Tech

500 Amazon workers sign a letter asking Jeff Bezos and Andy Jassy to support Palestinians and sever contracts with the Israel Defense Forces

  • More than 500 Amazon workers signed a letter asking CEO Jeff Bezos and top exec Andy Jassy to support Palestinians.
  • The workers specifically asked that Amazon sever contracts with the Israel Defense Forces.
  • Amazon signed a cloud computing deal with Israel this week worth more than $1 billion.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A group of more than 500 Amazon workers signed an internal letter asking its top executives Jeff Bezos and Andy Jassy to support Palestinians, The Verge reports.

Andy Jassy is set to take over from Jeff Bezos as Amazon CEO later this year.

“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,” the letter reads.

“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,” it adds.

The letter makes four specific demands of Amazon’s senior leadership, including severing contracts with government and corporate entities associated with human-rights violations. The letter names the Israel Defense Forces as an example.

Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud division, signed a deal Monday with the Israeli government to provide cloud services to the country’s military and public sector. Google also signed a similar deal.

Israel and the militant group Hamas agreed to a cease-fire Thursday after 10 days of the bloodiest fighting the region had seen in years. The Israeli bombardment of Gaza killed at least 232 Palestinians, including 65 children and 39 women, according to Reuters, citing health authorities. Nearly 2,000 people in Gaza, the Hamas-controlled territory that is under an Israeli blockade, were injured, and the UN said about 58,000 were displaced.

Militants in Gaza fired more than 4,300 rockets that killed at least 12 people in Israel, including two children and a soldier.

The letter also asks Amazon to start a relief fund for Palestinians affected by military violence, to publicly acknowledge “the continued assault upon Palestinians’ basic human rights under an illegal occupation,” and to reject publicly and internally any definition of antisemitism that says criticism of Israel is inherently antisemitic.

“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. Antisemitism 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,” the workers wrote in the letter.

Amazon isn’t the only tech company where employees have asked leadership to support Palestinians. More than 250 Google employees signed a petition asking the Google to end certain contracts with Israel.



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