America's College Campuses Rise Up Against Israel's Genocidal War on Gaza

Israel's genocidal war on Gaza has sparked widespread strong protests on American college campuses. Many Jewish Americans have also joined marches in major cities across the United States against the US policy of blind support for the Israeli government. Polls indicate that young Americans are increasingly turning against the Biden administration. This will likely hurt President Joseph R. Biden's chances of re-election in the upcoming presidential elections in 2024. It is important to remember that the US college campuses led the opposition to the Vietnam war in the 1960s and marched against South African Apartheid in the 1980s.  Young Americans have repeatedly proved to be America's conscience. 

Pro-Palestine Protest at UCLA. Source: Daily Bruin

Genocidal War:

Israel has completely cut off water, food, electricity, fuel and communications in Gaza. It is bombing its 2 million trapped residents around the clock since the October 7 terrorist attack on Israelis by Hamas. On the ground in Gaza, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's promised "Mighty Vengeance" is in fact a genocidal war on Gaza. Thousands of Palestinian civilians, mainly innocent children and women, have been killed by Israel's bombing. The Israeli military has destroyed hospitals, churches, mosques, apartment blocks and schools. Large parts of Gaza have been turned to rubble by the Israeli air strikes. Multiple generations of families have been completely wiped out. Craig Mokhiber, a UN human rights official, has called it “textbook genocide” and accused the UN of again “failing” to act, referring to previous genocides in Bosnia, Rwanda, and Myanmar. Israeli government ministers' statements calling Gazans "human animals" and their intentions of "flattening Gaza" lend support to Mokhiber's conclusions. He has resigned from his UN post in protest. At a recent senate hearing, Pakistan-born US Senator Chris Van Hollen  (D-MD) presented Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin with statistics and a personal story of loss when questioning him about Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza. Van Hollen said:

"Last night, my wife and I learned that someone we know well lost two family members and four of their children killed in bombing in Gaza. So, they are not yet included in the most recent death toll reported by the United Nations yesterday, which says the number of dead has risen to over 8,300 people, 70% of them women and children, including 3,457 children. These are UN figures. According to UN figures, that is about six times more children killed in three weeks in Gaza than the number of children killed in Ukraine during the entire war there.And if you scale the deaths of those Palestinian children to the United States population, it’s comparable to more than 230,000 American children killed. The executive director of UNICEF, Catherine Russell, said at the current rate, more than 420 children are being killed and injured in the Gaza each day, a number, she said, which should shake us to our core. I agree".

The Original Sin:

Speaking at the UN General Assembly debate on the Gaza ceasefire resolution, the Pakistani Ambassador to the UN Munir Akram provided the historical context for what is happening now. He said Israel’s occupation and killing of Palestinians “is the original sin” and not what happened on Oct 7. “We all know who started this. It is 50 years of Israeli occupation and the killing of Palestinians with impunity,” he added. The resolution passed with 145 countries voting in favor and 14 against, including the United States and Israel. 

College Campus Protests:

There have been massive protests on US college campuses against mass killings of civilians by indiscriminate Israeli bombings in Gaza. Vast majority of the victims of Israel's attacks are women and children who make up over two-thirds of the Gaza population. These protests have drawn the ire of Israel supporters who are alleging antisemitism to try to stop these protests. Some wealthy pro-Israel Jewish donors are threatening college administrators, while others are rescinding job offers made to students who have participated in anti-Israel rallies. In the media, several journalists have been fired for expressing pro-Palestine views. 

Israel Apartheid and BDS:

According to Amnesty International, Israel's practices in Israel and the occupied territories amount to Apartheid, which is prohibited in international law.   Prior to the latest protests, dozens of US college campuses voted for and passed BDS (Boycott-Divest-Suspend) resolutions against Israel with overwhelming majority. These were designed to send a message to the Jewish state to abandon its Apartheid policies aimed at the Palestinians.  

Jewish Americans Call For Ceasefire:

Many Jewish Americans have marched in support of a ceasefire in Gaza that has been proposed to stop the slaughter of Palestinian civilians and allow aid agencies to deliver desperately needed help to relieve the immense suffering of the civilian population. Overwhelming majority of countries voted for this ceasefire at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). 145 countries voted in favor of this resolution and 14 against, including the United States and Israel. 

US Opinion Polls:

Polls show that the majority of young Americans oppose the Biden administration policy of unconditional support for Israel.  A recent Quinnipiac poll found that 51% of voters under 35 say they disapprove of the United States’ sending weapons and military support to Israel—a much higher figure than the 28% of Americans who oppose such a policy. Only 21% of voters under 35 say they approve of Biden’s Israel policy; 42% of voters across all age brackets approve.

