Google fires 28 employees over protests against company's contract with Israel

Google terminated 28 employees for their involvement in a 10-hour sit-in at two of the tech giant's offices in California and New York City, protesting the company's ties with Israel.

In response to the Tuesday protests led by a group called No Tech For Apartheid against Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion cloud contract with Israel, Google on Wednesday fired 28 employees accused of taking part in the protests.

"This evening, Google indiscriminately fired over two dozen workers, including those among us who did not directly participate in yesterday’s historic, bicoastal 10-hour sit-in protests," said a post on X by No Tech For Apartheid.

Chris Rackow, Google's head of global security, emphasized the company's zero-tolerance policy towards the behavior of the protesters in a memo sent to all employees that also circulated on social media.

"Behavior like this has no place in our workplace and we will not tolerate it," it said.

"Following investigation, today we terminated the employment of twenty-eight employees found to be involved. We will continue to investigate and take action as needed," it added.

In a response, No Tech For Apartheid condemned the move, calling it a "flagrant act of retaliation."

"This flagrant act of retaliation is a clear indication that Google values its $1.2 billion contract with the genocidal Israeli government and military more than its own workers," the group said.

About 10 hours into the protests, police arrested groups of employees in both New York and California, the group reported on X.

The protests also coincide with Israel’s continuing offensive on the Gaza Strip, which since last Oct. 7 has taken over 33,800 lives.

The firings, which occurred just hours after nine employees were detained by police during sit-in protests in Sunnyvale, California, and a New York office, have stirred a wave of controversy within the company and beyond.

Nimbus project

The Nimbus project includes a cloud and machine learning system that enables data storage, collection, analysis, motif and feature identification from data, and prediction of potential data and motifs.

A $1.2 billion contract for the project was signed in April 2021 between Israel and Google and Amazon.

Israel announced in April 2021 that Google and Amazon won the massive state tender, allowing Israel to establish its local cloud storage server centers.

The system can collect all data sources provided by Israel and its military, including databases, resources, and even live observation sources such as street and drone cameras.

Critics argue that the project could help Israel continue its apartheid-like system of oppression, domination, and segregation of the Palestinian people.

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