A photo collage illustrating Big Tech's contribution to Israeli Apartheid

No Tech For Apartheid

As the Israeli military bombed homesclinics, and schools in Gaza and threatened to push Palestinian families from their homes in Jerusalem this past May, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud executives signed a $1.22 billion contract to provide cloud technology to the Israeli government and military. By doing business with Israeli apartheid, Amazon and Google will make it easier for the Israeli government to surveil Palestinians and force them off their land.

We’re heeding the call from hundreds of Google and Amazon workers to rise up against the contract, known as Project Nimbus.  Technology should be used to bring people together, not enable apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and occupation. 

Following in the footsteps of those who fought to divest from apartheid South Africa and won, it’s our responsibility to rise up in support of Palestinian freedom. The Amazon and Google execs who signed this contract can still choose to be on the right side of history.

Here’s where you come in: Add your name below to demand that Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, Amazon Web Services CEO Adam Selipsky, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian end all ties with Israeli apartheid and cut the Project Nimbus contract. 

Rise up with us to say: No Tech For Apartheid.

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Power State Violence

  • Amazon and Google’s collaboration with Israeli apartheid is part of a larger pattern of Big Tech fueling state violence across the globe. Tech companies like Amazon and Google are the new war profiteers and have dismal human rights records. Amazon helps power ICE’s deportation-detention machine, and partners with over 2,000 U.S. police departments to surveil and criminalize Black and brown communities through its doorbell camera Ring. Meanwhile, Google sold artificial intelligence to the Department of Defense to make its drone strikes deadlier and, despite ending this contract after public and worker pressure, Google still holds ties with the Pentagon.

  • Both companies claim to uphold human rights commitments. Amazon released Global Human Rights Principles, promising to “embed respect for human rights throughout our business.” Similarly, Google states that companies "can make money without doing evil.” Instead of living those values, Google and Amazon are putting profit ahead of people by powering the Israeli government’s violence against Palestinians.

  • Technology can bring people together—but when these tools are used to harm communities, they make the world less safe for us all. That’s why workers at Google and Amazon are urging their employers to walk their talk on human rights.

  • Our communities have risen up against Big Tech before—and won. In 2020, Microsoft pulled all funding from Israeli facial recognition firm AnyVision after sustained pushback from ordinary people. This year, people across the globe campaigned as a unified #FacebookWeNeedToTalk coalition, calling on Facebook to ensure its policies don’t censor Palestinians and Palestinian human rights advocates. Together, we can build a better world where all people, including Palestinians, live with safety and freedom.

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Enable Israeli Apartheid

The harmful impact of Israeli apartheid on Palestinians is well documented. Recently, mainstream organizations like Human Rights Watch and Israel-based B’Tselem released reports echoing what Palestinians have said for generations: the Israeli government is running an apartheid regime.

Google and Amazon are doing business with apartheid. Palestinians are already harmed by Israeli military surveillance and repression. By expanding public cloud computing capacity and providing their state of the art technology to the Israeli government and military, Amazon and Google are helping to make Israeli apartheid more efficient, more violent, and even deadlier for Palestinians. 

Technology should be used to bring people together, not facilitate and entrench violence and segregation. Google and Amazon’s cloud services may be used to enable Israel's expansion of illegal settlements by supporting data collection for the Israel Land Authority (ILA), part of the Israeli government. The ILA uses discriminatory policies to expand segregated Jewish settlements while trapping Palestinians in densely populated areas and limiting the growth of Palestinian communities.

  • 72,000
    Palestinians in Gaza forced to flee their homes during Israel’s May 2021 assault
  • 600
    Checkpoints and roadblocks controlled by the Israeli military that restrict Palestinians from traveling to school and work and separating them from their families
  • 80
    Percentage of Palestinians in Gaza who rely on humanitarian aid to survive due to the Israeli government’s illegal 12-year blockade
  • 535
    Palestinian homes and structures in the West Bank demolished in 2020 to make space for illegal settlements
  • 20
    Gazan families where every single member was killed during Israel’s May 2021 bombing campaign
  • 4,400
    Palestinian political prisoners incarcerated in Israeli prisons
Palestinians describe life under apartheid:

Technology has the power to either expand freedoms or limit them. They promised expansions and global inclusion, but for Palestinians this has been a hollow promise, driven by politics. For example: Are you an Israeli living in the illegal settlements of the West Bank? This item on your Amazon wish list is on sale with a big reduction in pricing if you chose Palestine as your location. Don’t even bother trying this if you’re Palestinian - your package will never be delivered.

