Ceasefire Now!


We stand in solidarity with our Palestinian siblings who have lived under brutal Israeli occupation and apartheid for 75 years, and now face a genocide with access to food, water, and fuel shutoff while being bombed and burned with white phosphorus. The Israeli military has killed an estimated 14 Palestinians every hour, and dropped the equivalent of a quarter nuclear bomb just in the first 10 days of its bombardment of Gaza. We call on our peers in the field of AI, and especially those focused on fairness, ethics and responsible AI, to walk the walk. We invite our colleagues to join us in demanding an end to Israeli apartheid and occupation, an end to Gaza genocide, and an end to Western governments’ complicity.

As researchers, activists and organizers working in the field of AI, we know that Gaza and the West Bank have been the testing ground for some of the most advanced automated surveillance and warfare technologies before they are exported around the world. As journalist Antony Loewenstein noted in The Palestine Laboratory: How Israel Exports the Technology of Occupation Around the World: “Palestine is Israel’s workshop, where an occupied nation on its doorstep provides millions of subjugated people as a laboratory for the most precise and successful methods of domination.” Israel’s NSO Group, developer of the Pegasus software found on the phones of human rights activists worldwide, is the “world’s most successful cyber-surveillance company” and is the “tip of the iceberg of this surging industry, which largely operates in the shadows with no public scrutiny.”

Israeli warfare and surveillance technology is a multi-billion dollar industry, led by companies like weapons and drone-manufacturer Elbit Systems and NSO Group. Moreover, facial recognition technology restricts freedom of movement across checkpoints, and tools like Smart Shooter automate killing by adding AI to automatic weapons at those checkpoints.

Our team includes descendants of enslaved and colonized people. Some of our families have lived through South African apartheid. Some of our families died during Tigray genocide: a genocide against the people of Tigray that has killed a staggering 700,000-800,000 people in 2 years in the deadliest war in the 21st century. We know what it's like to have our families under siege and bombardment without knowing who is alive or dead. We have lived under brutal dictatorships who criminalize dissent. We have been refugees. And members of our team regularly face systemic bigotry, including anti-Black racism, homophobia, transphobia, antisemitism and islamophobia. We know fascism and genocide when we see it–Palestinians are facing a world-sanctioned genocide conducted with the most powerful weapons in the world.

For those of us whose families lived through South African apartheid, this military and surveillance apparatus is awfully familiar, and our anti-apartheid leaders have repeatedly stated how Israeli apartheid is even worse than what we faced. The late Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote: “I know firsthand that Israel has created an apartheid reality within its borders and through its occupation. The parallels to my own beloved South Africa are painfully stark indeed.”

As tech workers, we understand that apartheid, occupation and genocide are committed with the explicit support of tech companies, researchers and practitioners. From IBM’s alliance with Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa, to Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Oracle’s partnerships with the US and Israeli militaries, tech workers’ complicity in apartheid and genocide is well documented. But so is our role in bringing an end to it–like the Polaroid workers who forced their company to end its relationship with apartheid South Africa. Google and Amazon workers have joined together to protest their companies’ complicity in Israeli apartheid, launching the #NoTechForApartheid campaign. To our fellow researchers and practitioners in AI, will you join us in demanding a #CeaseFireNow and #NoTechForApartheid?