What is this about?
Cornell NYC Tech, a partnership of Cornell University and The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, started classes on January 21, 2013 in office space donated by Google for a one-year Masters of Engineering degree in Computer Science. This space will be used until 2017, when the first building of the permanent campus on Roosevelt Island will be ready.
Cornell University and Mayor Bloomberg have stated that Cornell needed The Technion to win the bid for the new campus, due to The Technion’s history of spawning start-up companies. The Technion is bringing no money to the partnership, while Mayor Bloomberg is giving $100 million of our tax money and free land on Roosevelt Island. The project was fast-tracked without proper consultation with NY residents (including those on Roosevelt Island who will be especially impacted while construction takes place till 2037) or Cornell Faculty, who by Cornell’s own by-laws should be consulted about partnerships of this type.
The Technion is complicit in Israel’s violations of international law and the rights of Palestinians, specifically by designing military weapons and developing technologies that are used to drive Palestinians off their land, repress demonstrations for their rights, and carry out attacks against people in Lebanon, Gaza, and elsewhere. The Technion also practices institutional discrimination against Palestinian students by severely restricting their freedom of speech and assembly, and rewarding Jewish students who, unlike most Palestinians, perform compulsory military service in Israel. This is in direct contrast to Cornell University’s founding values of universalism and inclusion embodied in the university’s motto “any person any study”.
New Yorkers Against the Cornell-Technion Partnership (NYACT) are asking that Google not support this partnership, and that Cornell University and the City of New York end their collaboration with The Technion, in line with the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment, and sanction of Israel.