrain from debate sparked by the atrocities of Oct. 7. I felt appalled that, from the safety of Vermont, warmed-over "party-line" polemics are being thrown around, which is of no benefit to Palestinians or Israelis whose survival is at risk. But finally, driven by the increasing normalization of antisemitism and acceptance of Hamas as "freedom fighters" (even by some politically active Jews), I had to speak out. Is anti-Zionism antisemitism? Can any informed person...

Read More

Hate speech against Jews is OK?

Steven K-Brooks, now retired from active real estate brokerage, writes on his website, Contact him at [email protected]. Questioned at a Congressional hearing, the president of the University of Pennsylvania would not say that calling for the genocide of Jews violates the university's anti-bullying or harassment code of conduct. She said such speech is "context-dependent" and only violates University rules if it "turns into conduct." The presidents of Harvard and MIT gave similar testimony at the Dec. 5 hearing. By...

Read More

Reporting ‘fully and fairly’

Virginia Ray's front-page news story exemplifies covering a controversy without falling into ho-hum “neutrality,” but reporting the story fully and fairly so that the facts can speak for themselves. The non-transparency of a Selectboard, which declines to publicly discuss or explain important decisions, is an insult to the letter and spirit of Open Meeting. Thank you, Commons, for such world-class journalism.

Read More

Impeccable brilliance

Mindy Haskins Rogers' piece is impeccable journalism, brilliantly written.

Read More