Google Fires 20 More Anti-Israel Employees

( -Tech giant Google has fired 20 employees for participating in protests against its $1.2 billion contract with the Israeli government, bringing the total number to almost 50. The company fired 28 staff members days earlier after sit-in demonstrations at its New York, Seattle, and Sunnyvale offices.

The demonstrators, who call their protest “No Tech For Apartheid,” say the new contract will provide technology to the Israeli government, which it will use to aid its military campaign in Gaza. The activists claim Israel’s actions against Hamas amount to a genocide of Palestinians. Google denies this, however, and said the cloud program, entitled Project Numbus, does not relate to any military activity and will not be utilized for military purposes.

No Tech For Apartheid accuses Google of prioritizing profits over people, including its own employees. In a statement, it said it would continue organizing protests until the company cancels its contract with Israel. Meanwhile, chief executive Sundar Pichai remarked that the workplace should be politically neutral and is an inappropriate arena for contentious debate. “This is a business,” he said.

Google executives further explained that the sackings were justified because protestors disrupted colleagues’ work and created an environment where other staff members felt unsafe.

The in-house demonstrations erupted after TIME magazine published an article detailing the contract. The magazine said it had seen a copy of the agreement, and it confirmed that the Israeli Ministry of Defense would benefit. Under the deal, Israel will gain greater access to automation services, including artificial intelligence, as well as facilities to store and access data.

Furthermore, Israeli media outlets report that the contract, which also includes Amazon, will not allow either company to determine which parts of the Israeli state can use the technology or how.

The firings come as Google makes significant internal alterations and warns that several job losses should be expected. The company announced in April that it is moving some jobs abroad and reorganizing its American offices.

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