A CBS News poll conducted last week found that 59% of respondents under 30 oppose sending weapons and supplies to Israel. An even more resounding 64% of those between age 30 and 44—a bracket more likely to vote that carries the whole millennial generation and part of Gen X—said the U.S. should not.

US Pew Poll Conducted in 2022. Source: Pew Research

Democrats Split:

Some strong voices critical of Israel have recently emerged in the US Congress, particularly among the progressive Democrats. A Pew survey conducted last year found that only 44% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents have a favorable view of Israel.  Conservative and moderate Democrats (50%) are more favorable toward Israel than liberal Democrats (36%).  But the party establishment, led by the Biden administration, remains totally committed to supporting the Jewish state unconditionally. This split could cost Democrats enough votes for them to lose the White House and both houses of Congress in 2024. 

American Muslim Vote:

Recent Reuters/Zogby poll shows that only 17% of Arab-Americans expressed support for President Biden, a huge drop from the 59% support he received in 2020. American Muslim vote is particularly important in swing states where Biden won by a small margin in 2020. For example, Biden won Michigan by about 154,000 votes, and there are estimated 242,000 Muslims in the state. And he won Minnesota by about 233,000, where there are an estimated 115,00 Muslims, according to an NBC report

The White House has unveiled a strategy to combat Islamophobia, an attempt to woo Muslim voters. "We look forward to continuing our work with community leaders, advocates, members of Congress, and more to develop the strategy – which will be a joint effort led by the Domestic Policy Council and the National Security Council – and counter the scourge of Islamophobia and hate in all its forms," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

Summary:

US polls indicate that Israel's genocidal actions in Occupied Palestine are costing the Jewish state the support of many young Americans, and causing a major split in the Democratic Party. These events do not augur well for Israel in the long run. It is time for the Israeli public to ponder if it is wise to support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's policy of continued occupation and destruction of Palestine. 

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Comment by Riaz Haq on November 4, 2023 at 4:50pm

N.Y. Times writer quits over open letter accusing Israel of ‘genocide’

The newspaper said award-winning journalist Jazmine Hughes resigned (forced out) after violating newsroom policy by signing a public statement protesting Israeli actions.

By Avi Selk and Samantha Chery



https://www.washingtonpost.com/style/media/2023/11/04/nyt-jazmine-h...

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 4, 2023 at 4:51pm

A chant used at anti-Israel protests on two college campuses does not call for ‘Jewish genocide’ | AP News



https://apnews.com/article/fact-check-israel-hamas-UCLA-Penn-genoci...

CLAIM: Pro-Palestine rallies at UCLA, Penn and elsewhere are calling for “Jewish genocide.”

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The chant uttered during recent demonstrations is being misrepresented. Protestors aren’t saying “We want Jewish genocide,” but “Israel, we charge you with genocide.” Experts and advocates say it’s a typical refrain heard at pro-Palestinian rallies.

THE FACTS: Social media users are sharing videos they claim show college students calling for the extermination of Jewish people as they protest the Israel-Hamas war on campuses across the country.



One video shows a group of people chanting protest slogans as they marched through the University of California, Los Angeles, campus last week.



“In UCLA hundreds of students chanting: ‘Israel Israel you can’t hide, we want Jewish genocide’,” wrote one Instagram user in a post sharing the video last week. “This is not 1930s Germany, this is in Los Angeles October 26th 2023!”

Another video captures similar sounding protest chants at Penn’s campus in Philadelphia on Oct. 16.

“Students @uofpenn gathered chanting ‘We want Jewish genocide’ ‘there is only 1 solution’ in reference to the Nazis ‘final solution’,” wrote an Instagram user who shared the clip in a post. “There has possibly never ever been a more dangerous time to be a Jewish student as Antisemitism continues to grow as a disease.”

But the anti-Israel chants heard during the pro-Palestine rallies are being misquoted, Jewish and Palestinian groups say.



The protestors are actually chanting, “Israel, Israel, you can’t hide: We charge you with genocide,” the Anti-Defamation League, which frequently speaks out against anti-Semitism and extremism, confirmed in an email Tuesday.

It’s a familiar refrain at anti-Israel rallies, but non-Israel-related versions are also heard at other protests, the New York-based Jewish group noted on a page on its webpage debunking false information about the ongoing conflict.

