More than 500 Amazon employees have signed a letter asking company leaders to sever any business with the Israeli Defense Forces and to reject any definition of antisemitism that implies that criticism of Israel or Zionism is antisemitic.
The open letter is one of several that employees of American tech giants, including Google and Apple, have released during and after the latest fighting between Israel and Hamas. Palestinians and their allies have taken heart in the growing support in the U.S. from within the corporate world and the Democrat party, where progressives have pushed for conditions on American aid to Israel.
In the letter, the Amazon employees ask CEO Jeff Bezos, incoming CEO Andy Jassy — who is Jewish — and the executive team to “acknowledge the continued assault upon Palestinians’ basic human rights under an illegal occupation, as evidenced and witnessed by the United Nations and human rights organizations …”The employees also write that their opposition to the Israeli occupation is not a stance against Jews. “Antisemitism has no place in our cause. Our narrative is a stance against a state continuing to perpetuate … colonial violence against an indigenous people: the Palestinians.”
The employees also ask the company to recognize the suffering of Palestinians and to create a relief fund to support Palestinian human rights organizations. “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.”
A similar letter from Google employees, published last week, was signed “Jewish Googlers, allies, and external supporters.” Nearly 1,000 Apple employees last week asked CEO Tim Cook to publicly condemn violence against Palestinians.
Both Google and Amazon recently won a $1.2 billion contract to provide cloud services to the Israeli military and other government agencies.
Amazon officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Forward.
Seattle-based Amazon employs nearly 1.3 million people worldwide.