Microsoft’s Internal Culture is Extremely Hostile to Palestinian Supporters, Here’s What You Need to Know

Ever since the conflict between Gaza and Israel broke out, lines have been drawn in the sand in most of the major corporations in the world. Google employees published an open letter calling on the company to work harder to reduce instances of anti-Palestinian rhetoric, Facebook was accused of allowing anti-Palestinian ads to go up, and it turns out that Microsoft is showing a similar trend.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that Microsoft’s message board Viva Engage has been replete with instances of people showing support for Palestinians experiencing pushback. One user commented on the political issue of providing tax credits for children, but since they had a Palestinian flag in their avatar, other employees began accusing them of sympathizing with terrorists.

In another example, an employee raised concerns about the plight of innocent civilians in Gaza. Other employees accused them of supporting the death of women and children on the Israeli side. Similarly, a Microsoft employee was seen stating that supporting Palestine is akin to supporting school shooters and terrorists. This indicates the presence of a highly concerning sentiment that is entirely one-sided with all things having been considered and taken into account.

In spite of the fact that this is the case, people on the other side of the political spectrum have also used their fair share of inflammatory rhetoric. Some have described Israel’s actions in Gaza as tantamount to ethnic cleansing, and a Microsoft employee that supported Israel was accused of supporting genocide in the Gaza strip.

Microsoft is no stranger to taking hard stances on certain social issues. After the killing of George Floyd, the tech juggernaut promised to create a twofold increase in the number of Black executives it had working in upper management roles by 2025. The same went for the repealing of Roe v Wade, with Microsoft’s chief people officer, Kathleen Hogan, sending out an email clarifying how the decision affected everyone.

This hasn’t changed with the recent conflict, although Microsoft has quite clearly picked a side. Following the Hamas attack on October 7th, the company began to support Israel quite publicly, and donated to organizations like the Israeli Defense Forces along with providing a $3,000 stipend to Israeli employees during the conflict.

The recent controversies generated by these heated political discussions raises an important question. Is there a line that can’t be crossed on official company forums? It’s an essential query to ask because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up impacting how companies approach issues like the Hamas-Israel conflict, or really any issue that has a particularly political slant.

It bears mentioning that the company’s own pro-Israel stance often makes it challenging for Palestinian supporters to get a word in edgewise. It will be interesting to see how the rhetoric changes as the conflict progresses in the future.

Photo: DIW - AIGen

H/T: Business Insider

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