How Google supports the Zionist colonization of Palestine

 In October of this year, software engineers at Google and Amazon wrote an anonymous open letter objecting to Project Nimbus — a $1.2 billion contract that would provide these companies services to the Israeli state — This is because of the harm that may be caused to the Palestinians. The letter also called for the rejection of "future contracts that would harm our users," including contracts with "any, and all military organizations in the United States and abroad."

“However, the complicity of these companies with Israel — rooted in their commitment to the US empire — goes well beyond direct contracts with the State of Israel. American computing companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Google and Facebook contribute to Israel’s colonial project through multiple ways,” according to an investigation by Mondowice. .

According to the investigation, Google invests in and acquires support for Israeli startups, which are “created on the basis of efforts to intimidate Palestinians and rob them of their property and the meaning of their lives.

Google also occupies a (physical) space in colonial Palestine, where the company’s presence facilitates further destruction of the land, and Google’s products – in some cases Israeli products – reflect a racist Zionist view in public.”

Google reaps profits from the US-Israel alliance

It is no secret that Google is allied with the US empire, with the company providing its services to the US military and police forces (including ICE), known for its oppressive tactics on immigrants. Google has also been a partner of the CIA and the FBI, and complicit in the NSA's mass surveillance program.Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, was the founding chair of the Defense Innovation Council, a group of scientists, corporate elites, and government officials working to ensure the Pentagon had the latest Persecution Techniques - Techniques that are often jointly developed with Israel.

Google opened its first facilities in Israel in 2006. It currently has offices in both Tel Aviv and Haifa, employs more than 1,600 Israelis, and plans to build additional facilities in occupied Palestine. On a 2012 visit with then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Eric Schmidt declared that "the decision to invest in Israel was one of the best decisions Google has ever made." "This is Israel - the flag, the sun, Google," added Netanyahu, perpetually courting imperialists.

The Google CEO made clear one thing the company is taking out of the alliance: a trained workforce. "Your people seem more organized in life" after serving in the Israeli army, which is where they get their impressive "data analysis capabilities," Schmidt told Netanyahu. According to Munduwais, “Since then, Schmidt has put his money where it is, investing $18 million in 2015 in a “cybersecurity” initiative set up by the former head of Unit 8200 – the infamous counterinsurgency and surveillance unit in the IDF. When Schmidt visited Israel the following year, Israeli troops gathered at their base to spell the word "Google" in his honor.

Mondowice concludes that Israel’s efforts to terrorize, monitor, and displace Palestinians produce technologies that Google feeds off, with Google acquiring several emerging Israeli companies from this colonial pipeline, including Waze for $1.1 billion (in 2013), and SlickLogin. , for an undisclosed amount (in 2014), Elastifile for $200 million, and Alooma for $150 million (in 2019), among others. Meanwhile, Google's investment wing, Guardian Ventures, is pouring millions of dollars into Israeli companies, and all of these companies are taking advantage of the Israeli state's tools of surveillance and control, which it now sells to the world as "cybersecurity."

Google also benefits from the continued theft of Palestinian land. The company recently agreed to integrate Google Pay into Bank Leumi - an Israeli bank best known for financing Jewish-only settlements such as Pisgat Ze'ev, built on land expropriated from Beit Hanina, Shuafat and other Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. Bank Leumi also offered real estate loans to Jewish settlers. As the customers of the Israeli bank are getting more and more “digital”.

Google, in turn, uses its resources to advance the Israeli agenda and spread Zionist propaganda - while continuing to occupy Palestine.

Zionism like Google

In 2008, the co-founder of Google, Sergey Brin, visited Israel for the third time. In an interview with the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, Brin immersed himself in Israel's achievements. "It's unbelievable," Brin said. "I was familiar with the history of Israel in general, but I really see ... what was really done ... out of nothing, just dirt." For Brin, Palestine does not exist, but everything that existed before Zionist colonization was "just filth". European settlers, as the Zionist legend says, made the desert flourish.

This racist narrative is reflected in how Google conquers cyberspace. Each part of Google's Tel Aviv headquarters, located in the Electra skyscraper, has been designed "based on a scene found somewhere in Israel." In one area a desert scene. In others, fake orange trees and wooden boxes. Here, Google renews the Zionist myth about the Jaffa orange as an “Israeli” product. It is mentioned that the Palestinians have grown and exported oranges for hundreds of years before the formation of Israel. Israel confiscated the oranges of Jaffa and used the lands stolen in the Nakba to grow and benefit from this fruit. Thus, "the design of Google's headquarters screams Zionism," according to Munduwais.

