A Google employee who gained prominence as the business’s most vocal critic of a deal with the Israeli military said that she would be quitting the company.
On Tuesday, she claimed that the company had attempted to retaliate against her for her activism.
Ariel Koren, a marketing manager for Google’s educational products division and a seven-year employee, informed co-workers in a message that she would be leaving the firm at the end of the week.
She stated, “Due to retaliation, a hostile environment, and illegal actions by the company, I cannot continue to work at Google and have no choice but to leave the company at the end of this week.”
“Instead of listening to employees who want Google to live up to its ethical principles, 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.”
I am leaving @Google this week due to retaliation & hostility against workers who speak out. Google moved my role overseas immediately after I opposed its $1B AI/surveillance contracts with Israel. And this is far from an isolated instance.https://t.co/V4y05kOYQv pic.twitter.com/eRMrzTPYfb
— Ariel Koren (@ariel_koko) August 30, 2022
She spent more than a year lobbying opposition to Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion deal between Google and Amazon to provide Israel and its military with artificial intelligence.
She also assisted in the distribution of petitions, lobbied officials, and spoke with media outlets in an effort to persuade Google to reconsider the agreement.
In addition to denouncing Google’s treatment of Palestinians and its censoring of employees who support them, fifteen other Google employees recorded audio testimony to YouTube on Tuesday, urging the company not to cooperate with Israel.
They made their statements public at the same time Koren left the business.
Ariel Koren in her letter wrote, “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.”
Google spokeswoman Shannon Newberry said in a statement that, “we prohibit retaliation in the workplace and publicly share our very clear policy. We thoroughly investigated this employee’s claim, as we do when any concerns are raised.”
After Nimbus was launched in April 2021, Koren, who is from the Jewish faith, opposed it because she was worried that Google’s technology could aid the Israeli Defense Forces in monitoring and harming Palestinians.
The seven-year agreement began in July 2021 and is currently in effect.