Google Employees Criticize Pro-Israel Bias in Open Letter

The recent outbreak of conflict between Israel and Hamas has created tension in different communities as well as corporations, and it turns out that Google is no different. In an open letter, a group of Google employees called out an internal bias that favors Israel and often condemns the plight of Palestinians, as well as calling for the suspension of a $1.2 billion AI and tech deal with the Israeli military named Project Nimbus.

Anti-Zionist Google employees joined hands with several Muslims and Arabs as well as Palestinian members of the company in the letter in which they urged the tech giant's senior leadership to speak out against Israel's retaliatory onslaught against Gaza City. Apart from broad condemnation of the company tendency to favor Israel in various respects, they also cited instances of troubling workplace behavior in which Palestinians were dubbed terrorists and animals in variety of instances that reveal a troubling development within Google's corridors.

According to the statements presented in this letter, upper management at Google has gone so far as to ask Arab and Muslim employees if they support Hamas. This came about when these employees expressed their worries about Palestinian families, many of whom have been left without electricity, food and water due to the Israeli military's blockade of Gaza.

When these employees tried to ask their coworkers to donate to Palestinian charities, they were met with responses that alleged that schools and hospitals in the Gaza strip were undeserving of support due to a perception that they're used to house terrorists. The letter also states that a Google manager was in favor of using the company's vast resources to spy on the company's employees and harass them on internal platforms.

Sarmad Gilani, a software engineer working at Google, claimed in a New York Times interview that any criticism of the Israeli military or government led to accusations of antisemitism. He went on to say that valid critiques of Israel had to couched between multiple references to the actions of Hamas. It bears mentioning that Gilani didn't contribute to the open letter, which indicates that the problem extends far beyond the individuals that collaborated to write it.

There are also several similarities to previous letter written by Google and Amazon employees in 2021 which called on the corporations to cancel Project Nimbus. They pointed to how this massive deal would increase the surveillance conducted against Palestinians, along with collecting data in an unlawful manner.

The new letter reiterates many of these sentiments. Employees are demanding that Google cease its support of what many are calling an outright genocide of the Palestinian people. They are also asking the company to stop conducting business with a government that's participating in apartheid.

Courtenay Mencini, Google’s spokesperson, claims that that the letter involves individuals and organizations that aren't employed by Google as part of a wider campaign against Project Nimbus. The spokesperson described Nimbus as a commercial platform for branches of the Israeli government that have nothing to do with the military, including healthcare and education.

However, it’s hard to deny that many Google employees are cagey of its potential ramifications in Gaza, and if it exacerbates the conflict, the future of Project Nimbus will be called into question. The same goes for Google's unwillingness to address an anti-Palestinian and Islamophobic culture within their workforce. CEO Sundar Pichai has yet to comment on the later, but it's just one of many published condemnations of Google's implicit support of Israel's military onslaught.

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