Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Senate blocks Sanders' attempt to investigate Israel use of U.S. military aid in Gaza

A man in a suit gestures toward another person
Jose Luis Magana
Associated Press File
Sen. Bernie Sanders, pictured here on June 8, 2023, proposed a resolution Tuesday that would have forced the State Department to review whether Israel is using U.S. military aid to violate human rights in Gaza. The Senate rejected the resolution 72 to 11.

The United States Senate on Tuesday blocked an effort by Sen. Bernie Sanders that would have forced the State Department to review whether Israel is using U.S. military aid to violate human rights in Gaza.

A group of 11 senators, including Sen. Peter Welch, supported Sanders' resolution, which was rejected 72 to 11.

Sanders spoke on the Senate floor before the vote, flanked by large photographs showing crowds of Palestinian children.

"Whether we like it or not, the United States is complicit in the nightmare that millions of Palestinians are now experiencing," Sanders said.

In the months since Hamas' Oct. 7 attack on Israel, in which they killed 1,200 people and took more than 200 hostage, according to Israeli authorities, Israeli forces have killed more than 24,000 Palestinians,according to Gaza's health ministry.

Over 60,000 Palestinians have also been injured in what Sanders called the most intensive bombing campaign of the 21st century.

Vermonters protest at local weapons manufacturer

About 50 protesters gathered in Vergennes on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to block parking lot entrances at Collins Aerospace, a subsidiary of RTX (formerly known as Raytheon Technologies), an aerospace and defense corporation that – among other things – manufactures weapons.

Protesters demanded that the U.S. government call for a permanent cease-fire, end military contracts with RTX, and stop arming the Israeli military.

Protesters waved Palestinian flags and carried banners with messages like “stop arming genocide,” while organizers used megaphones to invoke the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The protest was timed to coincide with the afternoon shift change, preventing employees from entering the Vergennes facility.

RTX did not respond to Vermont Public’s request for comment.

Ben & Jerry's board calls for a ceasefire

Meanwhile, Ben and Jerry’s independent board has called for a permanent cease-fire in Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.

Anuradha Mittal, the company’s board chair, told the Financial Times: “Peace is a core value of Ben and Jerry’s... From Iraq to Ukraine [the company] has consistently stood up for these principles. Today is no different as we call for peace and a permanent and immediate ceasefire.”

Ben & Jerry’s announced in 2021 that it would end its sales of ice cream in occupied Palestinian territories because it was “inconsistent with [their] values.” In an op-ed for the New York Times, the Ben & Jerry’s founders said while they remained supporters of the state of Israel, they opposed its policy “which perpetuates an illegal occupation that is a barrier to peace and violates the basic human rights of the Palestinian people who live under the occupation.”

Unilever, Ben & Jerry’s parent company, sold the ice cream business in Israel and the West Bank to a local licensee in 2022, according to reporting from the New York Times. Ben & Jerry’s board sued and eventually settled the dispute with Unilever at the end of 2022, the Guardian reported.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message.

Elodie is a reporter and producer for Vermont Public. She previously worked as a multimedia journalist at the Concord Monitor, the St. Albans Messenger and the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, and she's freelanced for The Atlantic, the Christian Science Monitor, the Berkshire Eagle and the Bennington Banner. In 2019, she earned her MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Southern New Hampshire University.
Latest Stories