Meanwhile, Palestine is stuck with 3G networks (and Gaza is still on 2G), while the world, including Israel, is anticipating the possibilities of 5G. This leaves Palestinians with an underdeveloped and expensive connection, in direct contrast with the other side of the political fence. Silicon Valley’s tech giants show deliberate and systematic censorship of the Palestinian narrative, which borders on a denial of our very existence. These companies support a living apartheid.

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Photo of Ahmad Abu Shammalh, Computer Scientist, Gaza

– Ahmad Abu Shammalh, Computer Scientist, Gaza

I am a computer geek and to me, software and the latest gadgets are my whole world. But none of Google’s paid services are available in Palestine. So, if you are using Google Drive and want to purchase extra storage, you cannot do that in Palestine. If you own an Android device, you will not be able to purchase apps. But, Israelis, who live on the same piece of land, have the convenience of accessing all Google services.

Google signed a $1 billion contract with the Israeli government to provide its apartheid regime with cloud services for the Israeli military. This is the very same system that operates and controls the gates, cameras and barriers [at checkpoints] that add to Palestinians’ daily suffering. Not only has Google discriminated against my country, but it has also gone a step further by partnering with the militarised Israeli state.

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Photo of Akram Abunahla, Graduate Student in Linguistics, Gaza

– Akram Abunahla, Graduate Student in Linguistics, Gaza

In December 2019, Facebook deleted my account. Supposedly, my perspective, interests, and lived experiences violate their community standards, and I lost precious old memories that connected me with acquaintances and friends. What’s worse, according to the Commission of Detainees Affair, in 2018 Israeli forces arrested more than 350 Palestinians because of their posts on social media platforms.

The severe restrictions on Palestinian content on social media platforms come from the economic contracts between Israel and international corporations. Israel continues its apartheid system toward the Palestinians even in the virtual world. These high-tech mediums provided by international corporations enable Israel to violate and access sensitive information about Palestinians. Google and Amazonhave agreed to provide cloud services to Israel which contribute to the strengthening of Israeli digital control of cyberspace. But Israel can only continue to grab Palestinian land, break international laws, and violate Palestinian human rights if it is not held accountable by the international community.

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Photo of Israa Musaffer, Administrative Assistant, Ramallah, West Bank

– Israa Musaffer, Administrative Assistant, Ramallah, West Bank

I can only experience Palestine in the news, in pictures and videos, and through texting my friends in Gaza. It’s a painful experience, to watch your people’s oppression daily, unable to do anything. I spent most of May by the phone making sure my friend was still alive during the Gaza bombardments. What happened to Palestine is a perfect example of how technology can take a dystopian turn in the oppressor’s hands. And now Google and Amazon signed a $1.2 billion contract with the Israeli government, which will enable it to maintain and strengthen its apartheid and occupation.
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Photo of Jan Amin, Biomedical Engineering Student, living in Lebanon

– Jan Amin, Biomedical Engineering Student, living in Lebanon

Travelling has always been a luxury for my generation, a fantasy we can only imagine and dream about. Instead, we are forced to communicate with our own people through digital screens only, no actual eye contact, no real gatherings, just virtual ones. I have an aunt who lives in Egypt, and I barely remember what she looks like. When my grandma passed away, my aunt couldn’t even say goodbye to her mother. As Gazans, we are not able to travel and move freely.
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Photo of Baraa’h Qandeel, Graduate in English Literature, Gaza

– Baraa’h Qandeel, Graduate in English Literature, Gaza

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