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Intel, Facebook, and Google have withdrawn from a major technology summit due to concerns related to Israel

This article discusses Meta (the parent company of Facebook and Instagram) and Google’s decision to withdraw from the Web Summit, one of the largest annual technology conferences. The companies cited concerns related to Israel’s actions following the Hamas attacks as the reason for their pullout.

The co-founder of Web Summit, Irish entrepreneur Paddy Cosgrave, publicly criticized the actions and rhetoric of Western leaders and governments, expressing shock at their responses. He highlighted the importance of acknowledging war crimes, even when committed by allies. This statement from Cosgrave on October 13 triggered a series of exits by various companies and tech figures, including Intel, Siemens, US comedian Amy Poehler, and actor Gillian Anderson. The initial boycott was initiated by Silicon Valley figure Garry Tan, known for backing start-ups, and it gained momentum as others in the industry joined the cause.

The Web Summit, scheduled to take place from November 13 to 16 in Lisbon, was expecting around 2,300 startups and over 70,000 attendees. In response to the controversy, Paddy Cosgrave issued an apology, acknowledging that his words had caused profound hurt to many. He emphasized the need for compassion and expressed his condemnation of Hamas’s attacks on Israel, describing them as “evil, disgusting, and monstrous.” At the same time, he affirmed his support for Israel’s right to exist and defend itself, but called on Israel to adhere to the Geneva Conventions and avoid committing war crimes.

In essence, the article highlights the withdrawal of major tech companies from the Web Summit due to concerns over Israel’s actions and the ensuing controversy sparked by the event’s co-founder’s comments.

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