Mission Statement

On December 19th 2011 Mayor Bloomberg announced that Cornell University and its partner, The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, had won a bid for a massive new applied sciences and technology campus to be built on Roosevelt Island.  This was agreed behind closed doors, without consulting staff and faculty at Cornell [1].

What the public was not told is that 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 [2,3].  For these reasons, The Technion is directly implicated in war crimes.  Furthermore, The Technion 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 [4].  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”.  Any collaboration with The Technion makes a university likewise complicit.

In response to the Palestinian call for an academic boycott of Israel in 2004 [5], and the subsequent Appeal for Action against the Cornell University Collaboration with The Technion in 2012 [6], New Yorkers Against the Cornell-Technion Partnership (NYACT) was formed.  A coalition of New York-based students, academics, writers, activists, laborers, and concerned citizens, we demand:

  1. That the City of New York Administration end this collaboration, for which $100 million of New York tax-payer money has been promised,
  2. That the Cornell University Administration end its partnership with The Technion, in line with the call by the Palestinian Council for Higher Education’s request for “non-cooperation in the scientific and technical fields between Palestinian and Israeli universities” [6].

We ask all people of conscience to join us in our support of the international boycott of Israeli academic institutions and universities, and more generally to support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, as called for by Palestinian civil society [7].

[1] http://www.cornellsun.com/section/news/content/2012/03/02/professors-question-cornell-technion-partnership
[2] http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/new-york-host-israels-top-drone-lab
[3] www.ipetitions.com/petition/in-opposition-to-cornell-universitys/
[4] p12-13; Uri Yacobi Keller, The Economy of the Occupation: A Socioeconomic Bulletin. (Jerusalem: Alternative Information Center, 2009), http://usacbi.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/economy_of_the_occupation_23-24.pdf
[5] http://pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=869
[6] http://pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=1829
[7] Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees; Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions; Palestinian NGO Network, West Bank; Teachers’ Federation; Palestinian Writers’ Federation; Palestinian League of Artists; Palestinian Journalists’ Federation; General Union of Palestinian Women; Palestinian Lawyers’ Association; and tens of other Palestinian federations, associations, and civil society organizations.

NYACT Mission statement for downloading