This alignment with Zionism comes with a backing: Google even dedicated one of its skyscraper floors to Campus TLV, an initiative created by then-Prime Minister Netanyahu through which the company helps Israeli startups thrive.

Google also acted as a general counsel for Israel. This was demonstrated in Google “E-novate Israel” – a kind of precursor to Nimbus.

The E-nnovate Israel project was launched in 2013, with the stated goals of helping Israel increase its GDP and “providing the [Israeli] government with a systematic model for implementing information and communication technologies.” The project's promotional video promises to integrate "internet tools and technologies" into every government wing, including "Defense" and "Home Front Defense", as well as "Construction and Housing". The launch of the "E-novate Israel" initiative took place under the auspices of Naftali Bennett - the current Israeli prime minister, then the economy minister - notorious for bragging about the killing of "many Arabs". In his speech, Bennett declared that "if the State of Israel embraces even some of the innovative principles [presented by Google] that have proven successful in the private sector, we have a great future ahead."

Google tells the future of Israel in Zionist terms such as: Israel is not a settler-colonial regime, but an “innovation” factory that will benefit everyone (“a fledgling country”). Google E-novate says, “Israel is a nation of independent thinkers whose innovation, creativity, and leadership are part of our DNA and our collective spirit.” This project also repeats the Zionist orange story, explaining that Israel “progressed from exporting oranges to exporting technologies.”

In Google's Zionist propaganda brand, Israel's "main assets" are not the land, labor or knowledge it stole from the indigenous people of Palestine, but "the Israeli people, who have an uncanny ability to think creatively and constantly invent ideas." These “innovative” ideas have made Israel the largest global exporter of drones, and a supplier of weapons and counterinsurgency tactics to oppressive regimes around the world.

suppression of resistance

Another way to reconfirm the Zionist narratives is to bury the alternatives. Over the years, Google has lowered (to varying degrees) anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist sites in search results — including the progressive CounterPunch, the World Socialist site and the "Blacklist Report" exposing Israeli crimes.

Palestinians have been regularly targeted for criminalization and censorship of (opposition) social media platforms. Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour was arrested in 2015 and subsequently imprisoned by Israel for publishing her poem “Resist My People, Resist Them” on Facebook, Google and YouTube, while countless Palestinian voices have been removed from these fascist platforms. As Palestinian writer Maryam Barghouti recently argued, these platforms do more than silence individuals – they “wipe us [Palestinians] completely, clean up and pardon the criminal acts with which Israel replaces us with its settlements and settlers, burying us in the abyss of history as a population of ghosts.”

When Google shows the land, the Palestinians are already treated like ghosts that haunt the landscape - and the settlers' view rises again.

Google's Zionist view of space

Control of land is a major goal of settlement communities, which is why Israel is investing massive resources in mapping and navigation technologies – tools that also attract companies like Google. As engineer Eyal Weizmann (an Israeli who worked at Google) documented, Israel created detailed 3D computer models of Palestinian areas to facilitate settlement and control. Israeli war thinkers have also adopted disturbing spatial metaphors such as the idea of ​​"walking through walls"—Israel's euphemism, lifted from critical theory, for tearing down Palestinian homes in urban areas, which the state implemented in the West Bank in 2002, during the second intifada.

Google shares Israel's ambition to monitor the Palestinian territories, directing all movements from a military perspective.

In 2001, Google bought CIA-sponsored Keyhole and used the company's 3D mapping software as the basis for Google Earth. The CIA used Keyhole during the occupation of Iraq, in the early 2000s. 21st century, to monitor Iraqi movements, identify targets, and overlay surveillance information (such as intercepted communications) on geospatial displays.As the United States and Israel practice a similar type of terrorism on the people they occupy, Google exists to provide some tools.

Google expanded its spatial capabilities by acquiring the Israeli company Waze — which spun from the IDF’s Unit 8200 — for $1.1 billion in 2013. Not only did Google benefit from Waze’s navigation software; Rather, it is the technology that has evolved from it.

Waze was designed to give an Israeli view of the public space based on the outputs of the Israeli army. For example, the program does not give directions in the West Bank. After consulting with the IDF’s “Judea and Samaria Division” (a Zionist sign for the West Bank area), Waze programmed its program to “warn Israeli drivers” when they enter areas populated predominantly by Palestinians (the so-called “Area A” in the West Bank) – which Israel envisions as areas of terrorism.

