United Auto Workers president Shawn Fain compared Israel to the fascist nations of World War II in a tweet Friday celebrating the union’s call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, after the Palestinian Hamas terror organization violated a seven-day truce.
I am proud that the UAW International Union is calling for a ceasefire in Israel and Palestine. From opposing fascism in WWII to mobilizing against apartheid South Africa and the CONTRA war, the @UAW has consistently stood for justice across the globe..
— Shawn Fain (@ShawnFainUAW) December 1, 2023
The fascist nations of World War II included Nazi Germany, which murdered six million Jews in the Holocaust; as well as Italy under Benito Mussolini. The Axis powers also included imperial Japan, ruled by Emperor Hirohito, and smaller fascist nations.
As the UK Guardian reported, the union — one of the nation’s largest and most powerful — officially called for a ceasefire in the conflict, which would leave 136 hostages in Gaza and allow the Hamas terror organization to retain its weapons to threaten Israel.
It is the largest major union to join left-wing calls for a ceasefire.
The UAW made its stance known on Friday, during a demonstration in front of the White House in Washington, DC:
@UAWRegion9A Director Brandon Mancilla announces that the #UAW International is calling for an immediate, permanent ceasefire in Israel/Palestine.#Solidarity pic.twitter.com/BsaIKXk6ha
— UAW (@UAW) December 1, 2023
A UAW regional director, Brandon Mancilla, said that “the labor movement would not be able to achieve the transformative goals it has for social justice, for worker justice, for economic justice, if it turned a blind eye to what was happening across the world.”
Mancilla noted that the UAW “opposed fascism in World War II, we ended up opposing the Vietnam War, we opposed apartheid South Africa, and we mobilized the resources in the entire labor movement to join us in that fight.”
He said that the UAW was calling for “an immediate, permanent ceasefire … so that we can get to the work of building a lasting peace, building social justice, and building a community, a global community of solidarity. … to ensure that workers and oppressed people and poor people across the world are on the path to winning the justice that they so deserve.”
Mancilla added that members of the union, and “community members and citizens,” had pressured the UAW to take a stance. “For so long, we’ve been silent and we’ve been ignorant in the labor movement to this issue, and that time is over.”
As the World Jewish Congress has argued, comparing Israel to the Nazis is a form of antisemitism and Holocaust denial.
A search of the UAW website and social media accounts found no statement condemning the massive Hamas terror attack on Israel on October 7, in which 1,200 people were murdered. Many of those killed were members of socialist kibbutz communities, and peace activists; many of the towns targeted by Hamas were among Israel’s poorest communities.
Hamas violated a seven-day truce Friday by firing rockets at Israel.
The UAW is one of President Joe Biden’s political allies; Biden recently joined Fain and the UAW on a picket line during a strike.
With 400,000 workers in its ranks, as well as 580,000 retired workers, the UAW has helped lead nationwide strikes against the auto industry. Though smaller than it was during the industrial heydey, it retains an iconic status, and has powerful friends.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.