Google Removes Diversity Executive Over Anti-Semitic Post

Google has reacted quickly after Kamau Bobb, after its global head of diversity strategy was discovered to written highly questionable material about Jewish people.

A blog post by Bobb written fourteen years ago in 2007 was flagged by the Washington Free Beacon for being anti-semitic, as he wrote that Jews have an “insatiable appetite for war” and an “insensitivity to the suffering [of] others.”

It should be noted that Kamau Bobb’s personal blog post from 2007 has now been taken down, but it was available online as recently as April 2021.

Also Bobb was not actually working at Google when he wrote the offending blog.

Kamau Bobb

At the time Bobb was reportedly a research associate in technology at Georgia Tech.

“If I were a Jew I would be concerned about my insatiable appetite for war and killing in defense of myself,” The Free Beacon quoted him as writing in his blog post on 30 November 2007. “Self defense is undoubtedly an instinct, but I would be afraid of my increasing insensitivity to the suffering [of] others.”

“If I were a Jew today, my sensibilities would be tormented,” he allegedly wrote. “I would find it increasingly difficult to reconcile the long cycles of oppression that Jewish people have endured and the insatiable appetite for vengeful violence that Israel, my homeland, has now acquired.”

Bobb also allegedly wrote that the history of Jewish suffering, particularly the Holocaust, should theoretically provide Jews with more “human compassion.”

“I don’t know how I would reconcile that identity with the behavior of fundamentalist Jewish extremists or of Israel as a nation,” he allegedly wrote. “The details would confuse me. I wouldn’t understand those who suggest that bombing Lebanon, slaughtering Lebanese people and largely destroying Beirut in retaliation for the capture of a few soldiers is justified.”

Staff pressure?

The Free Beacon pointed out that Bobb’s viewpoint on Israel comes after a “small group of Google employees” recently demanded executives cut ties with Israeli businesses following last month’s bombing campaign against Islamist terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

CEO Sundar Pichai apparently responded in an internal letter in which he reportedly said “recognising the violence in Palestine and Israel, which must include direct recognition of the harm done to Palestinians by Israeli military and gang violence.”

And Google has taken action against Bobb, but has not dismissed him.

On Thursday, a spokesperson for Google told the BBC that Bobb would “no longer be part of our diversity team going forward.”

“We unequivocally condemn the past writings by a member of our diversity team that are causing deep offense and pain to members of our Jewish community,” the spokesperson reportedly said.

“These writings are unquestionably hurtful. The author acknowledges this and has apologised. He will no longer be part of our diversity team… and will focus on his Stem work,” the spokesperson said.

Bobb apology

“This has come at at a time where we’ve seen an alarming increase in anti-Semitic attacks,” the spokesperson added. “Anti-Semitism… has no place in society and we stand with our Jewish community in condemning it.”

Bobb himself has reportedly said sorry to the Jewish staff group at Google for the blog post.

“What I wrote crudely characterised the entire Jewish community,” the BBC reported him as writing in an email. “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,” he reportedly said. “But that’s beside the point. The way I expressed my views on that conflict were hurtful.”

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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