#NoTechForApartheid: Google, Amazon workers to walk-out over $1.2 billion Israel deal

#NoTechForApartheid: Google, Amazon workers to walk-out over $1.2 billion Israel deal
Google and Amazon workers will hold a strike today over the tech giants' growing relationship with the Israeli government.
3 min read
08 September, 2022
Hundreds of Google and Amazon workers are expected to walk out of work on Thursday [Getty]

Hundreds of Google and Amazon workers across the US are expected to walk out of work on Thursday, to protest the tech giants' recent billion-dollar deal with Israel and alleged anti-Palestinian sentiments at the companies.

It comes after Amazon and Google agreed 'Project Nimbus', a $1.2 billion deal to supply the Israeli government with artificial intelligence and cloud storage facilities.

Strikes against the deal and an alleged crackdown on pro-Palestinian workers at Google and Amazon are planned in New York, Seattle, San Francisco, and Durham on Thursday afternoon, including the tech giants' headquarters.

It is part of a national day of action led by the #NoTechforApartheid campaign.

Joining them will be civil society leaders who are concerned about the growing relationship between big tech and the Israeli government, which implements apartheid-like policies in the occupied West Bank, according to leading human rights groups.

The action comes after Google worker Ariel Koren’s "forced resignation" last month who had called on her bosses to rethink the deal with the Israeli government.

She said she was forced out over her opposition to the Project Nimbus deal, while other colleagues have also spoken out against alleged anti-Palestinian bias in the company.

"We have direct actions today outside @Google & @Amazon in SF, NYC, & Seattle. AND workers in North Carolina are so enraged to learn their companies are profiting off of Israeli apartheid, that they mobilized this past week to plan an action in Durham as well!! #NoTechForApartheid," Koren tweeted on Thursday.

Rights groups are concerned that such technology could be used to surveil Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and worsen human rights abuses.

"Google is obviously a big player, and we have good reason to put a tech giant under scrutiny, as is being done at the moment," said Dr Matt Mahmoudi Researcher/Adviser at Amnesty Tech Big Data, Artificial Intelligence & Human Rights told The New Arab.

"But I think we should also be vigilant over tech companies that go under the radar in supplying Israeli government authorities with technologies that put human rights at risk - such as AI-driven surveillance, predictive analytics, and other machine learning products - that really augment  discriminatory policies against Palestinians, stifling basic rights, especially in the occupied Palestinian Territories."

Google and Amazon workers announced last week they would protest outside their offices in New York, San Francisco, and Seattle calling for the cancellation of Project Nimbus.

"On September 8th, Amazon and Google tech workers will lead direct actions in front of their offices in New York City, the Bay Area, and Seattle to escalate the pressure on their companies," 'NYC Tech Workers & Community Demand No Tech for Israeli Apartheid' said on The Action Network site

"Join workers and community organizations in New York City to say #NoTechForApartheid and show Amazon and Google that we won't stay silent while they power violence against Palestinians."