Watching local Vermont Jewish organizations react to the crisis in Gaza and pro-Palestinian protests in Burlington with victimization, dehumanizing language, and even the outright rejection of anti-Zionist Jews as members of the broader Vermont Jewish community, has affirmed to me, an anti-Zionist trans woman and Jewish Vermonter, that Zionism has completely hollowed out generations of Jewish values, even in Vermont.

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A dozen protesters have disrupted a fundraising event for Vermont U.S. Representative Becca Balint in Burlington. The action, organized by Jewish Voice for Peace of Vermont and New Hampshire, is part of an international day of action calling for a ceasefire to end the bombing, siege, and invasion of Gaza by Israeli forces.

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As Israel continues its ongoing siege and bombing of Palestinians in Gaza, and the death toll passes a grim 10,000, Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders continues to refuse to call for a ceasefire. To many inspired by Sanders’ 2016 and 2020 presidential bids, it has been a legacy-tarnishing moment for someone who stood as the key figurehead of a growing left movement in the United States.

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