Activist company

Google employee quits, accuses company of silencing Palestinians

A Google employee, Ariel Koren, who sought to thwart a deal between the company and Israel, announced her resignation, accusing the company of aggressive practices against its employees who express their opinions on its policies.

Ariel Koren, director of marketing for Google’s education products department, announced in a letter her intention to leave the company at the end of the week and said that “Google is consistently silencing Palestinian and Jewish voices.”

In a letter posted to her Twitter account, Ariel Koren, 28, said she had no choice but to resign this week due to retaliatory measures, hostile environment and illegal actions. of the company against her and many other employees with the aim of silencing them.

“I am leaving @Google this week due to retaliation and hostility against workers speaking out,” Koren tweeted. “Google moved my role overseas immediately after I objected to its billion-dollar artificial intelligence/surveillance contracts with Israel. And this is far from an isolated case.

She noted that she has always seen Google work systematically to silence Palestinian, Jewish, Arab and Muslim voices. She further expressed concern about Google’s complicity in violations of Palestinian rights, to the point of formally retaliating against employees and creating an environment of fear.

The controversy began when Koren denounced the huge deal Google struck with the Tel Aviv government in 2021 worth $1 billion under the “Nimbus” project, which provides Israel and its army of artificial intelligence tools and other IT services.

According to a New York Times report, the company threatened Ariel in November 2021 that he would agree to move to Sao Paulo, Brazil within 17 working days or lose his job.

Ariel explained that silencing dialogue and dissent in this way helps Google protect its business interests with the Israeli military and government.

Ariel Koren, who is Jewish, has worked for the company for more than seven years, helped distribute petitions to lobby executives and spoke to news outlets, trying to get Google to reconsider the deal.

15 other employees working for Google posted testimonials on YouTube on Tuesday about what they are exposed to (without disclosing their identities).

Photo: Ariel Koren/Twitter
Photo: Arirl Koren/Twitter
Photo: Ariel Koren/Twitter

Employees who posted their testimonials on YouTube, as well as those who spoke with The New York Times, cite Ariel Koren’s experience as evidence that they cannot openly discuss their opinions for fear of losing their jobs.

American activist and former parliamentary candidate, Rana Abdel Hamid, said in a tweet: “Over a year ago I saw for myself how Ariel suffered revenge just for standing up for the rights humans of the Palestinians. This revenge and hostility is unacceptable.

It should be noted that hundreds of employees of Google and Amazon demanded in a letter signed in October 2021 by approximately 400 employees of the two companies, their administrations, to stop supplying the Israeli army and government with technologies technologies used to harm the Palestinians.

What is the Nimbus project?

In April 2021, Google and Amazon announced a project under the name Nimbus worth one billion two hundred million US dollars to provide electronic cloud services to Israel.

The project faced opposition from employees of both companies, and they expressed this in a letter published by the British newspaper The Guardian at the time, confirming that the project would be used to oppress Palestinians.

This American technology allows for greater surveillance and illegal collection of data on Palestinians by the Israeli government and military, and facilitates the expansion of Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands.

Google and Amazon employees have revealed that the technology the companies have contracted to provide to Israel will make the systematic discrimination and displacement perpetrated by the Israeli military more cruel and deadly for Palestinians.