Starbucks Union Championed by Bernie Sanders and AOC Celebrates Hamas Attacks

'Freeing Palestine was never going to be flowers and baby animals'

Jaz Brisack (R) and fellow Starbucks employees August 31, 2021. (Facebook)
October 9, 2023

A labor union championed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), and other liberals expressed solidarity with Hamas terrorists after the worst domestic terrorist attack in Israel's history.

Starbucks Workers United, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), expressed "Solidarity with Palestine!" in deleted social media posts. Union chapters in Iowa, Chicago, and Boston promoted rallies in support of the Palestinian attacks, including a "Long Live Palestinian Resistance" rally to be held in Boston on Monday. Hamas slaughtered hundreds of Jews in an invasion into southern Israel over the weekend. More than 700 Israeli civilians have been killed, as have 9 American citizens.

The Starbucks union, which represents 9,000 baristas, joins other American liberal groups in siding with Palestinians over their Israeli targets. The Democratic Socialists of America, which counts six House Democrats as members, held rallies in several American cities to call for support for Palestinians. A Harvard University dean and dozens of student groups at the Ivy League school blamed Israel for provoking the Hamas attack.

Starbucks Workers United has landed support in the past from Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders, and Sen. John Fetterman (D., Pa.). Ocasio-Cortez cheered the union after it voted in 2021 to organize the first store in Buffalo. Sanders called the union a "tremendous inspiration" after it formed that year. Fetterman said in July he would "continue to stand" with the union.

The union's rhetoric is perhaps no surprise. Jaz Brisack, an original organizer of the union, has praised Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh as a "freedom fighter," the Washington Free Beacon reported. She has stated, "From the river to the sea, Palestine shall be free," a chant widely seen as a call for genocide against the Jewish state.

Brisack on Sunday tweeted support for the attacks, writing, "There's no 'two sides' to apartheid. Free Palestine."

Anti-Israel activists and lawmakers such as Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) frequently accuse Israel of "apartheid" to denigrate the Jewish state.

Individual union members also took to Twitter to endorse Hamas's attacks. One user, who goes by the name "Kyle - Starbucks Workers United," seemed to endorse terrorist violence hours after Hamas launched its invasion.

"Freeing Palestine was never going to be flowers and baby animals," he wrote. "What the fuck did you expect?"

Critics are calling on the SEIU to condemn its affiliate group's celebration of Hamas's attacks.

"As an affiliated union, the SEIU can't take credit for Workers United's organizing wins and then turn a blind eye when the union posts in defense of violent terrorist attacks," Charlyce Bozzello, communications director at the Center for Union Facts, told the Free Beacon.

"The SEIU and its president, Mary Kay Henry, need to condemn these alarming statements from Workers United and its leadership," Bozzello added.

Starbucks Workers United and SEIU did not respond to requests for comment. The union deleted its post expressing support for "Gaza resistance" fighters. The social media accounts for stores in Iowa City, Iowa, promoted a "Palestine Resists Occupation" rally at the Israeli consulate in Chicago.

The Boston chapter of the union said Monday that it stands "in solidarity with the people of Palestine and condemn[s] the [Israel Defense Forces] for senselessly and viciously bombing, murdering, and injuring innocent Palestinians."

Hours after the tweet, Hamas spokesman Abu Obaida said the terrorist group will respond to every Israeli military response in Gaza with a televised "execution of an Israeli captive."