Indeed news outlets in Houston, Chicago and other cities reported the same chant at pro-Palestinian rallies this month.

Penn Students Against the Occupation, which organized the Penn rally, dismissed the claims as “blatant disinformation” in a statement posted on Instagram.

“PAO would like to explicitly state that this claim is false and did not happen whatsoever,” the group wrote, noting that it was just one of many chats during the demonstration. “PAO unequivocally stands with Palestine in the face of ongoing genocide committed by the Israeli government, which has been assisted by other Western allies like the United States.”



The chants last week at UCLA were similarly misquoted, the university said on a webpage correcting misinformation related to campus events.

Dan Gold, who heads Hillel UCLA, a major Jewish organization on campus, noted his organization has called out the rally for its harmful rhetoric in its public statements.

But he personally observed the protest and confirmed there was no direct call to exterminate Jews.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 5, 2023 at 5:22pm

Universities lost their way on free speech amid the Gaza war - Vox

https://www.vox.com/2023/11/5/23944007/free-speech-israel-palestine...

By Fabiola Cineas

Emotions and fears are running high: Jewish students and student groups say they are fearful of antisemitism on campus. Palestinian students say they are facing Islamophobia and racism. Students who signed petitions that critics say supported Hamas in the wake of its October 7 attack are losing career opportunities or have been publicly named and investigated.

The leading group advocating for free speech on campus argues that the problem is not that universities are doing too little to stifle hateful speech; it’s that they have already done too much. Amid the major social and political catastrophes of the past decade, higher education institutions have strayed away from their mission: to foster dialogue and the flow of different ideas, said Alex Morey, the director of the campus rights advocacy program at the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE).

Sometimes the free flow of dialogue can be uncomfortable, and FIRE often defends statements and individuals who are unpopular. Even as people on and off campus fear that heated rhetoric will lead to an increase in Islamophobic or antisemitic violence, Morey argues colleges should not stop their students from making statements that many find deeply upsetting or even dangerous. Instead, she said, colleges should focus on creating a safe environment where even jarring, hurtful, or racist notions can be discussed and debated.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 6, 2023 at 10:18am

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt - The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy

 
John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt discuss their book "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," at Cambridge Forum. They argue that a group of pro-Israel activists are manipulating U.S. foreign policy.
Comment by Riaz Haq on November 7, 2023 at 9:41am

William Dalrymple
@DalrympleWill
The great Gideon Levy
@GideonLevy7
. One of the bravest men I know and the finest speaker we have ever had on the Middle East
@JaipurLitFest

https://x.com/DalrympleWill/status/1721751350600667422?s=20

-------------------

Keynote Gideon Levy: Democracy and Human Rights in Israel – 2022 May - Transcending the Israel Lobby at Home and Abroad - WRMEA



https://www.wrmea.org/transcending-the-israel-lobby-at-home-and-abr...

This is the core of Zionism. This feeling of chosen people is still very deep rooted in Israel. The consequence is that everything which refers to any other country in the world does not refer to Israel. That we are a special case. That international law should be implemented everywhere, but we are a different case. That a Molotov bottle against a Jewish soldier is not like a Molotov bottle against a Russian soldier because we are different, because we are chosen, because of this damned Jewish supremacy.

———————

Now the real turning point should be, for us, the moment that each of us realize that the Israeli occupation is not a temporary phenomenon. I think that most of the people, if not all of them, understand that the occupation is there to stay. And Israel never had the slightest intention to put an end to it. All the efforts were only to mislead the West and to maintain the occupation. All this longest peace process in history, which never led to anywhere, was never aimed to lead to anywhere. All those efforts were only in order to mislead you and enable the occupation to grow, including Oslo.

So, even Oslo was a trap. We can argue if it was a planned trap or just came out as a trap, but it was a trap. All the other efforts to put an end to the occupation never aimed really to bring an end to the occupation. Because there was never a government in Israel, never ever—including Nobel Prize peace winners—none of them really meant to put an end to the occupation. They meant to make the occupation easier, more comfortable, and above all more viable. We all believed in it and we all fell into this trap. But now it’s over. This masquerade, I believe, is over.

————-



I guess some of you know Israelis and have met Israelis. When an Israeli says that the Israeli army is the most moral army in the world, they truly believe in it. Try to tell an Israeli that maybe the IDF is the second moral army in the world. Try. You’re an anti-Semite. How dare you? How dare you? We built this field hospital in Nepal when there were floods there. What other army is so human? The belief that we are so good and the army is so moral is very deeply rooted. When you believe in it, there is no problem with the occupation.

