Google’s global diversity leader apologized privately on Tuesday night to the company's Jewish employees for a blog post in which he argued that Jews have an "insatiable appetite for war," but the tech company remains mum on the controversy.
Kamau Bobb, Google’s global lead for diversity strategy and research, sent an email apology to a listserv of Jewish Google employees—known within the company as the "Jewglers"—and said his "hurtful" statements about Jews were part of a ham-handed attempt to criticize Israel’s military action.
A consultant for Google passed along the note to the Free Beacon with a set of strict instructions regarding its use: "Please also note that while I work with Google, I am not offering this as an official statement from Google, nor am I speaking as an authorized Google spokesperson," the consultant said in an email. Google itself has yet to offer any official comment on the dust-up, nor has the tech giant, whose CEO Sundar Pinchai issued a lengthy note last summer detailing his commitment to "racial equity," made any public remarks on the recent spate of anti-Semitic attacks.
Bobb told Google's Jewish employees that his anti-Semitic tirade was "intended as a critique of particular military action" and apologized for "crudely" characterizing all Jews.
"[T]he world is leaving us all feeling unsafe and unsettled right now. i certainly don't want to contribute to that," he added. "[N]one of this changes or excuses the words i wrote – but i am deeply sorry for them."
Bobb's 2007 blog post, titled "If I were a Jew," was reported by the Washington Free Beacon on Tuesday. In the post, Bobb offered his thoughts on how Jews should view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"If I were a Jew I would be concerned about my insatiable appetite for war and killing in defense of myself," he wrote in the Nov. 30, 2007, post on his personal blog, where he was still actively publishing as recently as April 2021. "Self defense is undoubtedly an instinct, but I would be afraid of my increasing insensitivity to the suffering [of] others."
Jewish organizations have slammed the post as anti-Semitic and called on Google to address the controversy.
".@Google must fire this #antisemite #KamauBobb," wrote the Simon Wiesenthal Center, one of the most prominent anti-Semitism watchdog groups, on Twitter.
Michael Dickson, executive director of Stand With Us, a group that fights anti-Semitism, wrote on Twitter: "Did @Google Google [Bobb]? He’s not fit for this post."
In Bobb’s email to Google employees on Tuesday night, he said his blog "is a place for my personal reflection on a number of complex issues spanning years."