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Employees accuse Apple of donating to groups funding West Bank settlements

More than 100 current and former workers called on the tech giant to stop alleged donations to groups 'furthering illegal settlements'
The Apple Store at Towson Town Center Mall on 10 May 2024 in Towson, Maryland.
The Apple Store at Towson Town Center Mall on 10 May 2024 in Towson, Maryland (Andrew Harnik/AFP)

Current and former employees and shareholders of the US tech giant Apple have signed an open letter calling on the company to stop matching employee donations to organisations that further illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and others that support Israel's military.

The letter is the latest form of dissent from within Apple, and builds upon a campaign recently started called Apples4Ceasefire, which called on the company to remove two organistations from its donation platforms that fund West Bank settlements.

"We stand in solidarity with our colleagues in Apples4Ceasefire who have requested Apple remove two organisations funding illegal settlements from Benevity," the letter said.

"We are amplifying that message, and asking that Apple must promptly investigate and cease matching donations to all organisations that further illegal settlements in occupied territories and support the IDF [Israeli army]," it added.

The organisations listed in the open letter include Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, HaYovel Inc, One Israel Fund, the Jewish National Fund and IsraelGives.

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Middle East Eye reached out to Apple for comment to confirm whether it matches employee donations to the groups named in the letter, but did not get a response by time of publication.

The letter was signed by 133 people, who say they are either current or former employees, or shareholders within the company.

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Over the past decade and a half, US-based non-profits have funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to settler groups in Israel, including $220m from the period of 2009 to 2013 alone.

There have been several attempts by rights groups and lawmakers to crack down on the US funding of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

In New York, assembly member Zohran Mamdani introduced the "Not On Our Dime Act", which if passed, would "prohibit not-for-profit corporations from engaging in unauthorised support of Israeli settlement activity".

The US has also in recent months imposed sanctions on several Israeli settler groups, cutting their ties to the American financial market.

The letter comes amid a growing movement among tech workers in the US to call on their respective companies to divest from Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories, and more recently to divest from Israel's war on Gaza.

In April, the tech company Google fired dozens of employees after they took part in a demonstration against its involvement in Project Nimbus, a controversial cloud-computing and Artificial Intelligence contract with the Israeli government and army.

And nearly 300 current and former Apple employees signed an open letter in April accusing the company of "wrongfully terminating" workers for expressing support for Palestine.

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