Friday, July 16, 2021

  • Friday, July 16, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
From CNBC:
Google has parted ways with its VP of developer relations for Google Cloud, according to an internal email that employees said followed a contentious all-hands meeting about antisemitism.

“I wanted to share that today is Amr Awadallah’s last day at Google,” Eyal Manor, Google Cloud vice president of engineering and product, wrote in the email to staff Thursday evening and viewed by CNBC. 

Awadallah, who was vice president of Developer Relations and joined the company in 2019, wrote a 10,000-word manifesto on LinkedIn in June about his previous antisemitism. It was titled “We Are One.”

“I hated the Jewish people, all the Jewish people”! and emphasis here is on the past tense,” his manifesto began. “Yes, I was anti-Semitic, even though I am a Semite, as this term broadly refers to the peoples who speak Semitic languages, such as Arabic and Hebrew, among others.”

In interviews with CNBC, several employees described a contentious staff meeting on Wednesday, which touched on the manifesto. 

Awadallah, an Egyptian American who is well-known in the cloud industry, also posted his manifesto on YouTube and Twitter in attempts to decry antisemitism by recounting how he became enlightened after he “hated all Jews.” In an awkward attempt to decry hate amid the Israel-Palestinian conflict, he listed all the Jews he knew who he said were good people. Employees said his public admission, which omitted major historic Jewish events, made it difficult for public-facing developer advocates who are tasked with being the face and bridge for Google developers internally and externally. 

Within the manifesto, Awadallah describes how he was “cautious” of VMware co-founder Mendel Rosenblum based on his last name but that he learned to appreciate him after getting to know him and his spouse, VNware co-founder and former Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene, who both invested in Awadallah’s company Cloudera.

Employees who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, said the frustration with Awadallah’s leadership style had been building for months, leading up to this week’s all-hands meeting, where employees confronted him about their discomfort with his manifesto, working with him and the leadership attrition of his reporting leaders. The meeting, employees said, required mediation from a human resources employee who had to step in several times.

“On one hand, I’m grateful that you not longer hate my children,” a Google director of Network Infrastructure and Tech Site lead said in a LinkedIn comment. “On the other, this has made my job as one of your colleagues much harder. The previous situation has made being a Jewish leader at Google tough. This has made it almost untenable.”

While Awadallah in his manifesto acknowledged his prior prejudice in apparent pursuit of “peace,” he used anecdotes and personal stories to try to make a point about why his current assertions are correct. One way he does this is by sharing his 23andMe results, which showed he was 0.1% Ashkenazi Jewish, which he typed in boldface as a reason for why he’s technically Jewish, too. Employees said Awadallah had previously used his 23andMe results to justify his opinions.
The manifesto attempts to be woke but in the end it is cringe-inducing and wildly anti-Israel. It isn't a reason to fire someone, though, and it looks like employee dissatisfaction with Awadallah has been there for a while.

The manifesto describes all the Jews that Awdallah respects - from colleagues to Stan Lee, Albert Einstein and Isaac Asimov - but he pointedly notes that the ones that he looks up to are all atheists, proving that Jews are a people and not just a religion. 

But by saying that, he is also saying that he disrespects any Jews who believe in God.

He also goes on an incredibly ignorant rant about Israel, claiming that he has nothing against Zionism but then insisting that its practitioners are all about ethnic cleansing. That only leftist Israelis care about Palestinian lives. That most Palestinians want peace, and there are only a few fanatics who don't. That Gaza is an open-air prison. That Israel is an apartheid state. 

I don't see any malice - but a great deal of ignorance, and more than a little bigotry that peeks through as Awdallah broadly implies that only atheists can be moral humans.

Again, I don't think this should be enough by itself to fire the guy, although if I was a religious Jew or Christian working for him I would feel very uncomfortable. Apparently, this is the last straw of a long line of problems that people had with Awdallah.

If nothing else, it proves yet again that intelligent people can be ignorant and bigoted, even as they think that they are immune from both. 







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