Amazon Web Services, the world’s largest cloud provider, has won—together with Google—the tender for Israel’s Project Nimbus, placing it in charge of the Israeli government’s entire cloud-stored data. The initial investment in the project will be $1.2 billion.
According to Israel’s Finance Ministry, Project Nimbus is a multi-year flagship project intended to provide a comprehensive solution for the provision of cloud services to the government, the defense system, and other groups within the local economy.
But Amazon’s plans may hit a wall with its pro-Palestinian employees, who have been urging it to sever its ties with the Jewish State.
According to Haaretz, the tender requires Amazon to locate its servers in Israel, to keep all the sensitive government data on Israel soil. So the company, which had been planning to launch servers in Israel before winning the tender, is planning to build three giant data servers there, each covering about 10,000 square meters including peripheral infrastructure, and reaching a volume of 16 megawatts.
According to Haaretz, the servers will be located in Lev Hasharon Regional Council, the Hartuv industrial zone outside Beit Shemesh, and the Shoham industrial zone near Ben Gurion International Airport.
The project includes acquisition and construction of cloud infrastructure, formulating government policy for migrating to the cloud, integration, and migration, and control and optimization of cloud activity. The project is expected to be concluded in 2022.
However, all this joyous noise of construction and good business may be interrupted by Amazon’s employees, more than 500 of whom this week signed an internal letter calling on Jeff Bezos and Andy Jassy to show their sympathy for the plight of the Arabs in Gaza.
The employees wrote: “We ask Amazon leadership to acknowledge the continued assault upon Palestinians’ basic human rights under an illegal occupation… without using language that implies a power symmetry or situational equivalency, which minimizes and misrepresents the disruption, destruction, and death that has disproportionately been inflicted upon the Palestinians in recent days and over several decades. Amazon employs Palestinians in Tel Aviv and Haifa offices and around the world. Ignoring the suffering faced by Palestinians and their families at home erases our Palestinian coworkers.”
The same Amazon employees demanded protecting and ensuring freedom of speech for “Israeli Palestinians,” recognizing the suffering of Palestinians, establishing a fund for those affected by the military action in Gaza, and increasing the priority of human rights in the company’s strategy implementation (Hundreds of Amazon employees call for Jeff Bezos and Andy Jassy to support Palestine).
That last item, about human writes, went:
4. Establish Human Rights as an Imperative of Amazon Business and Operations: We ask Amazon leadership to commit to review and sever business contracts and corporate donations with companies, organizations, and/or governments that are active or complicit in human rights violations, such as the Israeli Defense Forces.
Goodness, if Amazon enhances its human rights policy, how would they ever make a sale in any Arab country?
Nothing about that in this manifesto.