The head of Google’s diversity strategy is criticized for a 2007 blog post in which he wrote that Jews have “an insatiable appetite for war and murder” – and an “insensitivity” to people’s suffering.
Kamau Bobb made the comments in a Nov. 30, 2007 article titled “If I were Jewish” while he was an associate technology researcher at Georgia Tech, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
In it, he described how he believed Jews should view the conflict in the Middle East as he attacked Israel’s actions in Gaza and Lebanon at the time.
“If I were Jewish, I would be concerned about my insatiable appetite for war and murder to defend myself,” he wrote.
“Self-defense is definitely an instinct, but I would be afraid of my growing insensitivity to the suffering (of) others. My greatest torment would be to have misinterpreted the identity offered by my story and to have transposed spiritual and human compassion with self-righteous impunity.
Bobb – a graduate of Midwood High School in Brooklyn – criticized the Israeli government, arguing that Jews should be “tormented” by the country’s actions and said Jewish suffering, especially the Holocaust, should theoretically give them more “Human compassion”.
“If I were a Jew today, my sensitivity would be tormented. I would find it increasingly difficult to reconcile the long cycles of oppression that the Jewish people have endured with the insatiable appetite for vengeful violence that my homeland Israel has now acquired, ”he wrote.
“This reconciliation would be particularly difficult now, in November, 79 years after Kristallnacht – the night of shattered glass,” continued Bobb.
“The anniversary of this terribly monumental day in my history would give me pause. It would force me to reflect on the legacy of extraordinary human suffering. I might wonder how the vicious eruption of cruelty in the mid-twentieth century influenced the shape of my identity as a Jewish person and our collective identity as a Jewish people, ”he added.
In other comments on the conflict in the region, he wrote: “I don’t know how I could reconcile this identity with the behavior of fundamentalist Jewish extremists or Israel as a nation. The details would confuse me.
“I would not understand those who suggest that bombing Lebanon, slaughtering Lebanese and largely destroying Beirut in retaliation for the capture of a few soldiers is justified,” Bobb continued.
“I would not understand the notion of collective punishment, cutting off gas, electricity and water for the people of Gaza because they are attacking Israel which is fighting against them. It would be unreasonable for me to see Israeli tanks emblazoned with the Star of David rumbling through Ramallah destroying buildings and breaking windows, ”he added.
Bobb was criticized Wednesday for his 2007 remarks.
Michael Dickson, executive director of Stand With Us, which fights anti-Semitism, responded in a series of tweets.
“I searched for ‘anti-Semitism’ and ‘hypocrisy’. Here is what I found. Google chief diversity officer @kamaubobb said Jews have an ‘insatiable appetite for war’ ” he wrote, in connection with the piece Free Beacon.
“Made @Google Google him? He is not made for this position, ”he added.
In another tweet, Dickson wrote that Bobb made “appalling and anti-Semitic comparisons between the actions of the Nazis and those of the only Jewish country in the world.” He describes the Jews as bloodthirsty.
He also wrote: “All this raises the question of whether (1) @Google demonstrates due diligence in selection @kamaubobb for the sensitive position of Global Director of Google DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) and (2) whether he should remain in these positions. @Google – what you say?”
Meanwhile, the Jewish human rights organization Simon Wiesenthal Center tweeted: “Google must fire this # anti-Semite #KamauBobb. ‘”
Google did not respond to a request for comment from The Post, but Bobb reportedly sent an apology to the company’s “Jewgler” employee resource group.
“My blog is a place for personal reflection on a number of complex issues that span the years. by rereading it and seeing the pain it causes, I would like to respond directly and honestly, ”he wrote in an email obtained by The Post.
“Let me apologize first. what I wrote roughly characterized the entire Jewish community. what was conceived as a critique of a particular military action fueled anti-Semitic tropes and prejudices. I think we can all agree, there is no easy solution to this situation. but that’s off topic. the way I expressed my views on this conflict was hurtful, ”Bobb wrote.
“My work here at google is focused on expanding IT channels through our interface with educational institutions. The world is leaving us all in danger and unsettled right now. I certainly don’t want to contribute to this, ”he wrote.
“None of this changes or excuses the words I wrote – but I am deeply sorry for them,” he added.
Bobb’s biography describes him as “the global head of diversity strategy and research at Google and the founding senior director of the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech.”
He holds a doctorate. in science and technology policy from Georgia Tech and a master’s and bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.