More than 500 Amazon employees have signed an internal letter to Jeff Bezos and Andy Jassy calling for the company to acknowledge the plight of the Palestinian people. The move comes after Israeli airstrikes devastated Palestinians in Gaza, leaving 248 people dead. Hamas and Israel have since agreed to a ceasefire.
“We ask Amazon leadership to acknowledge the continued assault upon Palestinians’ basic human rights under an illegal occupation… without using language that implies a power symmetry or situational equivalency, which minimizes and misrepresents the disruption, destruction, and death that has disproportionately been inflicted upon the Palestinians in recent days and over several decades,” employees wrote. “Amazon employs Palestinians in Tel Aviv and Haifa offices and around the world. Ignoring the suffering faced by Palestinians and their families at home erases our Palestinian coworkers.”
Employees want the company to terminate business contracts with organizations that are complicit in human rights violations, like the Israeli Defense Forces. In April, Amazon and Google signed a $1.2 billion cloud computing contract with the Israeli government.
The note echoes similar petitions from workers at Apple and Google. On May 18th, Jewish employees at Google penned a letter to Sundar Pichai calling for the company to “reject any definition of antisemitism that holds that criticism of Israel or Zionism is antisemitic.” Two days later, The Verge published a note from Muslim employees at Apple.
Muslim tech workers say executives have been slow to voice support for Palestinians, or condemn the violence in Gaza. Many feel their CEOs are choosing to ignore Israeli human rights abuses because the situation is fraught. The result, according to multiple sources, is that Muslims in tech feel undervalued and ignored.
Read the entire letter from Amazon employees below:
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Verge.