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Apple employees call for company to support Palestinians in internal letter

They say Tim Cook hasn’t put out a statement condemning violence toward the Palestinian people

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Apple employees are circulating an internal letter calling on Tim Cook to put out a statement supporting the Palestinian people. Nearly 1,000 workers have signed.

The writers, who are part of the Apple Muslim Association, specifically ask the company to recognize that “millions of Palestinian people currently suffer under an illegal occupation.”

The move comes on the heels of Israel’s deadly bombing campaign in Gaza, which has killed roughly 227 people, including at least 63 children. On Thursday, the Israeli government approved a unilateral cease fire.

Members of the Apple Muslim Association — an official employee group — say they were inspired to write the note after the company failed to put out a statement condemning the violence toward Palestinians. “We are frustrated and disappointed because once more, many of those in positions of power and influence ... either choose to remain silent or release ineffectually neutral ‘both sides’ statements with regards to the Palestinian situation,’” they wrote. Historically, the company has not been quick to voice solidarity with Muslim employees or support Muslim causes, according to one current worker. (Tim Cook was, however, an outspoken critic of Donald Trump’s Muslim ban).

The letter was sent Monday. Apple has not yet responded.

Discussions about the violence internally were dominated by pro-Zionist voices, sources said, with Muslim employees and allies trying unsuccessfully to turn the talks toward the plight of Palestinians and Muslim Apple workers.

The news comes two days after a group of Jewish employees at Google put out a statement calling for the company to protect anti-Zionist speech. Google workers also asked that the company review its business contracts to ensure they do not enable Israeli violations of Palestinian rights.

On May 12th, The Verge published another internal letter from Apple employees, calling for an investigation into the hiring of Antonio García Martínez — author of the controversial book Chaos Monkeys. Shortly after publication, Martínez was fired.

Here is the text of the full letter:

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Verge.