Voices

A war of words over words about war

We want and need local voices about this blood-soaked conflict in this too-small world. How can we keep an honest conversation safe and productive?


Editorials represent the collective voice of The Commons and are written by any or all of the editors or, occasionally, by members of the Vermont Independent Media board of directors. We present our point of view not to have the last word, but the first: We heartily encourage letters from readers, and we love spirited dialogue even if - especially if - you disagree with us.

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Judaism and Zionism are not synonymous

Many of us have grown up being taught that supporting Israel is a core part of our identity as Jews. But what happens when unspeakable horror is part of the equation?

Jewish Voice for Peace's Vermont/New Hampshire chapter submitted this piece. Those signing this contribution: Robin Morgan, Ali Jacobs, Matt Dricker, Naomi Ullian, Leo Moskowitz, Rebecca Speisman, Abby Mnookin, Ruth Shafer, Alex Fischer, Jane Katz Field, John Field, and Maya Shulman-Ment. BRATTLEBORO-As Jews who have a deep belief in justice...

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Twisting the oppressor/victim narrative

In every war with Hamas, news media becomes the Hamas mouthpiece, using Hamas’s images and skewed statistics in a propaganda war on Israel

Rhonda Wainshilbaum is an artisan and a civic volunteer, living and working in Massachusetts, just over the Vermont line. LEYDEN, MASS.-Jews used to be called "Christ-killers." The notion that all Jews collectively bared the responsibility for the death God's son stained Jews with lasting, incomparable guilt. Some used it...

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I believed we had really turned a corner

Nancy Braus, until recently an independent bookseller, is a longtime activist who contributes often to these pages. GUILFORD-It is becoming very, very clear that the Supreme Court has no hidden agenda. The Federalist Society, Leonard Leo, and the rest of the criminal enterprise that has bought and paid for the majority of the "justices" on the Supreme Court aren't even being coy any more. They are coming after women. Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v.

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‘There’s only us. There is no them.’

Ken Burns, who lives and works just over the Connecticut River in Walpole, New Hampshire, has been making award-winning documentary films and miniseries for almost a half century. On May 19, Burns gave this commencement address at Brandeis University, where he received an honorary degree (doctor of creative arts). We not only found his words extraordinarily thought provoking but also appreciated his advice to college graduates - and, for that matter, the rest of us. We present it to readers...

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Public education should put public front and center

Margaret MacLean has been an educator for 50 years, working as a teacher, school principal, and consultant  in Vermont, the United States, and internationally. PEACHAM-Over the past 14 years, Vermont has enacted three sweeping school district consolidation laws: Act 153, Act 156, and Act 46. One of the goals of Act 46, the most recent legislation, was to provide education "at a cost that parents, voters and taxpayers value." Are consolidated districts delivering on this promise? A big-picture look says...

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Stop supporting Netanyahu with U.S. cash, arms, and intel

BRATTLEBORO-As the U.S. continues to enable death, destruction, and famine in Gaza, Yemen, and the West Bank, as President Biden speaks of restraint to Israel's Netanyahu but continues to break U.S. laws and fuel the horror with American arms and military intelligence, we must continue to raise our voices in protest. The increasingly louder chorus from Americans and much of Congress for an end to U.S. participation, the rising tide of countries recognizing Palestine as a state, recurring Israeli protests...

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Reelection campaign event on June 6

BRATTLEBORO-Join me for my re-election campaign launch! June 6 at 4:30 p.m. at the Kiwanis (Picnic) Shelter at the top of Memorial Park. I'm running for reelection as your state representative for Windham-7 (West Brattleboro) and I'm excited to invite you to an afternoon of music, food, and community conversation! I'm running for office again because this is a crucial moment in the fight for a fair Vermont, and I'm committed to doing what needs to be done to build...

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