Jewish Google employees call for Palestine support and say 'anti-Zionism' is not 'antisemitism'

Jewish Google employees call for Palestine support and say 'anti-Zionism' is not 'antisemitism'
Jewish employees at Google are calling for more balanced coverage of the Israeli bombardment on Gaza.
2 min read
19 May, 2021

Jewish employees at Google are calling for the tech giant to show greater support for Palestinians and free speech, amid concerns about the erasure of Palestinian voices

Jewish Diaspora in Tech has circulated a letter it says includes signatures from 250 Jewish Google employees objecting to the conflation of Israel and the Jewish people and insisting that "Anti-Zionism is not antisemitism".

It lists a set of demands to Google's management about its handling of the Israeli bombardment of Gaza and assaults on Palestinians in Israel and the West Bank by Israeli police and far-right mobs.

The letter states: "We are a coalition of diverse Jewish and allied Googlers concerned about the internal dialogue around the political and racial violence in Israel and Palestine. We as Jews do not endorse the views of those who have written to you seeking to garner support for exclusively pro-Israel and pro-Zionist actions."

Tech activists called on Google to listen to Palestinians after reports that posts critical of Israel were removed from social media.

The letter also demands Google match any Israeli humanitarian aid by support for Palestinian ones.

The group also called for the tech giant to cut donations to any groups associated with violating Palestinian human rights, such as the Israeli military.

Israel's eight-day bombardment of Gaza has killed 245 Palestinians, including 68 children.

In the West Bank, at least 27 Palestinians have been killed following protests over the planned expulsion of Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah, a crackdown on worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the ongoing assault on Gaza.

Jewish Diaspora in Tech asked Google to acknowledge this pain.

"We ask Google leadership to make a company-wide statement recognizing the violence in Palestine and Israel, which must include direct recognition of the harm done to Palestinians by Israeli military and gang violence," the letter states.

"Both Israelis and Palestinians are hurting right now, but ignoring the destructive and deadly attacks faced by Palestinians erases our Palestinian coworkers."

The group also rejected the idea that criticism of Israel equals antisemitism, a claim often made by the Israeli government.

"We ask Google leadership to reject any definition of antisemitism that holds that criticism of Israel or Zionism is antisemitic," the letter added.

"Anti-Zionism is not antisemitism and this conflation harms the pursuit of justice for Palestinians and Jews alike by limiting freedom of expression and distracting from real acts of antisemitism."