The Israeli society, as I said, protects itself by denial and by two or three more mechanisms which enable us to feel so good about ourselves and not be troubled at all from the occupation. One is the chosen people. Because if we are the chosen people, so there’s no problem. We have the moral right to do whatever we want. We are the chosen people. The second one is obviously the Holocaust. As the late [Israeli Prime Minister] Golda Meir phrased it once, after the Holocaust, the Jews have the right to do whatever they want. Fair enough. This enabled us to continue with the occupation.

Finally, it is the process of dehumanization and demonization of the Palestinians, which serves so well the denial. Because if they are not human beings like us, if they don’t like their children like we do, if they don’t care so much about death and life, if they are so cruel, as we are being told, if they are so barbarian and brutal, if they can do those horrible things, then there is no problem in occupying them. Then it is even justified. Then it shouldn’t bother us. There is no moral problem because it’s not about human rights. They are not human beings, so how can we speak about human rights?

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 7, 2023 at 8:13pm

“My biggest struggle,” he (Israeli journalist/author Gideon Levy) says, “is to rehumanize the Palestinians. There’s a whole machinery of brainwashing in Israel which really accompanies each of us from early childhood, and I’m a product of this machinery as much as anyone else. [We are taught] a few narratives that it’s very hard to break. That we Israelis are the ultimate and only victims. That the Palestinians are born to kill, and their hatred is irrational. That the Palestinians are not human beings like us… So you get a society without any moral doubts, without any questions marks, with hardly public debate. To raise your voice against all this is very hard.”


https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/is-gideon-levy...


The long history of the Jewish people has a recurring beat – every few centuries, a brave Jewish figure stands up to warn his people they are have ended up on an immoral or foolish path that can only end in catastrophe, and implores them to change course. The first prophet, Amos, warned that the Kingdom of Israel would be destroyed because the Jewish people had forgotten the need for justice and generosity – and he was shunned for it. Baruch Spinoza saw beyond the Jewish fundamentalism of his day to a materialist universe that could be explained scientifically – and he was excommunicated, even as he cleared the path for the great Jewish geniuses to come. Could Levy, in time, be seen as a Jewish prophet in the unlikely wilderness of a Jewish state, calling his people back to a moral path?

He nods faintly, and smiles. “Noam Chomsky once wrote to me that I was like the early Jewish prophets. It was the greatest compliment anyone has ever paid me. But... well... My opponents would say it’s a long tradition of self-hating Jews. But I don’t take that seriously. For sure, I feel that I belong to a tradition of self-criticism. I deeply believe in self-criticism.” But it leaves him in bewildering situations: “Many times I am standing among Palestinian demonstrators, my back to the Palestinians, my face to the Israeli soldiers, and they were shooting in our direction. They are my people, and they are my army. The people I’m standing among are supposed to be the enemy. It is...” He shakes his head. There must be times, I say, when you ask: what’s a nice Jewish boy doing in a state like this?

-----------------

Levy believes the greatest myth – the one hanging over the Middle East like perfume sprayed onto a corpse – is the idea of the current ‘peace talks’ led by the United States. There was a time when he too believed in them. At the height of the Oslo talks in the 1990s, when Yitzhak Rabin negotiated with Yassir Arafat, “at the end of a visit I turned and, in a gesture straight out of the movies, waved Gaza farewell. Goodbye occupied Gaza, farewell! We are never to meet again, at least not in your occupied state. How foolish!”

Now, he says, he is convinced it was “a scam” from the start, doomed to fail. How does he know? “There is a very simple litmus test for any peace talks. A necessity for peace is for Israel to dismantle settlements in the West Bank. So if you are going to dismantle settlements soon, you’d stop building more now, right? They carried on building them all through Oslo. And today, Netanyahu is refusing to freeze construction, the barest of the bare minimum. It tells you all you need.”

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 8, 2023 at 12:56pm

Former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin on Gaza today

https://x.com/RnaudBertrand/status/1722061957803770143?s=20

"The Israeli government, Benjamin Netanyahu, failed on October 7th and failed doubly. Firstly, in its ability to ensure the protection of the Israeli people by allowing massacres that are an abomination to occur. He bears direct responsibility for what happened. And his second failure is having encouraged a policy of occupation and colonization, which continues at this moment in the West Bank and constitutes another threat to Israel if a second front in the West Bank were to open.

