Google, Amazon workers demand #NoTechforApartheid with 'Day of Action' against $1.2 billion Israel deal

Google, Amazon workers demand #NoTechforApartheid with 'Day of Action' against $1.2 billion Israel deal
3 min read
02 September, 2022
Google and Amazon have been embroiled in controversy over the tech companies' recent deal with the Israeli government.
The two tech giants will provide cloud storage and AI services to Israel [Getty]

Google and Amazon workers will hold a 'Day of Action' on Thursday against their companies' recent billion-dollar deal with the Israeli government.

The action is part of the #NoTechforApartheid movement calling for the cancellation of Project Nimbus over grave human rights concerns.

The deal will see Amazon and Google provide Israel with artificial intelligence tools and other tech services, leading to concerns from rights groups, tech experts, pro-Palestine activists, and even shareholders.

Israel has routinely harnessed the latest technology to target Palestinian activists and surveil the local population in the occupied West Bank.

Google and Amazon workers said they will rally outside their offices in New York, San Francisco, and Seattle next week calling for their bosses to rethink the deal.

"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."

Project Nimbus is a $1.2 billion deal between Israel and the tech giants, which will provide the Israeli government and military with cloud storage services and artificial intelligence tools.

Rights groups say these could be used to surveil Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

One Google worker, Gabriel Schubiner, told Bloomberg this week: "Google claims that cloud technology is neutral, but technology is powerful, and giving that power to an army that kills without consequences is not a neutral act."

"Given the history of apartheid and violence enacted by Israel, I am horrified by the prospect of what my work as an AI researcher for this company could enable."

This week, Jewish Google worker Ariel Koren, who had campaigned against the controversial deal, quit her position after alleged "retaliation" by her employer due to her activism work. Google denies the claims.

Other workers backed Koren's claims saying there is a culture of silencing pro-Palestine voices in the company while other tech workers say they will walk out of work next week to protest Project Nimbus. 

"The message is clear: tech workers do not want to build technology used to enable Israel's oppression of Palestinians," NYC Tech Workers & Community Demand No Tech for Israeli Apartheid said.

Google did not respond to a request for comment about the strike by the time of publication