‘Tech for Palestine’ Aims to Boost Global Palestinian Advocacy

One of logos of the Tech for Palestine initiative. (Image: via social media)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Launched by engineers and investors throughout the world, Tech for Palestine is one of the first tech initiatives to take a public stance supporting Palestine. 

More than 40 founders, engineers, investors, and others in the tech industry have announced a venture called Tech for Palestine to build open-source projects, tools and data to help others in the industry advocate for the Palestinian people.

According to TechCrunch, an online news site focusing on high-tech and start companies, it is one of the first tech initiatives to take a public stance supporting Palestine. 

The news site states that Paul Biggar, the founder of Tech for Palestine, hopes to raise more awareness of the war in Gaza, fight for a permanent ceasefire, and provide ways for those who are afraid to speak publicly in support of Palestine to still offer support. 

Biggar, the founder of the company CircleCI, reportedly formed the coalition after writing a viral blog post that criticized the lack of support the tech industry has shown Palestinians.

TechCrunch reports that after he wrote his blog post, thousands of people reached out to Biggar with words of support, many of them afraid to speak up themselves for fear of potential career impacts.

Among them, he said, were “dozens of people not only speaking up but who had started projects to change the industry to ensure that people speaking up for Palestine could be heard. Dozens of others were volunteering to help,” Biggar added.

“I started connecting these folks together, and the [Tech for Palestine] community came together very quickly.”

TechCrunch reports that the platform, still in its early days, will feature projects run by small groups and serve as a place to share resources and advice. This is something many pro-Palestinian tech workers are already doing privately.

So far, it has created a badge for engineers to use on GitHub that calls for a ceasefire and created HTML snippets for people to use on their websites to put up a support ceasefire banner.

Helping People to Speak Up

Biggar said there are plans to eventually work more with Palestinian organizations and help Palestinian startups with mentorship and cloud credits, TechCrunch reports.

TechCrunh quotes Arfah Farooq, founder of Muslamic Makers, as saying that in the last three months there has been a togetherness and activism that she has never seen before. “I’ve seen firsthand people come together to work for Palestine with nothing but their laptops from across the globe,” she said.

She decided to work with Tech for Palestine after reading Biggar’s viral blog post and has already started to share resources on how to support Palestine, the report adds.

“Due to the siege, we can’t go to Gaza and help on the ground, but we help regardless of where we are in the world,” Farooq said.

Biggar hopes, at the very least, that this new coalition will lead to a larger shift in people speaking up.

“The narrative has only just turned,” he reportedly said. “We are working to enable many more who feel silenced to speak out, we are only getting started.”

The Tech for Palestine website states that “We aim to end the dehumanization of Palestinians within the tech community, and to bring voice to those who speak up.”

(PC, TechCrunch)

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