Friday, September 02, 2022

From The New York Times:

A Google employee who became the most visible opponent of a company contract with the Israeli military said on Tuesday that she would resign after claiming Google had tried to retaliate against her for her activism.

The employee, Ariel Koren, a marketing manager for Google’s educational products arm who has worked for the company for seven years, wrote a memo to colleagues announcing her plan to leave Google at the end of the week.

She spent more than a year organizing against Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion agreement for Google and Amazon to supply Israel and its military with artificial intelligence tools and other computing services. Ms. Koren, 28, helped circulate petitions and lobby executives, and she talked to news organizations, all in an effort to get Google to reconsider the deal.

Then, in November, she said, came a surprising ultimatum from Google: Agree to move to São Paulo, Brazil, within 17 business days or lose your job.

Ms. Koren marketed educational products to Latin America and was based in Mexico City before moving to San Francisco during the pandemic. But, she said, there was not a clear business justification for the mandated move or its urgency, and a supervisor in Brazil told her that employees in São Paulo were working from home because of the pandemic.
But then we see this lone sentence:
Google and the National Labor Relations Board investigated her complaint and found no wrongdoing. 
The NLRB dismissal letter shows that Koren's entire complaint is baseless  - because Google's decision to move her role to Brazil came before she started her complaints about Israel and Project Nimbus: (I inserted her name in the redacted area.) 

(I was skeptical at first, but this is definitely the correct dismissal letter, since that case number was linked in an article about Koren's complaint in March.)

The New York Times not mentioning this important fact is journalistic malpractice. It upends the entire point of the article. 

Koren and the BDSers have been masterful at gaining outsized publicity since the Project Nimbus protests started. 

The number of Google employees who protested the project is minuscule, but they still got their open letter published in The Guardian. 

Then the BDSers pretended that there was a "shareholder revolt" which was similarly grossly exaggerated - but it generated a headline at The Intercept. 

After that fizzled, the BDSers asked US students to sign a "pledge" that they will not accept internships at Google and Amazon, and again very few signed - but it was enough for them to trumpet it as a victory.

Koren's false claim that Google is retaliating against her was chapter four in this monomaniacal attempt to demonize Israel and pressure Google. Since there have been a number of similar retaliation complaints against Google in recent years, this one has received more publicity than the others did. Check out this March Los Angeles Times headline:

Koren's quitting Google is chapter five. After all, if her work environment was so toxic, she would have left Google long ago. But she wanted to squeeze out one more wave of anti-Israel articles - and the New York Times is happy to do its part. 

I'll bet that Koren has been job searching for months and has another position lined up - but is framing her changing jobs, among Silicon Valley's constant employee turnover, as a principled decision to resign from Google. 

(h/t Michael Starr/Jerusalem Post, David Bernstein, David Litman)

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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