In public letter, Silicon Valley tech leaders take a stand towards antisemitism

(J. The Jewish News of Northern California via JTA) — Leaders from some of Silicon Valley’s most recognized tech companies, including Google, Twitter and YouTube, are among about 200 technology and business leaders who have signed on to a letter calling out antisemitism.

The signatories include former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, media mogul Ariana Huffington, current Google executives, and CEOs at Bay Area startups.

“To be too Jewish in America, or to be a Jew, is still a dangerous mark,” the statement says. “As business leaders, we have a collective responsibility to stand up for the society we want. Today, we stand against anti-Semitism and violence against Jews. This is true regardless of your views on Israel; this is about protecting people from the injustice of anti-Semitism and hatred.”

“Too few Americans” acknowledge that antisemitism exists [and] events of recent weeks cannot hide the truth,” the letter says, and listed some recent examples including vandalized synagogues and Jewish community centers as well as an incident in Los Angeles in which Jewish diners were attacked with bottles at a sushi restaurant. The incident is being investigated as an antisemitic hate crime.

According to Jewish Insider, the statement’s primary author is Jordana Stein, CEO of Enrich, a private network for industry professionals. Signatories also include cultural and business figures, such as makeup artist Bobbi Brown, former NBA player Baron Davis and Neil Blumenthal, co-CEO of the glasses company Warby Parker.

The letter comes on the heels of an increase in antisemitic incidents across the United States, according to the Anti-Defamation League, coinciding with the conflict last month in Israel and Gaza.

It also comes as the tech industry grapples with antisemitism in its own ranks. Antisemitic comments made by Google’s diversity head Kamau Bobb were found this month in a 2007 blog post in which he said that Jews have “an insatiable appetite for war and killing.” The Mountain View company later moved Bobb off the diversity position.


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