Jewish staff urge Google to support Palestinians

Jewish staff urge Google to support Palestinians
A ball of fire explodes above buildings in Gaza City as Israeli forces shell the Palestinian enclave, May 18, 2021. (AFP)
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Updated 19 May 2021

Jewish staff urge Google to support Palestinians

Jewish staff urge Google to support Palestinians
  • Company must not give in to ‘one-sided pro-Israel perspective’
  • Letter urges ‘recognition of harm done to Palestinians by Israeli military, gang violence’

LONDON: Tech giant Google has received a letter from 250 Jewish employees urging it to do more to support the Palestinian people. 

The group, called Jewish Diaspora in Tech, asked CEO Sundar Pichai to match the financial assistance Google gives to Israeli humanitarian groups with aid for Palestinian ones.

This follows an escalation in Israeli airstrikes that has led to over 200 fatalities and thousands of injuries in the Gaza Strip.

Jewish Diaspora in Tech asked Google’s parent company Alphabet to review business relations with companies and institutions that the group claims facilitate the oppression of Palestinians.

It also urged Alphabet to publicly acknowledge that Palestinians have been disproportionately affected by clashes between Israeli forces and militant groups.

“We ask Google leadership to make a company-wide statement recognizing the violence in Palestine and Israel, which must include direct recognition of the harm done to Palestinians by Israeli military and gang violence,” the group wrote.

“Anti-Zionism is not antisemitism and this conflation harms the pursuit of justice for Palestinians and Jews alike by limiting freedom of expression and distracting from real acts of antisemitism.”

Jewish Diaspora in Tech said efforts had been made by members of an official group of Jewish Google employees, known as Jewglers, to have the company publicly “support the sovereign state of Israel,” which it claimed gave a “one-sided pro-Israel perspective” on the conflict, and had silenced the voices of Google’s Jewish anti-Zionists.

“We agree that a response from Google leadership is necessary, but we believe any response that recognizes violence against Israelis but fails to give the same recognition to violence against Palestinians is worse than no response at all,” Jewish Diaspora in Tech added.

A member of the group told US media outlet The Verge: “We were compelled to form our own space because of the fact that we were quite literally not allowed to express our viewpoints.”