NYACT stands in solidarity with the Palestinians of Gaza at this sad time.  We are horrified by the ongoing Israeli assault.

NYACT supports all those in NYC, and worldwide, who are protesting and calling for an immediate end to the current assault on Gaza, and an end to US and all international aid to Israel.

We call for the boycott, divestment, and sanction (BDS) of Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights.

NYACT is proud to be part of the BDS movement.

For more information on BDS:  BDS National Committee (BNC) website

Photos from May 7 NYACT intervention at CB4

On Wednesday, May 7, 2014, NYACT and allies from Adalah-NY, Brooklyn for Peace, and Jewish Voice for Peace-NYC presented their case against the Cornell-Technion collaboration with Google and NYC at Manhattan Community Board 4’s monthly General Meeting.

Financial Opportunities for New Yorkers

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NYC Community Board member calls NYACT “the enemy”

On March 5, following NYACT’s bi-weekly protest in front of the Google offices in Manhattan, NYACT made a presentation at Manhattan Community Board 4’s (CB4) general meeting.  Following the presentation, which was cut short, CB4 member Brett Firfer, a visibly orthodox Jew, referred to NYACT as “the enemy” and the BDS Movement as “the face of anti-Semitism.”  Click here for full story in Mondoweiss.


photo credit: Bud Korotzer/Desertpeace

Roosevelt Island FDR Hope Memorial photo

This sign, posted at the entrance of Four Freedoms Park just below the Coler-Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island and announcing the FDR Hope Memorial, reminds us that “Roosevelt Island was so named to reflect its commitment to being a community where the disabled move freely and develop to their fullest potential.”

With the demolition of Coler-Goldwater Hospital to make way for Cornell NYC Tech, it would seem that this “commitment” has been summarily betrayed. The patients on wheelchairs are no longer to be seen on the island, for they have been removed altogether as part of an ultimate exercise in “freedom” of movement. Isn’t this vaguely reminiscent of a certain pattern of expulsion, demolition, and expropriation in Palestine?

Palestinian Testimonies

- Videos, Articles, Narratives

This page contains video and narrative testimonies from Palestinian students and faculty describing what it is like for them to live, study and teach in Israel and under Israeli occupation. In addition, the page contains relevant videos and news articles concerning the Israeli mistreatment of Palestinian students and Israel’s destructive actions against Palestinian educational institutions. Together, these materials document the fact that Palestinians living in Israel and under Israeli occupation are not allowed an equal education, insofar as discrimination against Palestinians is built in to the Israeli system and is part and parcel of Israeli policy at multiple levels. There is simply no academic freedom for Palestinians subject to Israeli control, including those who attend or teach at The Technion.

NYACT welcomes additional testimonies. To submit yours, please e-mail contact@nyact.net.


  • VIDEO – Palestinian Students Call to Divest for Justice – Palestine Al Ahlia, Birzeit, and Bethlehem Universities (12 July 2013)
  • REPORTS by the Campaign for the Right to Enter the oPt (RTE) on Israeli restrictions on foreign national academics in Palestinian higher education institutions (May 2013) and by The Arab Culture Association on Israeli discrimination against Palestinian Arab students in Israeli universities (November 2012)
  • ARTICLE about the suffering of Palestinian students in the oPts (31 January 2013)
  • VIDEO of IDF attack on Al-Quds Educational TV and the Modern Media Institute (3 April 2002)
  • PAPER by Al-Quds University President Dr. Sari Nusseibeh (8-10 November 2012)
  • VIDEO – PALESTINIAN RIGHTS TO EDUCATION – Birzeit University students (16 February 2009)
  • NARRATIVE by Al-Quds University Professor Dr. Rima Najjar Merriman (11 November 2012)
  • ARTICLE about passport and work permit restrictions in the OPTs (2 December 2012)
  • VIDEO COLLECTION [in Arabic] – IMPACT ON EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT FOR STUDENTS – Al-Quds University, Birzeit University (13 November 2012)
  • NARRATIVE by Al-Quds University Professor Dr. Uri Davis (11 November 2012)
  • ARTICLE about P.A. security services raid on An-Najah University female students hostel (20 October 2012)
  • VIDEO – Palestinian students claim racial discrimination (24 April 2012)
  • ARTICLE about cancellation of SAT tests for West Bank students (16 October 2012)
  • VIDEO of Ramzy Baroud speaking on Palestinian academic freedom (15 November 2010)
  • ARTICLE about cancellation of U.S. scholarship program for Gazan students (15 October 2012)
  • VIDEO about Israeli deportation of Palestinian student from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip (1 November 2009)
  • ARTICLE about repression of Palestinian student protests at Israeli universities (28 November 2012)
  • VIDEO about Bedouin school slated for demolition (14 December 2011)
  • VIDEOGaza student denied permit to study in West Bank (26 March 2007)
  • ARTICLE about exclusion of Palestinian students from Israeli universities (11 October 2007)
  • VIDEO: STUDENTS IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY – school overcrowding and demolition (7 October 2010)
  • ARTICLE by Birzeit University Right to Education Campaign calling for Cornell University to respect human rights and withdraw from its partnership with The Technion (14 December 2012)

