Jewish employee, who co-authored open letter calling for Google to end $1.4 billion deal with Israeli government, says company punitively moved her job to Brazil because of her activism.
By World Israel News Staff
A Jewish Google employee who spearheaded an effort to pressure the Big Tech giant to abandon a $1.4 billion deal with the Israeli government said that her anti-Israel activism led to Google illegally retaliating against her and relocating her job to Sao Paulo, Brazil.
San Francisco-based Ariel Koren, who co-authored an open letter urging Google to pull out of Project Nimbus — which would facilitate Israel’s building of its local cloud storage server centers — said that Google was punishing her for speaking out against their deal with the Jewish state.
One month after writing the letter, which was published in The Guardian, Koren said that Google informed her that her position in the education division had been relocated to South America and that she had 17 days to agree to the transfer or lose her job.
“It is clear that the relocation order was an act of retaliation,” she told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA). “Our petition calling on Google and Amazon to end Project Nimbus has over 1,000 worker signatures, but I was just one of two Google employees to speak out publicly.”
Koren said that the petition has not caused Google to rethink its agreement with Israel.
“It’s clear that Google’s contract with the Israeli military and government will directly harm Palestinians using the technology that Google employees are expected to create,” she told JTA. “That is why workers are calling on Google to cancel the contract.”
RIGHT after I helped organize against unethical contracts (& 2 days after returning from #disability leave), Google gave me 17 days to commit to moving to Sao Paulo—or else lose my job. Over 500 workers have petitioned, but @Google has yet to rescind the act of retaliation. pic.twitter.com/P9iOMaUbse
— Ariel Koren (@ariel_koko) March 15, 2022
A Google spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times that they had conducted an internal investigation after Koren complained that the transfer was punishment for her anti-Israel activism, but they found no evidence of wrongdoing.
They added that Koren was not transferred to Brazil and still works for the company from their San Francisco office.
The letter that Koren co-authored and some 1,000 anonymous employees signed called Project Nimbus an agreement “to sell dangerous technology to the Israeli military and government.”
According to the letter, the contract was signed the same week as May 2021’s Operation Guardian of the Walls. Framing the Jewish state as the aggressor in the clash, the employees wrote that “Israeli military attacked Palestinians in the Gaza Strip – killing nearly 250 people, including more than 60 children.”
The letter did not make the distinction between the deaths of Gazan civilians and combatants.