Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Who was behind the unsigned letter that media claimed was backed by 250 Jewish Google employees?


A handful of Americans, thousands of miles away from the Middle East -- who may not exist – are desperate to become policy makers.

How? By creating fake headlines they simply do not deserve.

Why? Because they are said to be Google employees, and because they are said to be Jewish, and because they claim to be numerous.

Many news websites published a rant, this past week, which shrilly demanded that Google’s CEO punish Israel and support the Palestinian attacker. These "news items" claimed that 250 Jewish Google employees (out of 100,000 employees), support this.

”Jewish employees urge Google to support Palestinians, cancel contracts”, the Jerusalem Post shouted. “Jewish Google Employees Ask Company to End Its Ties With Israeli Military”, enthused leftist Haaretz. “Jewish Google employees to CEO: end contracts with Israelis who support infringement of Palestinian rights”, blared the allegedly high-brow Calcalist.

Hmm. First of all, if 250 Jewish Google employees hold one personal opinion or another, with all due respect, this is not a large enough number to be news at all. Political parties, for example, routinely have over a million supporters.

But it’s not clear how many if any were actually behind this miniscule rant. Because none of the “news sites” seems to have checked and confirmed, that the "250" employees of Google really existed in reality. None of the articles identified even one employee by name – not a single name in the article in The Marker, nor in Calcalist, nor in Globes. Could it be that the "leading journalists" who wrote these "articles" did not locate, and certainly did not interview, even one alleged signatory? In today’s world of sloppy journalism – that can certainly be.



Yes, the "articles", those in English at least, do provide an authentic link to a "letter" that the employees allegedly signed. There’s proof for you!

But follow the link. The letter is eerily devoid of signatures. It is in fact no more than an unsigned fledgling petition that invites you, the reader, to sign.

Furthermore, even if you do choose to believe, as an article of liberal faith, that 250 people did sign, before all these articles came out -- do not assume these were 250 Jews. Also, do not assume that they are 250 employees of Google. Because the uploaded document indicates -- in the small print at the very end -- that the signatories - if any – are not actually all “Jewish Googlers”. Instead, they are “Jewish Googlers, allies, and external supporters”. So among the signers (if any) there are some Google employees, and there are some Jews, but there are also "allies" (who are not Jewish), and "outside supporters" (who are not Google employees).

This is "news"? By what right do sites that advertise an empty petition for free and tell their readers it’s a news item, call themselves news sites, not "burbling sites" or "political movements"? Journalism is no longer a profession, if a microscopic burp of an event, which is clearly non-newsworthy, is distributed so widely and embarrassingly – by so many sites which should have known better, including Ynet, Mako, The Marker, Calcalist, Globes, Al-Jazeera, Haaretz, Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel, Independent, JTA, and even JNS, Kippah, Channel 20, Rotter, Breitbart, JANGLO and Israel Today.

A journalist is supposed to know that there is a difference between news and an advertisement -- especially in an age where the economic situation of news organizations is bad, worldwide. When an attention-seeker approaches you and tries to sell you his latest pet project as "news" – especially if the “news” is actually simply a link inviting your hard-earned readers to join her fledgling initiative, especially if the initiative seems on the face of it embarrassingly naïve -- any journalist worth his salt is supposed to politely reply as follows: "Take it to our advertising department. They’ll give you a good price, per inch, and you can recruit as many signatories as you want. As a paid advertisement."

So it is doubly and triply regrettable, even amusing, that so many news sites agreed to publish this burp for free.

It’s a pleasure to note that some news sites were professional enough NOT to publish the burp. From the New York Times and the BBC, to NRG, News First Class, Arutz Sheva and Srugim here in Israel – all these functioned as true journalists. They maintained their professional standards and protected their readers. They deserve approbation.

Reminder: The New York Times published a lament about “a press corps deceived”, a few days ago. The NYT meant that the IDF had had the chutzpa to use the element of surprisewhen defending millions of little children, infants, and elders from a mass terrorist attack courtesy of our Palestinian Arab neighbors. As if the press are the courts instead of the source of many deceptions of their own.

Oops! It’s now turning out that deception is practiced much closer to New York, and with much less justification. Will the New York Times write a follow up, “A press corps deceived, Part II” to lament the manipulation of the press by a handful of Jewish radical Googlers? Of course not. But ordinary people can cotton onto the truth without the help of the New York Times.

Susie Dym is a spokesperson for Mattot Arim, an Israeli peace-for-peace NGO



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