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Jewish Google worker says company silences Israel critics

TJI Pick
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Published: 23 September 2022

Last updated: 5 March 2024

Ariel Koren says she was asked to move to Brazil after opposing Project Nimbus. Google denies any wrongdoing and says it's proud to work with Israel.

What started as a dream job ended with an ideologically motivated resignation in protest of the company's cooperation with the Israeli government. Ariel Koren left Google after speaking out against Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion contract between Google, Amazon and the Israeli government.

The project’s stated goal is to build and provide cloud-based data centres for Israeli ministries and other official entities to move all their data to the cloud.

The contract, signed in May 2021, caused a stir within Google – with employees calling for the company to drop it due to "Israeli violations of Palestinian rights."

Koren, who is Jewish, was one of the most vocal opponents. Now, after leaving Google, she says that the company "is gaslighting their workers” on the subject. She has accused Google of "systematically silencing Palestinian, Jewish, Arab, and Muslim voices concerned about Google's complicity in violations of Palestinian human rights."

Koren said that after she spoke out against the project, she faced “toxic” retaliation from management and some of her colleagues. However, that didn't stop her. She continued to speak out against Project Nimbus in November 2021, and she said the company's actions against her intensified in response. The company denied this.

"Google notified me that they would be moving my job to Sao Paulo, effective immediately, and that I would have seventeen business days to move from San Francisco and that if I didn't move, I would lose my job. This was during the Omicron surge, when no one was working from the office, and it was clear that they were just doing that to get rid of me," Koren said.

Jewish Google worker who quit over Israel project accuses company of retaliation

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