PALESTINIAN STUDENTS CALL TO DIVEST FOR JUSTICE (Joshua Tartakovsky, Mahmoud Elddin, Moath al Lahham, 12 July 2013)

ACADEMIA UNDERMINED: Israeli Restrictions on Foreign National Academics in Palestinian Higher Education Institutions (May 2013)

The quality of Palestinian education and higher education in particular, has been very negatively impacted by the prolonged Israeli military occupation. Schools and universities have been closed for extended periods. Students, staff and faculty have had restricted access to schools and institutions of higher education due to the pervasive and arbitrary Israeli regime of internal movement restrictions. The impacts on all levels of education have been well documented.

This report focuses on only one of the many problems related to movement and access restrictions that affect the quality of and access to education in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt): the implications of Israeli restrictions on entry and residency for foreign academics wishing to serve at institutes of higher education operating in the (oPt). It is important to note that the term “foreign” is something of a misnomer: Israel treats all individuals without an Israeli-issued identity card [“hawiyya”] as a foreigner even if they are of Palestinian origin and even if they and/or their parents are born in Palestine. Thus “foreign” academics refers to anyone who does not hold a Palestinian identity card and must therefore enter the oPt on a foreign passport regardless of whether or not they are of Palestinian origin. “Foreign” academics or “foreign” nationals could therefore be of Palestinian origin (as is frequently the case) or have no Palestinian roots.

Read and print full report in pdf.

ANNUAL SUMMARY REPORT 2011-2012 – The Youth Empowerment Project and The Academic Watch (November 2012)

This report is the first in a series to be released throughout the 2012-2013 academic year on the discriminatory practices and policies in Israeli post-secondary institutions. [The second report follows below.] This report summarizes instances of racist and discriminatory actions within Israeli academia evidencing the nondiscretionary infringement upon the rights of Arab Palestinian students. All of the cases mentioned in this report have been publicized in various media outlets and exposed by active student movements. The intent of this report is to gather and deliver this information in a concise and cohesive manner thereby encouraging more students to monitor, document and expose future violations through the Academic Watch.

This report shows that the 2011-2012 academic year saw more aggressive oppression of freedom of expression and of the organization of cultural and political activities by Arab students.

Read and print full report in pdf.

OPPRESSION IN THE SHADOW OF WAR – On the support of Israeli academic institutions and students unions for the assault on Gaza during November 2012, and the suppression of anti-war demonstrations by Palestinian students (November 2012)

Israel promotes that their institutions are based on academic values however this does not truly correlate with the demonstrated militarization of the institutions, nor the educational content that is devoted to promoting the Zionist ideology. The reality is that these academic institutions more resemble research and development centres serving respective policy fields of the state. Even worse is they boast their close ties with the Israeli military institution and compete with each other in how closely bound they are. This support is highlighted particularly during the periods of increased Israeli assaults on Gaza and other Palestinian or Arab areas, regarding peaceful Palestinian demonstrations which do not exceed the conditions of the academic institutional regulations. From these examples, it is clear that the rights and freedoms that these institutions claim to uphold are targeted to a specific group of students – particularly those who support the Zionist agenda.

