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Jewish Google staff lead push to cancel large Israeli government contract

TJI Pick
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Published: 26 October 2021

Last updated: 4 March 2024

Two Jewish employees are at the forefront of a petition urging Google and Amazon to cancel a contract to build cloud-based data centres for the Israeli government

THE MASSIVE $US1.2 billion contract, dubbed Project Nimbus, was signed in May and is one of Israel’s largest technology infrastructure ventures. Google and Amazon will transfer Israel’s data into six cloud-based storage centers over the next several years.

“For me as a Jewish employee of Google, I feel a deep sense of intense moral responsibility,” said Ariel Koren, who lives in San Francisco and works in Google’s education division. “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.”

Koren, along with Gabriel Schubiner, a New York–based Google software engineer, helped devise an open letter calling for the two mammoth companies to end the Project Nimbus contract.

“As workers who keep these companies running, we are morally obligated to speak out against violations of these core values,” said a statement published in the Guardian’s opinion section last week, claiming 390 Google and Amazon employees had signed internally.

“This technology allows for further surveillance of and unlawful data collection on Palestinians, and facilitates expansion of Israel’s illegal settlements on Palestinian land.”

According to Koren, over 1,000 employees have now signed the petition, although they remain anonymous and J. is unable to verify the number of supporters. In total only three signatories — including Koren and Schubiner — have chosen to identify themselves publicly.

FULL STORY Jewish Googlers play key role in push to cancel $1.2 billion Israeli contract (The Jewish News of California)

Photo: Google headquarters in Mountain View, California (JTA/Wikimedia Commons)

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