Force does not ensure the security of a people! This is what all Israelis must understand today. And what is important is that since October 7th, the Israeli government's choice has been to escalate the use of force. You know, neither force nor vengeance ensures peace and security. What ensures peace and security is justice! And justice is not being served today.

The rationale of the Israeli government for the bombings happening today is flawed, and the whole international community can see it. The principle is: "we target terrorists, and unfortunately, there are also civilian populations," what is euphemistically called in military language "collateral damage." It must be understood that this collateral damage is not accidental. That is to say, it is perfectly predictable and fully accepted.

[Host: "But once again, the responsibility is not solely Israeli."]

But once more, let's stop asking about responsibility; let's look at the reality of what's happening on the ground! Assigning fault, allow me to tell you, we will leave to historians. What we want is to stop this violence, to stop these massacres. Israel is putting itself in danger, even more today, with this type of warfare and these types of strikes.

We are essentially dealing with a policy of vengeance from the Netanyahu government. Israel has the right to self-defense, but self-defense does not give an indiscriminate right to kill civilian populations. When you target an ambulance, you can always imagine that there was a terrorist in one of the ambulances, or not. But the result is that there are children, women who die. Every child, every woman killed, that's more terrorists. Therefore, Israel's objective, what Israel achieves, is exactly the opposite of what they wish. So, it is essential today to change this logic and return to a strategy that is sound.

Hostages, everything must be done to secure their release. But let's not forget: the Palestinian people are also taken hostage, by Hamas and by Israel. And Hamas, we all know, cares little for the Palestinian people. So telling Hamas: "we will not lift the siege, we will not have a humanitarian truce until the hostages are released," is a dialogue of the deaf.

Benjamin Netanyahu is waging a war to do everything so that the political solution does not come to the table. And this is where the international community, Europe, the United States, must tell Benjamin Netanyahu that this war is not acceptable. It is not acceptable because it leads us directly [to escalation] - because we can see it well, from Hamas we will move to Iran, from Iran we will move to other targets, and we then enter into the logic of a clash of civilizations. When Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu says that on one side there is the people of light and on the other the people of darkness, we can see the kind of spiral we are getting into.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 8, 2023 at 12:57pm

Former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin on Gaza today

https://x.com/RnaudBertrand/status/1722061957803770143?s=20

All the wars that have been going on for the past twenty years are wars that begin and do not end. These are frozen conflicts. We know how to start a war; we do not know how to end it. And Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu could control Gaza, it would change nothing. There will continue to be terrorist attacks, Israelis will continue to live in fear. We must get out of this. The second reason why this is yesterday's war is that the war against terrorism has never been won anywhere. Force is not the answer, once again. Vengeance is not the answer. The answer is justice, and that is what all the peoples of the world, all those who today watch what is happening, call for justice.

Today the direction we must follow is to prevent Benjamin Netanyahu from continuing his suicidal logic that will make Israel a besieged state. They can besiege Gaza, but they will be besieged. And do not think that tomorrow we will again have a pacified discourse with Saudi Arabia, with the Arab states that will normalize the situation: no! The wounds of history are awakening.

Israel's interest is to have a responsible state at its side. And this responsible state, let's stop splitting hairs, must clearly be the West Bank, all of the West Bank. It must be Gaza, with access between the two territories, and East Jerusalem. The problem, and this is the whole point of Benjamin Netanyahu's escalation, is that Benjamin Netanyahu does not want it. And the policy of separation must be dignified. That is, it must confer to the Palestinians a state where they can live, a viable state, a true state, which can build itself and which will be all the more at peace...

[Host: "Does that mean that the settlements in the West Bank have to be removed?"]

Well, when we left Algeria, there were a million French who left Algeria. Today there are 500,000 Israelis colonizing the West Bank, and there are 200,000 in East Jerusalem.

[Host: "They must leave the West Bank?"]

Yes. Yes, that is history, that is responsibility, that is the price! I tell you solemnly, it is the price of security for Israel! And all those who today consider that it will never be enough are pursuing the worst policy."

Credit to
@caissesdegreve
who took these extracts from the original interview which can be found here: https://youtube.com/watch?v=vY7Iw54NiWM

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 9, 2023 at 10:58am

Israeli intellectual Professor Avi Shlaim:‘Israel Does Not Want Palestine as Partner in Peace, Wants To Maintain Control Over It'

https://thewire.in/world/full-text-israel-palestine-karan-thapar-av...

‘Land grabbing and peacemaking don’t go together, it’s one or the other, and by constantly expanding settlements, Israel showed that it prefers land to peace.’