This report serves to shed light on this issue using examples from existing university policy and the actions of the police against Palestinian student demonstrations protesting the most recent attack on Gaza during November 2012, also known as Operation “Pillar of Defense.”

As Israeli academic institutions have shown their boundless support for the attack and their support for the Israeli military, the suppression of Palestinian students has reached new heights. This report will expose the most flagrant incidents that occurred during Operation “Pillar of Defense” in universities and colleges with a specific focus on Haifa University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Read and print full report in pdf.


How long does it typically take university students to get to their morning lectures where you live? It might just be a matter of whether they decide to walk, cycle or take the bus. Unfortunately, according to this article in Mondoweiss, this isn’t the case for Palestinian students in the West Bank who continue to face incredible difficulties in accessing education because of the movement restrictions of the Israeli occupation.

IDF Attack on Al-Quds Educational TV and Modern Media Institute – East Jerusalem (Al-Quds Educational TV, 3 April 2002)

EDUCATION: CAPABILITIES AND CONSTRAINTSPaper given by Al-Quds University President Sari Nusseibeh at the Second World Conference on the Right to, and the Right in Education – Brussels, Belgium (8-10 November 2012)

Pdf version for printing – Sari Nusseibeh
In this paper, Dr. Nusseibeh gives two examples that illustrate the constraints and obstructions that Israel imposes on Palestinian education in order to preserve its domination. He also points out that Israel both justifies and entrenches these obstructions through its legal system – example, a ruling taken by Israel’s Supreme Court in 2008 barring students from Gaza studying at Bethlehem University in the West Bank from reaching it, citing concerns “reminiscent of Arthur Koestler’s Darkness At Noon.” The paper also refers to an article published recently in the Harvard Gazette written by two Harvard undergraduates, both Palestinian, which describes how, due to Israeli obstructionist measures, students graduating from high school wishing to take the American university entrance qualifying exams this fall in Ramallah were prevented from doing so, thereby losing their chance at pursuing their university education at places like Harvard. Dr. Nusseibeh in turn mentions Israel’s refusal to consider Al-Quds University (which is the only Palestinian university that has a presence in East Jerusalem) a legitimate Palestinian educational institution and does not recognize it as it does all other Palestinian universities.

PALESTINIAN RIGHTS TO EDUCATION – Birzeit University students (Iman Habibi Babadi, 16 February 2009)

CATCH-22 ISRAELI STYLE – Narrative by Prof. Rima Najjar Merriman, English Department, Al-Quds University – East Jerusalem (11 November 2012)

Taken on an overcast day from the window of my classroom in the Sciences Building at Al Quds University, 2011
Taken on an overcast day from the window of my classroom in the Sciences Building at Al Quds University, 2011 – The Wall is not built on, or in most cases, near the 1967 Green Line, but rather cuts deep into the West Bank, expanding Israel’s theft of Palestinian land and resources. In total, 85% of the Wall is located in the West Bank. The university has had to fight for every inch you see in this photo and still lost a lot on the other side.

I don’t know how many people in the US know this, but Israel controls all borders in what is called the Palestinian territories (the Gaza Strip and the West Bank) as well as the Palestinian population registry. If, as a US citizen like me, you wish to teach at a Palestinian university, you will be taken aback to learn that the Israelis do not provide a mechanism for entry into the Palestinian territories on a work permit. What you have to do is enter on a tourist visa at the risk of being denied entry if you state your reason for crossing the border. After entering on a tourist permit, the only procedure open to you to extend your entry permit is to apply, through the Palestinian Authority, to an Israeli military post in Ramallah by submitting your teaching contract. You then get a single-entry extension stamped with “not permitted to work”, thus giving ammunition to Israeli officers at the border to deny you re-entry on the basis that you intend to enter in order to work illegally at a Palestinian university! I am not making this up; I have been denied entry twice on this pretext and had to hire lawyers to re-enter.

