Apple employees urge Tim Cook to condemn violence against Palestinians
We hope this message will reach you in peace and well-being.
On behalf of the Apple Muslim Association, we write to you with sadness, anger, frustration and disappointment in our hearts.
We are sad and angry because we remember once again the struggle and pain of the Palestinian people and their decades of existence under military occupation.
We are frustrated and disappointed because, once again, many of those in positions of power and influence – who boldly defend human rights in so many other just causes – choose to either remain silent, or to issue ineffective “two-sided” statements about the Palestinian situation.
Many of us have had the privilege of growing up in free societies, where the rights of movement, safety, education, and opportunity are commonplace. Yet even with all of these rights, which are so often denied to the Palestinian people, Muslims (and also many other beliefs) have been told not to discuss the subject of Palestine. We were told it was “too complicated” to discuss this topic at school, and we were told it was “too sensitive” for the workplace.
We are Muslims at Apple and have had even more privileges: working for a big company that has led the way not only on products, but also on human rights issues. We, the members of WADA, have expressed our solidarity and will continue to stand with our black and brown communities in their struggle for justice and fairness. We have reached out to support and will continue to support our Asian communities in the face of anti-Asian hatred and attacks. And we have supported teammates from several countries as they deal with the anxiety of the travel ban.
In all of these situations, the right thing to do was clear to us. For millions of Muslims, these communities ARE simply their own communities. And while we stand up for them wholeheartedly, we also believe that remaining silent on the plight of the Palestinian people of all faiths, and many of whom are our fellow Apple employees, is no longer something we can do. It is not fair.
That is why we believe that Apple’s public commitment to respect internationally recognized human rights must also extend explicitly and clearly to the Palestinian people.
We humbly ask:
- Let Apple make it clear, internally and externally, that we believe the lives of Palestinians are important.
- This Apple makes it clear that, as determined by the United Nations, millions of Palestinians are currently suffering from illegal occupation. And that this fact has been reaffirmed by numerous international resolutions and supported by hundreds of nations.
- Let Apple make it clear that the above statement in no way takes away the human rights of our Jewish brothers and sisters around the world.
- Let Apple make it clear that the above statements do not in any way advocate or support terrorism of any kind against any person anywhere in the world.
- That Apple DOES NOT make any statement referring to the Palestinian situation as a “conflict”, “confrontation” or the like, as those words imply a symmetry of power that simply does not exist.
- That Apple DOES NOT make any statement referring to “both sides” or the like, as we would think is the equivalent of “all lives matter” – a minimization of the disproportionately greater pain and suffering of the Palestinian people.
That Apple is committed to devoting equitable time and effort to discovering and engaging with the Palestinian community, as we do with the many other diverse communities that make intellectual property our business.
We are not naive about what we are asking for. We realize the challenge it presents. Many of us in the Muslim community (and our allies) have faced criticism, bullying and in some cases physical attacks for exposing and stating internationally accepted facts in support of Palestinian human rights.
As one of the world’s largest and most successful companies, we believe Apple’s words and actions have the power to change lives. We believe this because we’ve seen Apple do this on multiple occasions, which has such a positive impact on the world. Conversely, we also know that silence creates a void where lives remain unchanged.
We look forward to discussing these demands with you and doing what Apple does best – having the courage to make a difference for the better in this world.
Yours in peace,
Apple Muslim Association