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August 01, 2014

Updated: United Steel Workers 8751 – A Bus Drivers Union That Supports People Who Blow Up Buses

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Steve Kirschbaum, founder and Chair of the Grievance Committee Stevan Kirschbaum of United Steel Workers 8751, marches at the front of a parade in downtown Boston in celebration of Al Quds Day on July 25, 2014. Al Quds Day is a celebration inaugurated by Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran in 1979, (the year of the Iranian Hostage Crisis), to show disdain and contempt for the Jewish state. Al Quds Day celebrations are typically a scene of anti-Israel, antisemitic, and anti-American incitement.(Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

Update, Aug. 11, 2014: Kirschbaum is not president of USW 8751, but its founder and Chair of its Grievance Committee. The text of this entry has been changed to reflect that fact. See note below.

Why are the founder and vice president of the union that represents Boston's school bus drivers siding with terrorists who blow up buses?

For the past year or so, United Steel Workers 8751, which represents the bus drivers who bring children to public schools in the city of Boston, has been in an ugly contract dispute. It’s fighting with a company called Veolia, which runs the school buses for Boston Public Schools.

In an effort to gain support in its fight with Veolia, which also runs bus lines in Israel, USW 8751 leaders have allied themselves with anti-Zionists in Boston. This is particularly true with USW 8751 founder Steven Kirschbaum and the local's second-in-command, vice president Steven Gillis.

In March USW leaders picketed in support of Students for Justice in Palestine at Northeastern University in March after it was briefly suspended from operating at the school.

SJP was briefly suspended at Northeastern “after years of anti-Semitic vandalism, glorification of terrorist groups, calls for the destruction of Israel, and other actions by NU SJP’s leadership, all of which have created a hostile learning environment for Jewish pro-Israel students on campus,” Ilya Feoktistov reported at Frontpage Magazine in March 2014. The report continues:

NU SJP emerged as a belligerent presence at Northeastern when its members crashed a Holocaust Awareness Week event in 2011 by whipping out anti-Israel signs and yelling insults at the audience and speakers before storming out.

For a detailed analysis of SJP’s activities at Northeastern, go here.

Kirschbaum and Gillis’ involvement with anti-Zionism in Boston does not stop with its support for SJP. It was also a major player in the Al Quds Day Celebration that took place at Copley Square on July 25, 2014. During this rally, protesters chanted "Intifada! Intifada! Long Live the Intifada!" Here is a photograph of the aftermath of an attack that took place during the Second Intifada:


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In sum, the Al Quds Rally was an anti-Israel hate fest with protesters carrying signs demonizing Israel with false accusations of genocide and comparisons of Zionism with Nazism, the type of rhetoric Palestinian terrorists have used to justify bus bombings like the one above. Kirschbaum and Gillis were prominent participants in this rally. (For information about this rally, go here.)

Kirschbaum provided advice to Al Quds Day organizers and Gillis carried a loudspeaker during the march, during which protesters called for Israel’s destruction. Here are some photos documenting Kirschbaum and Gillis’ involvement with the Al Quds Day celebration:


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Steve Kirschbaum, founder of United Steel Workers 8751, gives advice to an organizer of the Al Quds rally that took place in downtown Boston on July 25, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)


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Steve Kirschbaum, founder and chair of the Grievance Committee of United Steel Workers 8751, speaks with local vice president Steve Gillis at the Al Quds rally that took place in downtown Boston on July 25, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)


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Steve Gillis, vice president of United Steel Workers 8751, assists with the sound at the Al Quds rally that took place in downtown Boston on July 25, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)


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Steve Kirschbaum, founder of United Steel Workers 8751, walking with the crowd at the Al Quds rally that took place in downtown Boston on July 25, 2014. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

Conclusion
How can the leadership of USW 8751 participate in an Al Quds Day Celebration in good conscience? The event was inaugurated by Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran in 1979. Celebrations of Al Quds Days have been the scene of anti-Israel, antisemitic and anti-American incitement throughout the world.

For example, Islamists have called for the murder of Jews at Al Quds Day rallies in Toronto. Things weren’t so bad here, but hate was clearly on display in Boston.

