Jewish Google employees: ‘Others can’t criticize Israel – but we can’

While the employees said they feared that their anti-Israel views could result in serious consequences for their careers, Google’s history of tolerating antisemitic and anti-Israel remarks would suggest otherwise.

By World Israel News Staff

Two Jewish employees of Google who drafted an open letter calling on the organization to pull out of a massive project commissioned by the Israeli government said they felt obligated to make a stance because their Palestinian colleagues “feared retaliation” for speaking out against the Jewish state.

The anonymous letter, which was published in the left-wing U.K, daily The Guardian, charged that Google and Amazon were acting immorally by helping the Israeli government and military migrate its systems to cloud based servers in a $1.4 billion deal which they framed as an agreement “to sell dangerous technology to the Israeli military and government.”

San Francisco-based Google employee Ariel Koren, who works in the organization’s education division, told The Jewish News of Northern California that she considers it imperative to speak out about what she believes to be the immoral use of Google’s technology.

“For me as a Jewish employee of Google, I feel a deep sense of intense moral responsibility,” said Koren. “When you work in a company, you have the right to be accountable and responsible for the way that your labor is actually being used.”

New York-based Google software engineer Gabriel Schubiner drafted much of the open letter with Koren, the latter told JNNC.

Schubiner claimed that his Palestinian and other non-Jewish colleagues feared protesting the deal, as they would allegedly face backlash and retribution for saying they are opposed to the agreement.

“As Jews, we’re relatively more insulated against charges of antisemitism that often come up in these discussions,” said Schubiner. “I do recognize the privilege that comes with my identity and talking about this issue without fear of retaliation.”

Koren and Schubiner, who are members of a far-left group called Jewish Diaspora in Tech, said they have been prevented from expressing their anti-Israel and anti-Zionist views during social justice discussions at Google.

“I was kind of shocked to find that the conversations about equity that we tried to have in that space were very quickly derailed into conversations that used antisemitism as a means to avoid talking about other types of racial equity,” Schubiner said.

While Koren and Schubiner said they feared that their anti-Israel views could result in serious consequences for their careers, Google’s history of tolerating antisemitic and anti-Israel remarks would suggest otherwise.

In June 2021, Google’s head of diversity was not fired after the discovery of an antisemitic blog post he wrote, in which he said Jews have an “insatiable appetite for war and killing.”

Both Schubiner and Koren would not say if they believe Google should entirely divest from Israel.

The tech industry titan has several development offices, which employee thousands of people, in the Jewish State.