fbpx
The annual Global Impact Conference 2022 brings together visionary business leaders to revolutionize educational systems and inspire collaborative actionRead more APO Group announces content partnership with Pan-African broadcaster VoxAfricaRead more MainOne, an Equinix Company’s MDXi Appolonia Achieves Tier III Constructed Facility certification (TCCF), Now Most Certified Data Center in GhanaRead more United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) warns rising tide of hunger, insecurity, and underfunding worsening gender-based violence risksRead more The Royal Thai Embassy presents the cultures of Thailand at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Festival in KenyaRead more Climate change is the biggest global threat, young people in Africa and Europe tell European Investment Bank (EIB), Debating Africa and Debating EuropeRead more $2 million in prizes awarded at Conference of the Parties (COP27) to African youth-led businessesRead more Africa and Europe’s top business and public sector leaders gather to chart Africa’s economic rebirthRead more Senegal to Host 8th All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA), Tagged The Teranga EditionRead more The Thai delegation’s active participation at the 145th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in KigaliRead more

Google employee resigns, citing retaliation for pro-Palestinian activism

show caption
AFP Photo
Print Friendly and PDF

Aug 31, 2022 - 06:15 AM

HOUSTON, Texas (AA) – A Google employee who became a high-profile opponent of the tech giant’s $1 billion artificial intelligence and surveillance contract with the Israeli military announced her resignation Tuesday.

Ariel Koren, a marketing manager with the company, cited what she said is its creation of a hostile work environment due to her social activism.

“I am leaving @Google this week due to retaliation & hostility against workers who speak out,” tweeted Koren. “Google moved my role overseas immediately after I opposed its $1B AI/surveillance contracts with Israel. And this is far from an isolated instance.”

The controversy began when Koren protested Google’s $1.2 billion collaboration with Amazon and the Israeli military on a program called Project Nimbus.

She spent more than a year organizing her protest to persuade Google to pull out of the deal, including circulating petitions, lobbying executives and speaking out to news organizations.

Instead of listening to her concerns, Koren said Google blindsided her in November 2021 with an ultimatum: either agree to move from San Francisco in the US state of California to Sao Paulo, Brazil, or lose your job.

Koren said there was no business justification for the mandated move and filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

However, both Google and the NLRB investigated her complaint and found no wrongdoing, according to multiple media reports.

In an online post written Tuesday on the publishing platform Medium, Koren said her outspoken views and social activism prompted Google to stifle her by relocating her employment overseas.

“Google is aggressively pursuing military contracts and stripping away the voices of its employees through a pattern of silencing and retaliation towards me and many others,” she wrote with the headline “Google’s Complicity in Israeli Apartheid: How Google Weaponizes ‘Diversity’ to Silence Palestinians and Palestinian Human Rights Supporters.”

“Google is weaponizing its DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) and ERG (Employee Resource Group) systems to justify the behavior, so it is no coincidence that retaliation has disproportionately impacted women, queer, and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) employees,” she continued.

Koren, who is Jewish, has worked for the company for more than seven years and said Google’s actions to stifle outspoken workers — not just herself — has been par for the course.

“I have consistently witnessed that instead of supporting diverse employees looking to make Google a more ethical company, Google systematically silences Palestinian, Jewish, Arab, and Muslim voices concerned about Google’s complicity in violations of Palestinian human rights — to the point of formally retaliating against workers and creating an environment of fear,” she emphasized in her post.

“In my experience, silencing dialogue and dissent in this way has helped Google protect its business interests with the Israeli military and government,” Koren continued. “I encourage Googlers to read up on Project Nimbus and to take action at go/Drop-Nimbus.”

Google has not issued a response to Koren’s claims.

  • bio
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • latest posts

LMBCNEWS.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.