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Google, Unilever Receive “F” in Response to Rising Antisemitism in Corporate America

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Top US corporations including Google and Unilever have been given an ‘F’ rating for their responses to antisemitism in a new report by a Jewish advocacy group.  

The report, published by StopAntisemitism.org, rated 25 business behemoths and found many to be lacking. 

Google was given a failing grade in the report, after the former head of its diversity, strategy and research team was exposed for writing that Jews have an ‘insatiable appetite for war and killing’.

The report, titled Antisemitism in Corporate America 2021, said that the senior Google staffer was merely moved off the diversity team rather than fired when his allegedly anti-Semitic writings from 2007 were exposed this year.

Stop Antisemitism also gave a failing grade to consumer goods giant Unilever, after its subsidiary Ben & Jerry’s ice cream boycotted the sale of its products in parts of Israel. 

The report claimed that the company’s action ‘arguably violates the IHRA [International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance] Working Definition of Antisemitism by applying double standards against the Jewish State of Israel,’ adding that ‘the move was widely decried as anti-Semitic.’ 

In a statement, Unilever said: ‘We have never expressed any support for the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement and have no intention of changing that position. Unilever remains fully committed to our colleagues and customers in Israel, and to Jewish communities around the world.’

The company added that although Ben & Jerry’s ‘will not be present in the West Bank from 2023, it will remain in Israel through a different business arrangement.’

Other big firms rated in the report, exclusively obtained by DailyMail.com, include Amazon, Apple, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Walmart, Target, Nike, Gap, Anthem and United Healthcare among others.  

Stop Antisemitism claimed in the report that although companies rushed to bolster their anti-racism policies in the wake of George Floyd’s murder last year, ‘the corporate workplace has become increasingly hostile to American Jews, in a broader environment of rising antisemitism.’ 

The Jewish advocacy group’s executive director, Liora Rez, told DailyMail.com that Google’s failure to fire its diversity chief Kamau Bobb when his allegedly anti-Semitic blog posts were exposed this year, led her organization to investigate and survey more US corporate titans for their policies on anti-Jewish bigotry. 

‘If this were any other group of people this man would have been immediately fired, had it been African Americans, Muslims, Asians, Latinos, LGBTQ+,’ Rez said. 

‘Because it was related to Jews it was a slap on the hand, and they had the audacity to just move him to a different department.’

Bobb’s 2007 blog post, now deleted, was about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and was titled ‘If I were a Jew’.

‘If I were a Jew I would be concerned about my insatiable appetite for war and killing in defense of myself,’ he wrote.  

‘Self-defense is undoubtedly an instinct, but I would be afraid of my increasing insensitivity to the suffering [of] others.’

Bobb apologized to Google staff and a spokesperson at the time said the company ‘unequivocally condemns’ his past writings. 

‘We said to ourselves if this is happening at Google, a global tech giant with the spotlight always on them, is this happening in other places?’ Rez said. 

‘We sent out a survey to the 25 companies asking what practices… do you have in place to protect your Jewish employees. 

‘None of them answered. From our research we found barely any of them had any type of markers or even included Jews as a minority segment in their DEI [Diversity Equality and Inclusion] practices. 

‘Jews were excluded more often than not. It’s startling because if you look at FBI statistics, when it comes to religious hate crimes we comprise the largest percentage.’ 

According to the latest FBI data, of the 1,715 victims of anti-religious hate crimes in 2019, 60.2% were ‘victims of crimes motivated by offenders’ anti-Jewish bias.’  

The data said number of anti-Jewish hate crime victims has increased by 41% since 2015. 

Companies scrutinized in the Stop Antisemitism report were measured against a baseline including whether they use their ‘platform to stand against the persecution of Jews’, whether they ‘forcefully speak out against antisemitism’, and if there is ‘training on antisemitism within the company’.

One of only two corporations to get an ‘A’ grade was beauty company L’Oreal. 

The report commended the company’s swift response to discovering one of its brand influencers’ allegedly anti-Semitic tweets. 

‘The beauty leader found itself in a social media storm in 2018 when one of its brand influencers, Amena Khanʼs anti-Semitic tweets were discovered,’ the report said.

‘Loreal quickly dropped her and adopted the “L’Oréal Influencer Value Charter” which states: “influencers will not share views or engage in behavior which could be interpreted as racism, antisemitism, homophobia, misogyny, religious intolerance, violence, bullying or aggressiveness towards others, pornography or any type of criminal activity.”‘  

The report said L’Oreal was committed to ‘diversity and inclusion’, pointing out that the company specifically prohibited bigotry against Jews in its policies.

‘Their Employee Human Rights Policy states: ‘Proselytism (i.e. attempting to convert others) as well as expression of hatred A (i.e. antisemitism, racism, homophobia) are contrary to the values of LʼOréal and prohibited’,’ the report said. 

Though Facebook has attracted a deluge of criticism over its content-policing policies, the report was complimentary of the corporation’s stance on antisemitism and gave it a ‘B’.

‘The social media giant has taken much needed steps to address the deep hate speech issues directed toward Jews on its platform,’ Stop Antisemitism said. 

‘In August 2020, Facebook ‘banned anti-Semitic stereotypes about the collective power of Jews that often depicts them running the world or its major institutions.’ 

In October 2020, Facebook updated its ‘hate speech policy to prohibit any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust.’ 

Several companies including Amazon were given low ‘D’ grades by the report for failing to proactively support Jews. 

The report said though Amazon ‘is committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, there is no mention of Jews or antisemitism,’ and though the company ‘has affinity groups for its diverse community of employees – there is no group for Jews.’ 

The second of the two ‘A’ grade winners was American Eagle Outfitters. 

The report gave high marks to the company for having a ‘REAL Jewish Connection group ‘to celebrate the Jewish culture through education and recognition of holiday rituals throughout the year.’ 

The report said there is a need for greater scrutiny of antisemitism in America after Jews were attacked in New York during protests over the conflict between Israel and Gaza this summer.  

Other examples of alleged bigotry against Jews highlighted in the report included a federal lawsuit filed by Jewish mental health workers at Stanford University’s on-campus counseling clinic, claiming ‘severe and persistent’ anti-Jewish harassment by colleagues. 

The report also claimed that April Powers, a black Jewish woman who was chief equity inclusion officer of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators, was ‘pushed to resign by anti-Semitic activists who launched a vicious campaign against her for putting out a statement on behalf of SCBWI condemning recent antisemitism.’ 

The report said the activists deemed her statement was ‘anti-Palestinian, despite powers never mentioning Israel.’ 

Stop Antisemitism describes itself as an ‘American watchdog organization that monitors antisemitism and exposes those that espouse hatred against the Jewish people.’