‘Israel by its actions has shown that it is not interested in having a Palestinian partner for peace because it wants to maintain its control over the territory.’

‘Israel refuses to accept Hamas as a negotiating partner. Israel’s position is that Hamas is a terrorist organisation – pure and simple. It will never negotiate with it.’

‘Benjamin Netanyahu’s policy has been to let Hamas rule the Gaza Strip, but to contain the Gaza Strip, and this policy collapsed, because Gaza could not be contained.’

Shlaim's interview with Karan Thapar:

https://youtu.be/W43Rgzge4Po?si=VhOecA8hGiJKqNy3

----------------------


On October 25, Karan Thapar spoke to Avi Shlaim, emeritus professor of international relations, St. Antony’s College, Oxford. Shlaim, the acclaimed author of Israel and Palestine: Reappraisals, Revisions Refutations and The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World, spoke about the history of the conflict and the aftermath of the October 7 attack by Hamas.

‘What Israel refuses to do is to accept that Hamas represents a serious body of Palestinians, and that you cannot reach any peace agreement with the Palestinians that excludes Hamas. So, the sensible thing for Israel to do and the other European powers to do is to recognise Hamas and to negotiate with Hamas for a political settlement of the conflict.’


‘My duty as a public intellectual, and as a student of this conflict, is to give the public… an account of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which is as truthful as possible, as honest as possible, and as fair-minded as possible.’

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 9, 2023 at 11:11am

Pro #Palestine opinions stifled at #Google , other elite institutions in #America— colleges, Hollywood & Democratic Party, to name a few — as declarations of solidarity for Palestinians or calls for an Israeli cease-fire are met with condemnation as undermining #Israel’s right to defend itself against #terrorism.

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/08/business/israel-palestine-google...

Google has long been a hub for employee activism, including over the company’s business with Israel. But workers looking to express support for Palestinians say they face hostility.

When Sarmad Gilani joined Google as a software engineer in 2012, he was drawn by the company’s famously open culture, where employees can publicly criticize leadership and are encouraged to embrace their racial identity and sexual orientation while at work.

He said certain political positions, like support for Black Lives Matter or Ukraine, were usually met with agreement and even embraced by the company. But there was one topic Mr. Gilani was always wary of raising: The treatment of Palestinians.



“You have to be very, very, very careful, because any sort of criticism toward the Israeli state can be easily taken as antisemitism,” he said in an interview. Mr. Gilani, a 38-year-old American born to Pakistani immigrants, explained that his caution was also informed by a lifetime of being misunderstood and profiled for being Muslim.

That was before Oct. 7.

In the month since Hamas launched an attack inside Israel, and Israel retaliated with a bombing campaign and invasion of the Gaza Strip, discussion of the topic at Google — for Muslims and Jews — has sunk into a morass of hostility and intolerance, Mr. Gilani and other employees say.

Israeli and Jewish employees have expressed anger over messages posted in Google’s internal channels, including at least one that was overtly antisemitic, and on Wednesday a group of workers published an open letteraddressed to Google leadership accusing the company of a double standard that allows for “freedom of expression for Israeli Googlers versus Arab, Muslim and Palestinian Googlers.”

The letter was not signed by any individuals. Instead it was attributed to “Muslim, Palestinian and Arab Google employees joined by anti-Zionist Jewish colleagues.” The New York Times discussed the matter with seven Google employees and reviewed messages posted in employee channels for this article. A few of the employees, including Mr. Gilani, were willing to be identified, but others asked not to be named out of concern for professional ramifications.

Pro-Palestinian employees say the company has allowed supporters of Israel to speak freely about their opinions on the topic, while taking a heavy hand with Muslim employees who have criticized Israel’s retaliation in Gaza.



“I do not feel safe saying what I want to say,” Mr. Gilani said in an interview before the letter was published.

Google said the acrimony described to The Times by both Muslim and Jewish employees was limited to a small group of its many thousands of workers.

“This is a highly sensitive time and topic in every company and workplace, and we have many employees who are personally affected,” Courtenay Mencini, a company spokeswoman, wrote in an emailed response to questions. “The overwhelming majority of those employees are not engaged in internal discussions or debate, and many have said they’ve appreciated our fast response and our focus on the safety of our employees.”

Google isn’t alone in facing this turmoil. The topic has exposed rifts at other elite institutions in the United States — colleges, Hollywood and the Democratic Party, to name a few — as declarations of solidarity for Palestinians or calls for an Israeli cease-fire are met with condemnation as undermining Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism.

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