Online uproar after Google employee forced to quit after accusing company of silencing Palestinians
LONDON: A Google employee has reportedly been forced to resign after accusing the company of trying to silence Palestinian employees.
Ariel Koren, marketing manager for Google’s education products arm, announced his resignation on Twitter after seven years with the tech giant.
She posted a note on the Medium blogging platform claiming that the company had tried to get revenge on her for her activism and support for her Palestinian colleagues.
“Due to retaliation, a hostile environment and illegal company actions, I cannot continue to work at Google and have no choice but to leave the company at the end of this term. week,” she said in her letter.
“Instead of listening to employees who want Google to uphold its ethical principles, Google is aggressively pursuing military contracts and stripping its employees’ voices through a pattern of silence and retaliation against me and many others.”
Koren’s supporters have taken to social media to express their outcry and criticize the tech giant.
The dispute erupted when Koren, along with other colleagues, opposed Google’s $1.2 billion deal with Amazon and the Israeli military over a program dubbed “Project Nimbus.”
Under the program, the two tech giants will provide Israel and its military with artificial intelligence tools and other computer services and technologies, which Koren says will be used to monitor and harm Palestinians.
After months of protests to convince Google to pull out of the deal — including internal petitions, lobbying executives, and public interviews with newspapers and TV shows — Koren received an ultimatum from the company telling him to move on. in Sao Paulo, Brazil, or lose it. work.
Koren, who decided to file a complaint with the company and the National Labor Relations Board, accused Google of trying to transfer her because of her actions, but the investigation found no evidence of ‘misconduct.
“We prohibit retaliation in the workplace and publicly share our very clear policy,” Google said in a statement. “We have thoroughly investigated this employee’s claim, as we do when concerns are raised.”
On Tuesday, 15 other Google employees anonymously shared their experiences criticizing the company’s treatment of Palestinians and employees who advocate for the cause, accusing the company of unfairly applying its content moderation policies and creating a double standard .
A group of six Palestinians, who asked not to be identified, said through their colleagues that they did not feel safe expressing their views at the company.
“I have always witnessed that instead of supporting various employees seeking to make Google a more ethical company, Google systematically silences Palestinian, Jewish, Arab and Muslim voices concerned about Google’s complicity in human rights abuses rights of the Palestinians – to the point of formally retaliating against workers and creating an environment of fear,” Koren said in his message.
“In my experience, silencing dialogue and dissent in this way has helped Google protect its business interests with the Israeli military and government,” she added.