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Pro-Israel tech giant Palantir hosts Davos meeting to support Israeli hostages

Palantir held board meeting in Tel Aviv to show solidarity, works with Defense Ministry

Demonstrators gather for a 24-hour protest at "Hostages Square", calling for the release of Israeli hostages in Gaza and to mark 100 days since the October 7 attack by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Jan. 13, 2024. (Photo: REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini)

Big data analytics firm Palantir Technologies, one of the most vocal supporters of Israel in the high-tech space, hosted a high-level meeting in support of Israeli hostages on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Family members of hostages still being held captive by terrorists in Gaza and hostages who have already been released gave emotional speeches in front of the influential audience gathered in Davos. During their speeches, they asked that they do anything in their power to help free their loved ones.

The event brought together one of the most high-profile audiences yet to hear the stories of the Israeli hostages and their families, directly from their own mouths.

Participants included Andy Jassy, the CEO of Amazon; Michael Dell, the founder and CEO of Dell Technologies; Nicola Mendelsohn, a top executive at Meta, the mother company of Facebook; Martin Sorrell, founder and former CEO of WPP; and Bill Browder, the CEO of Hermitage Capital Management.

Jewish Insider reported that "a who’s-who of high-profile figures from business, media, politics, and philanthropy attended the meeting.

On the media side, well-known journalists Bret Stephens and Andrew Ross Sorkin from the New York Times, and Ben Smith, the editor-in-chief of Semafor, were also present, as well as two former Israeli Knesset members, Tzipi Livni and Stav Shaffir, Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, and the CEO of the Atlantic Council, Fred Kempe.

Several prominent figures and politicians gave speeches on behalf of the hostages, including Albert Bourla, the CEO of pharma-giant Pfizer, Victor Halberstadt, a Holocaust survivor and economics professor at Leiden University in the Netherlands, and Meirav Eilon Shahar, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations.

The event organizer, Palantir, has been one of the most outspoken tech companies supporting Israel in its war against Hamas in Gaza. The data analytics firm based in Denver, Colorado flew its entire board to Tel Aviv earlier in January to hold this year’s first board meeting.

The bold move was intended to “embarrass other people who are pro-Israel in private but somehow not in public,” the firm’s CEO and co-founder Alex Karp said at the time.

“There are a lot of people in the industry who are maybe not as pro-Israel as I am but they think of Israel as a very special place and are generally more understanding of the Israeli position and view Israel’s accomplishments of building a nation from a desert.”

Last week, Palantir also announced a strategic partnership with the Israeli Defense Ministry to “supply Palantir with technology to help the country’s war effort,” following a meeting between defense officials and Palantir co-founders Peter Thiel and Alex Karp.

While both parties did not disclose details of the deal, Palantir has a long-standing relationship with the U.S. Department of Defense and offers several intelligence analysis platforms.

The company is also responsible for an initiative to combat growing antisemitism on American college campuses as a result of Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza.

In addition, they have announced a campaign to focus on recruiting Jewish graduates.

“Students on campuses are terrified and have been instructed by administrators to hide their Judaism… They are welcome to join Palantir, and we are setting aside 180 positions for them immediately,” the firm wrote.

The company’s public stance has even earned it the ire of pro-Palestinian supporters who protested in front of Palantir’s London office last month, accusing the tech giant of being complicit in Israel’s “war crimes.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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