By Michael Bielawski
The group Champlain Valley Democrat Socialists of America has reposted a social media post on X (formerly Twitter) from their national counterparts stating that they blame “Israel’s apartheid regime” for the violent terror attacks that killed more than 600 Israelis over the weekend.
The original post by the national organization for the Democrat Socialists of America account states, “DSA is steadfast in expressing our solidarity with Palestine. Today’s events are a direct result of Israel’s apartheid regime—a regime that receives billions in funding from the United States. End the violence. End the Occupation. Free Palestine.”
The message continues over four additional posts. It continues, “This was not unprovoked. For over 60 years, Palestinians have faced ethnic cleansing, torture, bombings, and housing demolitions. Gaza is still under a blockade.”
Both a prominent Burlington Democrat Ed Adrian and Vermont GOP chair Paul Dame want three progressive lawmakers – Sen. Tanya Vyhovsky and Reps. Kate Logan and Brian Cina – to denounce the views of the group that endorsed them in the last election.
The legislative members that Dame and Adrian allude to are Rep. Brian Cina, P/D-Burlington, Rep. Kate Logan, P/D Burlington, and Sen. Tanya Vyhovsky, P/D Chittenden Central. All were endorsed by the Champlain Valley DSA during their elections.
“I don’t often agree with the VT Republican Party, but when you’re right, you’re right,” Adrian said. “It’s time for those aligned with DSA to choose what is right.”
Dame thinks likewise: ”A Vermont chapter of a national Socialist organization has issued a statement of support for those who have led this greusome attack on Israel. But even more alarming is the fact that this local organization has endorsed at least three sitting Vermont legislators in the Democratic Primary.”
“The images and video coming from Israel has been disturbing. It is repulsive to think that the Champlain Valley DSA has become so insensitive and short sighted to use this weekend to push a policy point and repeat the talking points of the terrorists who have committed these acts.”
In a phone interview with VDC he added, “That to me means we have people in Vermont taking the opportunity of a terrorist attack on Isreal to talk about their support for Palestine,” Dame said. “And I think Vermonters deserve to know whether our elected officials who were endorsed by the Champlain Valley DSA also support those statements and do they support the terrorist attacks against Israel?”
Other voices are also calling for clarification on the social media repost.
VDC emailed Vyhovsky and Cina and didn’t receive any comment back as of presstime Monday afternoon. Their social media accounts contain no mention of this weekend’s events.
Cina is the main bill sponsor of the law that made today Vermont Indigenous People’s Day, rather than the formerly Columbus Day. Progressives generally regard Israel as a European, imperialistic power oppressing ‘indigenous’ Palestinians.
Champlain Valley DSA is not the only Vermont-based advocacy group to support Hamas.
Vermonters for Justice in Palestine – longtime supporters of the Boycott/Divest/Sanction movement that tried and failed to secure Burlington City Council support last year – this weekend published several comments by Jewish authors critical of Israel’s Palestian policy and also included this statement by the Adalah Action Network: “As the Israeli regime declares war on the Palestinians and we brace for what’s to come – it is vital to remember that Israel has been carrying out unspeakable atrocities against the Palestinian people for over 70 years and has entrapped over 2 million Palestinians in Gaza with a suffocating siege for 17 years. No cage goes unchallenged….We call on people of conscience around the world to take a stand and publicly declare their support for the Palestinian people.”
VTJP is scheduled to hold its monthly meeting tonight.
Both Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Becca Balint issued statements deploring the Hamas violence.