As the war between Hamas and Israel rages on, global brands, many technology companies and advertising platforms have either suspended operations in Israel or asked employees to work from home as they support teams in the region and Jewish colleagues worldwide.
Dave Helmreich, chief commercial officer at Innovid, a global independent advertising and analytics company, said the office in Tel Aviv is about 50 miles from the Gaza border. A few of the employees have been called up to serve because they were in the reserves -- “probably less than 10,” he said, adding: “It’s a trying time for a lot of people and everyone is shocked.”
Helmreich served in the U.S. military for 13 years and fought side by side with the Israelis. He has flown with the Israel Defense Forces, and been off the coast in Lebanon.
Innovid employs about 100 people in Tel Aviv and about 530 employees globally.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, spoke out against the recent attacks in Israel and reaffirmed the company’s dedication to distributing accurate information. The company has two offices in Israel in Haifa and Tel Aviv, with more than 2,000 employees supporting Waze, chip design, as well as research groups focused on machine learning, natural language, and machine perception across Search, healthcare, and crisis response.
Pichai addressed employees in an internal email last weekend, and the company continues to provide updates on the situation. He said the company is working to detect and remove graphically violent, hateful or terrorist content, or coordinated disinformation campaigns across all its platforms.
Google's cybersecurity experts continue to share findings in real-time with the broader security community. "For example, our security unit, Mandiant, has observed fake accounts connected to Iran which are promoting anti-Israeli narratives across various services, as well as investigating reports of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks by suspected pro-Hamas and pro-Russia hacktivist groups targeting Israeli government websites," reported 9To5Google, citing a Google spokesperson.
NewsGuard on Wednesday launched an Israel-Hamas war misinformation tracking center -- a publicly available hub that documents the top false narratives emerging about the war, including where the claims emerged, how they spread, and how much online engagement they are receiving.
The global team of misinformation analysts has identified 14 false or completely unsubstantiated claims circulating. Together, these claims had already garnered a collective 22 million views across Elon Musk’s X, as well as TikTok, and Instagram within three days of the Hamas attack.
Despite all the misinformation -- including false claims such as Ukraine selling weapons to Hamas -- there are many truths, including Volkswagen's Oracle's, Intel's, Zara's, and American Eagle's commitment to Israel.
“The recent attacks on Israel were shocking and horrifying,” Pablo Di Si, Volkswagen Group of America president and CEO, wrote in a LinkedIn post. “Our thoughts are with the people of Israel who are facing terror and violence and our colleagues who have families impacted by this tragedy.”
As of Tuesday, Volkswagen’s production and operations in Israel had not been affected, but management continues to check in on the team and monitor the situation.
The car manufacturer is a “proud partner” of anti-hate organization the Anti-Defamation League. Its mission is to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all.
Four days into the war, Inditex, the owner of fashion chain Zara, temporarily shut 84 stores in Israel.
“Our stores will be temporarily closed and (item) return times will be extended by 20 days from their reopening,” the company notes in the query description on Google Search.
Showing support for Israel, American Eagle covered its marquee Times Square billboard with a picture of the Israeli flag.
The complexities of war leave businesses and marketers walking a thin political line in order to avoid offending consumers.
Oracle, which has been growing in popularity across the marketing and advertising industry, has promised to give $1 million to Magen David Adom, an Israeli nonprofit that aids emergency responders.
Intel closed its facility in Israel. Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel, wrote an email to employees, addressing the conflict and reassuring them that the company was taking precautions to ensure their safety.