Likewise, Google Maps presents a Zionist view of the land. For Google Maps, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and the terms “West Bank” and “Gaza” have been replaced in the past by the word “Israel.” Google Maps also displayed swathes of the West Bank as blanks, reminiscent of one of Google's founders' sense that what isn't Israel is "just filth."

As explained by the Palestinian group 7amleh, Google Maps excludes “Palestinian areas not recognized by Israel” but displays only Jewish settlements, and ignores “all restrictions on the movement of Palestinians, such as checkpoints and restricted roads, which impede the freedom of movement of Palestinian Palestinians, And if they are not taken into account, they could cause a grave danger to the Palestinians.” In general, he will not give directions to and from Gaza.

Even Israel's Apartheid Wall—more than 700 kilometers (440 miles) long, built to capture more land and further fragment Palestinian towns and villages—is not shown by Google Maps. Such Zionist facades prompted the Palestinians to create alternative maps through initiatives such as: PalMap and Palestine Open Maps.

However, Google sticks to the point of view of the colonists. In October, when the label "Apartheid Wall" somehow made its way to Google Maps, the Zionist group alerted the Jewish News Syndicate (JNS) to Google, which promptly removed it. A Google spokesperson reportedly told JNS that they "taken swift action to update this inappropriate bug".

Project Nimbus: Another Phase of Colonialism

The Nimbus project demonstrates once again that Google is committed to Israel's agenda. Through this project, Google also continues to settle the Palestinian territories.

Israel has already begun building the facility that will house Google's servers, along with the necessary infrastructure. According to an Israeli news source, the facility will require four fuel tanks on site with a capacity of more than 200,000 liters. The facility is being built in Bnei Zion, a Jewish settlement (“moshav”) in central Palestine established in 1947 with the help of the Jewish Agency of Israel – which, in the words of Joseph Massad, is “the main Zionist member responsible for advancing the Jewish colonization of Palestine.” In addition to promoting only Jewish settlements and expelling Palestinians, the Jewish Agency also attacked boycott, sanctions and divestment (BDS) initiatives as "anti-Semitic".

Residents of Bnei Zion, who live on this stolen land, have tried to block the construction of the Google facility through Israeli courts — but not out of concern for the Palestinians. Residents fear that computerizing the servers with government data will open the facility to physical attacks “from Lebanon and Gaza.” They are also concerned about the facility's environmentally devastating effects, and the opaque state bureaucracy that approves such projects without soliciting residents' input. And, of course, Israel was built by this opaque bureaucracy, which for decades has confiscated land for Jewish settlement only and blocked Palestinian development projects. The construction of this colonial project's computing facility continues, with its environmental destruction, with the enrichment of Israel, Google, and partner companies such as Amazon.

It is worth noting the wide range of companies that feed on colonial projects such as Project Nimbus. While Google and Amazon won the computing services contract, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle were also competing for it. (Oracle already has an underground server facility in Jerusalem and plans to open another one, while Facebook and Apple are also expected to build additional Israeli facilities.) Consulting firms also get a piece of the pie: Anglo-Dutch company KPMG will help guide the Israeli project, winning the contract It was also contested by Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and McKinsey.

Dismantling the colonial system and its institutional tentacles

In addition to facilitating criminalization and state violence, “Google and its peers are also engaged in “progressive” counterinsurgency to protect the interests of the American empire,” according to Munduwais.

These companies have created the farce of so-called “ethical technology”: the idea that with a correct “ethical” code and appropriate “partnerships” these companies and their state partners can act for the “common good.” Google, Microsoft, and other companies have sponsored academics, policy analysts, government advisers, and journalists who push this “ethics” training, and use progressive propaganda to protect industry investments in prison and colonialism.

He adds: “When the 'ethics' train began to lose steam, the same forces proceeded to fund academics and anyone else who could promise to rename the same industry 'anti-racist', 'feminist', 'decolonization' or 'decolonization' of the industry itself, without Challenge its imperial existence. The result is a spectacle: a clash emerges between the so-called “big tech” companies and the critics who fund them, who are in fact two sides of the same coin; And on the fringes of this largely US-driven landscape are alternative analyzes and organizational forms that are not invested in these industries and their repressive techniques – but rather are paving the way for their abolition. Palestinian activist groups such as Stop the Wall, for example, have identified companies such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook as a "colony" that is part of the Israeli system. The abolition of the colonial system means that these destructive entities must go.”

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