(May 28, 2021 / JNS) A group of 500 Amazon workers is asking the company’s top executives to voice support for Palestinians and sever its contract with the Israel Defense Forces, The Verge reported on Tuesday. The company currently employs more than 1.3 million worldwide.
In April, Amazon and Google signed a $1.2 billion cloud-computing contract with the Israeli government, according to Reuters.
“As Amazonians, we believe it is our moral responsibility to stand in solidarity with and speak out on behalf of the millions of Palestinians who, for decades, have not only been dispossessed of their voices and victimhood, but, in essence, their humanity,” they said in an internal letter to Jeff Bezos and Andy Jassy, who is set to take over from Bezos as CEO of Amazon later this year.
“Amazon employs Palestinians in Tel Aviv and Haifa offices and around the world,” continued the letter. “Ignoring the suffering faced by Palestinians and their families at home erases our Palestinian co-workers.”
The employees further demanded that Amazon cancel its contracts with government and corporate companies accused of human-rights violations, listing the IDF as an example.
They also asked Amazon to start a relief fund for Palestinians who have been affected by military violence, publicly acknowledge “the continued assault upon Palestinians’ basic human rights under an illegal occupation,” and reject any definition of anti-Semitism that claims that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic.
The latter was likely a reference to the International Remembrance Holocaust Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism, which has been adopted by more than 450 leading organizations, including 28 countries, in the five years since it was formulated on May 26, 2016.
“It is important to clarify that our stance against the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian people is not a stance against the Jewish people,” the group said in the letter. “Anti-Semitism has no place in our cause. Our narrative is a stance against a state continuing to perpetuate settle colonial violence against an indigenous people: the Palestinians.”
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