Why is USW 8751 helping to establish the celebration of such an event in Boston, which has suffered so much at the hands of Muslim extremists? Why is the leadership of USW 8751 allying itself with haters like this?

It’s one thing for a union to be in conflict with the company its members work for.

It’s another thing altogether for a labor organization to provide moral and institutional support to protesters who broadcast anti-Zionist and antisemitic hate in the streets of Boston.

Note, CAMERA received the following message on Aug. 11, 2014:

Dear editor - This week, an Aug. 1, 2014 article on your website incorrectly concluding that the USW provided “moral and institutional support to protesters who broadcast anti-Zionist and antisemitic hate in the streets of Boston” (http://blog.camera.org/archives/2014/08/united_steel_workers_8751_help.html) was brought to our attention. The USW would like to clarify immediately that our union, which represents about 850,000 workers of diverse backgrounds in a variety of industries throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, does not support any of the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic or anti-American organizations associated with the Al Quds Day event. Further, Steve Kirschbaum is not the president of USW Local 8751, and although Steven Gillis is the local vice-president, any members of USW Local 8751 who participated in that event were doing so solely on their own behalf and in no capacity representing our union or its international leadership. We respectfully ask that the article linked above be removed entirely or amended to reflect that reality. John Shinn, Director - USW District 4

Response: In preparing subsequent articles about Gillis and Kirschbaum's involvment with the Al Quds Day Celebration, the author of this post made numerous efforts to contact USW 8751's office in Roslindale, Mass. and the USW's subdistrict office in Milford, Mass. John Shinn's response is the first contact anyone from the USW has made with CAMERA.

Posted by dvz at August 1, 2014 05:09 PM

Comments

Eating Oneself (and everybody else) up Alive.

So, let's go down the list:

1. A bus drivers union supports Hamas that blows up busses filled with men, women, and children.

2. Some homosexual Christians support Hamas who promise to execute homosexuals and persecute Christians.

3. Progressive Christian women support Hamas who supports female genital mutilation, polygamy, honor killings and rape.

4. Some Jews support Hamas whose charter calls for their obliteration .

5. Some Pacifists support Hamas who calls for total jihad against Israel and the West.

Add your own.

If this weren't so shockingly perverse I could say, shall say, that the leftover Lefties have gone camp on us and are dramatizing their own Gilbert and Sullivan Opera entitled, "The Unsinkable Hamas Titanic." The iceberg striking the ship isn't the West, much less Israel, it's sanity.

I just wish they'd keep their self hatred to themselves .

Am Yisrael Chai.

Posted by: Jill Schaeffer at August 1, 2014 08:45 PM

It is not hypocritical for left-wing fascist Communists to collaborate with right-wing fascist Islamists. Hell calls to Hell.

Paul Cerar
Toronto, Canada

Posted by: Paul Cerar at August 3, 2014 08:25 AM

Firstly - this is not a moderate blog (e.g. 'the leftover Lefties have gone camp on us'). Maybe that's why all of the inconsistencies in thinking you list above should be alerting you to something but obviously are not. So I'll try to explain. Lots of people simply feel revulsion for and are angry at some Israeli actions. That does not equate to support for Hamas. Nor does it equate to anti-Semitism or anti-Judaism. It doesn't even equate to anti-Zionism if the aims of Zionism could be said to be limited to, for example, the 2 state solution. It is simply anti the actions of the Israeli government that uses its fully equipped modern military machine to kill hundreds of civilians in response to a very largely ineffectual adversary with no army and no air force. What is so difficult to get about that?

Posted by: marc at August 3, 2014 09:26 PM

Well, Paul. The Palestinians are not ineffectual. They are just crazy. They managed to use thousands of tons of concrete, wire, and other resources to build death tunnels instead of using this material to improve the infrastructure of Gaza. They managed to obtain and shoot thousands of rockets indiscriminately at Israeli civilians. If It were not for the iron dome and the shelters Israel has built for its citizens, the casualty rate would far exceed that of Gaza. Israel does not love death as the Palestinians do. I saw the photographs of the IDF chasing Israeli settlers out of Gaza when it was turned over to the Palestinians. I also know that Israel turned 3000 functioning greenhouses over to the Palestinians who proceeded to destroy them.

Posted by: Martin Kantor at August 7, 2014 01:06 PM

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