Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. So does Y Combinator’s Paul Graham.
It’s not uncommon to accept that an individual’s views do not reflect that of his employer. However, much as it would be unacceptable to separate misogynistic views of a founder from reflecting upon his company, I cannot separate Paul’s continued views about Israel from YC.
Paul has been making his views known via tweets over the past few years. Nothing new under the sun in this respect.
A couple of months ago though, I was connected to a YC partner, Michael Seibel, who is planning to be in Israel early August to spread the YC gospel. I was happy to lend a hand by organizing a meet-up at a local bar and getting the word out.
I am now rescinding my offer. I will not lend my hand to an organization who is comfortable with its founder criticizing a nation, while at the same time, pitching to incubate its best and brightest.
That’s just not going to fly with me.
Again, Paul is entitled to what I believe to be misguided and mis-informed opinions. Rightfully extending this forward, YC should not be entitled to an open-arm welcoming by the Israeli startup community.
Finally, I would like to make it clear that Michael Seibel has exhibited nothing but positivity, and while I believe this situation reflects poorly upon YC, it should not upon Michael.