Union Activist At The Center Of Bernie Sanders Starbucks Hearing Has History Of Anti-Israel Views: REPORT
Kate Anderson on March 29, 2023
Jaz Brisack, the lead organizer of the Starbucks Workers United (SWU) at the heart of an upcoming Senate hearing, was recently the subject of a new report that found a history of anti-Israel rhetoric.
SWU is at the center of the Health, Education Labor and Pension committee hearing Wednesday initiated by independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who will be questioning Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz about whether or not he retaliated against Brisack and other union workers by firing them instead of meeting their demands to form a workers union, according to a press release. The Tuesday report from the Center for Union Facts released Tuesday found that Brisack’s social media and history were full of anti-Israel rhetoric and activism.
The report found several tweets from 2019 where Brisack accused Israel of being an apartheid state and committing human rights abuses against Palestinians.
“Kyrsten Sinema joined Republicans (and Manchin and Menendez) in voting to criminalize BDS, the movement to put pressure on apartheid Israel for violating human rights in Palestine,” Brisack wrote in a Twitter post on Jan. 10, 2019. “This is what we should be talking about, not Mike Pence’s facial expression at her swearing-in.”
A few months later, Brisack retweeted a post from Rashida Tlaib saying that Israel was “unjustly oppress[ing] & target[ing] Palestinian children and families.”
“STOP BLAMING THE VICTIM,” Brisack wrote in response. “Palestinians have the right to resist. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
Brisack also wrote a letter to the editor for The Daily Mississippian in 2017 criticizing the student newspaper for publishing an article calling Rasmea Odeh, who is Palestinian, a terrorist. Odeh was convicted of being involved in two bombings in Israel that killed two students and for her close association with the Popular Front for Liberation in Palestine (PFLP), which was designated as a terrorist group by the U.S. in 1997, according to the report.
In her letter, Brisack argued that Odeh had been “targeted in an attempt to undermine her advocacy for Palestinian liberation” and argued that her conviction in the bombings was due to false confessions.
“She has called attention to the fact that Israel, guilty of the crime of apartheid, illegally occupies Palestinian land and subjects the Arab population to countless indignities,” Brisack wrote. “When we stand up for Rasmea Odeh, we contribute to the fight for justice. Her present plight presents us with a choice: shall we stand with the oppressed or be the oppressor?”
While Brisack is not slated to testify in Wednesday’s hearing, Sanders has repeatedly voiced his support for the union that she organized and condemned Starbucks for its “illegal anti-union activities,” according to the press release.
Sanders, Brisack, SWU and Schultz did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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