Google headquarters in Mountain View. (Photo/JTA-Wikimedia Commons)
Google headquarters in Mountain View. (Photo/JTA-Wikimedia Commons)

Silicon Valley tech leaders: ‘We stand against antisemitism’

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 onto a letter calling out antisemitism.

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, describing the shocking incident in Los Angeles, now being investigated as an antisemitic hate crime, where Jewish diners were attacked with bottles at a sushi restaurant.

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 recent conflict 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 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.

Elsewhere, a Noe Valley Chabad preschool in San Francisco was vandalized in May with graffiti that read “Israil terror” and “Death to Israil.” And on June 6, a popular café in the city’s Mission District owned by Jewish business owner Manny Yekutiel was vandalized with graffiti that read “Racist pigz” and “Zionist pigz.” The incident is being investigated as a hate crime, according to a statement by an S.F. Police Department spokesperson on June 10. No arrests have been made.

Gabriel Greschler

Gabriel Greschler was a staff writer at J. from 2019 to 2021.