Fox Business: Rabbinic organization calls on Google to replace staffer over ‘deeply disturbing,’ ‘anti-Semitic’ blog post
June 2, 2021

published at Fox Business

The largest rabbinic public policy organization in America is calling on Google to replace staffer Kamau Bobb over a 2007 blog post the group characterized as “deeply disturbing” and “viciously anti-Semitic.”

In a letter addressed to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, the Coalition for Jewish Values – which represents more than 1,500 rabbis – said they believed Pichai found Bobb’s views “no more acceptable than we do”’ as they asked for him to be replaced by “an individual qualified for the position he currently holds.”

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“There is no disclaimer, denunciation, or any other sign of regret or remorse,” the letter to Pichai reads. “Rather, the post is simply ‘hidden’ [on his blog] because he knows that others, those possessing genuine tolerance and decency, will find his views repugnant. One can only conclude that he hopes to share his ugly screed with others who share his outlook.”

As previously reported by FOX Business, Bobb, who lists himself as the Global Lead for Diversity Strategy and Research at Google and the founding Senior Director of the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech, wrote a post in Nov. 2007 titled “If I Were a Jew” that appears to be a reflection on different ideas about military conflict that Bobb believes he might grapple with as a Jew.

He said if he were a Jew his “sensibilities would be tormented” and he would struggle to reconcile long cycles of oppression with “the insatiable appetite for vengeful violence that Israel, my homeland, has now acquired.”

“If I were a Jew I would be concerned about my insatiable appetite for war and killing in defense of myself,” the post concluded. “Self defense is undoubtedly an instinct, but I would be afraid of my increasing insensitivity to the suffering others. My greatest torment would be that I’ve misinterpreted the identity offered by my history and transposed spiritual and human compassion with self righteous impunity.”

The Coalition for Jewish Values called Bobb’s use of a bigoted stereotype “indecent and unacceptable,” and his assertion that Jews possess an “insatiable appetite” for vengeful killing “viciously anti-Semitic.”

The Jewish human rights organization Simon Wiesenthal Center also called for Bobb to resign.

A spokesperson for Google did not return FOX Business’ request for comment.

In an apology letter Bobb allegedly sent to the “Jewgler” Employee Resource Group at Google on Tuesday – which was obtained by FOX Business – Bobb explained that while his blog is a place for personal reflection, he wanted to respond after seeing the pain it had caused.

“Let me first apologize,” Bobb said. “What I wrote crudely characterized the entire Jewish community. What was intended as a critique of particular military action fed into anti-Semitic tropes and prejudice. I think we can all agree, there is no easy solution to this situation. But that’s beside the point. The way I expressed my views on that conflict were hurtful.”

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