The man in charge of Google’s diversity strategy is facing heavy criticism for anti-Semitic comments he made in a 2007 blog post about Israel’s military actions in Gaza and Lebanon.
Kamau Bobb, Google’s global lead for diversity strategy and research, wrote that Jews have an “insatiable appetite for war” and an “insensitivity to the suffering [of] others” in the blog post, which was surfaced by the Washington Free Beacon on Tuesday. The post, titled “If I Were A Jew,” expressed what Bobb, who is not Jewish, believes Jewish people should think and feel about Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians.
“If I were a Jew I would be concerned about my insatiable appetite for war and killing in defense of myself,” he wrote on Nov. 30, 2007, on his personal website. “Self defense is undoubtedly an instinct, but I would be afraid of my increasing insensitivity to the suffering [of] 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.”
Bobb, who at the time was a research associate in technology at Georgia Tech, blasted “fundamentalist Jewish extremists” and the state of Israel for military actions taken during the nation’s 2006 war with Lebanon.
“If I were a Jew today, my sensibilities would be tormented,” he 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.”
He said that Jewish experience with the Holocaust ought to “give rise to sympathy and compassion among the oppressed.”
“I don’t know how I would reconcile that identity with the behavior of fundamentalist Jewish extremists or of Israel as a nation. 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,” he wrote.
“I wouldn’t understand the notion of collective punishment, cutting off gas, electricity and water from residents in Gaza because they are attacking Israel who is fighting against them. It would be unconscionable to me to watch Israeli tanks donning the Star of David rumbling through Ramallah destroying buildings and breaking the glass,” he continued.
Bobb also wrote that the memory of Kristallnacht should cause Jews to reject violence but instead he said they have embraced it.
“My reflections on Kristallnacht would lead me to feel that these are precisely the human sentiments that I as Jew would understand; that I ought to understand and feel compelled to help alleviate,” he wrote. “It cannot be that the sum total of a history of suffering and slaughter places such a premium on my identity that I would be willing to damn others in defense of it.”
Activists that oppose anti-Semitism criticized Bobb’s blog post after the Free Beacon published its story.
“I searched for ‘antisemitism’ and ‘hypocrisy’. Here’s what I found. Google Diversity Head @kamaubobb Said Jews Have ‘Insatiable Appetite for War'”, Stand With Us Executive Director Michael Dickson wrote on Twitter, sharing the Free Beacon’s article.
“Did @Google Google him? He’s not fit for this post,” he added.
I searched for “antisemitism” and “hypocrisy”.
Here’s what I found.
Google Diversity Head @kamaubobb Said Jews Hav… https://t.co/9QAerlNbGL
— Michael Dickson (@michaeldickson)
In follow-up tweets, Dickson said Bobb’s blog post “makes revolting, and antisemitic, comparisons between Nazi actions and that of the world’s only Jewish country. He portrays Jews as bloodthirsty.”
“All of this begs the question whether (1) @Google did due diligence when selecting @kamaubobb for the sensitive position of global Google DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) Director and (2) whether he should remain in these positions,” Dickson wrote.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a global Jewish human rights organization, called on Google to fire Bobb.
.@Google must fire this #antisemite #KamauBobb https://t.co/N3ZjOk8SZZ
— SimonWiesenthalCntr (@simonwiesenthal)
Separately, StopAntisemitism.org quoted from Bobb’s blog post and demanded to know, “How is the obscene, antisemitic bigot still employed [at Google]?”
Google and Bobb did not immediately respond to a Free Beacon request for comment.