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Google, Amazon employees to protest $1.2bn deal with Israel

The movement, which was founded last year, is calling both companies to "stop doing business with the Israeli apartheid government and military."

September 5, 2022 at 12:51 pm

Hundreds of employees of American tech giants Google and Amazon will hold three vigils on 8 September outside the headquarters of the two companies calling for the cancellation of the $1.2 billion Project Nimbus deal with Israel that will provide it with cloud storage services and artificial intelligence tools, the WAFA news agency reported.

The #NoTechForApartheid movement said vigils are also expected to be held in the cities of San Francisco, New York and Seattle in an effort to prevent Israel from using technology in its crimes against the Palestinian people.

The movement, which was founded last year, is also seeking signatories for a petition calling on the management of both companies to “stop doing business with the Israeli apartheid government and military.”

The petition affirmed its solidarity with hundreds of Amazon and Google employees who are courageously calling for withdrawal from Project Nimbus.

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It highlights that the companies both claim their principles are based on equality and care. “Google states that it values democracy, and says that companies “can make money without doing evil.” Similarly, Amazon asserts in its Leadership Principles that the company must “make better, do better, and be better” for the world at large.”

The petition reads: ‘‘As the Israeli military bombed homes, clinics, and schools in Gaza and threatened to push Palestinian families from their homes in Jerusalem May 2021, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud executives signed a $1.22 billion contract to provide cloud technology to the Israeli government and military. By doing business with Israeli apartheid, Amazon and Google will make it easier for the Israeli government to surveil Palestinians and force them off their land.’’

‘‘We’re heeding the call from over 1000 Google and Amazon workers to rise up against the contract, known as Project Nimbus.  Technology should be used to bring people together, not enable apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and settler-colonialism.’’

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“Amazon and Google’s collaboration with Israeli apartheid is part of a larger pattern of Big Tech fuelling state violence across the globe. Tech companies like Amazon and Google are the new war profiteers and have dismal human rights records. Amazon helps power ICE’s deportation-detention machine, and partners with over 2,000 U.S. police departments to surveil and criminalise Black and brown communities through its doorbell camera Ring,” the movement said in its petition.

‘‘Technology can bring people together—but when these tools are used to harm communities, they make the world less safe for us all. That’s why workers at Google and Amazon are urging their employers to walk their talk on human rights.’’

Some 40,000 people have signed the petition to date.