Additionally, my entry stamp at the border nowadays invariably says “PA areas only.” I teach at Al Quds University, which is the only Palestinian university that has a presence in East Jerusalem and, as a result, is not recognized (accredited) by Israel with various deleterious consequences for the education and employment of Palestinians. That stamp means I am unable to travel to Jerusalem from the Abu Dis campus (situated just outside the illegal wall – in fact, there is only a street separating the campus there from the apartheid wall) to the college in Jerusalem, where there is a shortage of teachers in my specialty (American literature).

This article in the Electronic Intifada documents Prof. Merriman’s struggle with Israeli passport and work permit restrictions in the OPTs.

See also this pertinent letter Prof. Merriman posted to Richard Lightbown thanking him for his Dec. 10, 2012 article in The Palestine Chronicle in which he criticizes Native American musician Joy Harjo for performing at Tel Aviv University, where she is beginning a one-year writer-in-residency. Prof. Merriman points out that “Al Quds University [is] the only Palestinian university that has a presence in Jerusalem and that is unrecognized by Israel, making it difficult for Palestinian students who live in annexed east Jerusalem or Israeli Palestinian students who may choose to attend AQU to find jobs.”

IMPACT ON EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT FOR STUDENTS [in Arabic] (Al-Quds Educational TV, 13 November 2012)

math student at Birzeit University

computer science student at Birzeit University

history and political science student at Birzeit University

engineering and mechanics student at Birzeit University

media studies student at Birzeit University

English literature student with minor in translation at Birzeit University

journalism and media studies student at Birzeit University

media studies student at Birzeit University

media studies student at Al-Quds University

computer science student at Al-Quds University

dentisty student at Al-Quds University

business administration and marketing student at Al-Quds University

physical education student at Al-Quds University

English literature student at Al-Quds University

law student at Al-Quds University

Narrative by Prof. Uri Davis, Institute of Area Studies, Al-Quds University – East Jerusalem, Palestine (11 November 2012)

Uri Davis
Credit: Maanimages.com

My name is Professor Uri Davis. I teach critical Israel Studies at AL-QUDS University, Jerusalem/Abu Dis, which is under Palestinian Authority Area “A” jurisdiction and situated behind the apartheid wall surrounding post-1967 Israeli occupied “unified” Jerusalem.

Israeli occupation Qalandiya check-post marks the interface between the municipal boundaries of post-1967 Israeli occupied “unified” Jerusalem and West Bank Palestinian Authority jurisdiction. Five confluent traffic routes merge at the Qalandiya check-point manufacturing massive traffic congestion at all five routes and successive knots of traffic jams at the point of merger.

The Samiramis and Kafr ‘Aqab neighbourhoods are “unified” Jerusalem” enclaves well inside the area otherwise under Palestinian Authority Jurisdiction. On such occasions as I need to travel from, e.g., Samiramis to my university I need to factor into my travel itinerary the probability of hours-long delays at Qalandiya.

To my mind the purpose of the Qalandiya check-post is as far removed as possible from the decades-long Israeli occupation “security” considerations. Rather, in my experience the primary object of the said check-post is confiscation of Palestinian time over the years and humiliation of the mass of Palestinian people who are not able to circumnavigate around the said check-post by private transport and are, hence, compelled to pass through the check-point to have their papers and belongings examined.

Confiscated Palestinian land, ethnically-cleansed, settler-colonized and occupied by apartheid Israel, can and will be recovered and liberated from political-Zionist racism. But confiscated Palestinian time, including my time as a teacher and the time of my students, is lost year over year, generation over generations, and, alas, cannot be recovered.

As we are all aware time is life.



This article in Occupied Palestine reports on the raid by Palestinian Authority security services on a female students hostel for An-Najah University in Nablus, West Bank, where residents were subject to unwarranted interrogation.

Palestinian students claim racial discrimination (Press TV, 24 April 2012)

ISRAEL VS. NO. 2 PENCILS (16 October 2012)

This article in The Harvard Crimson reports on the cancellation by Israeli authorities of the October 2012 SAT tests for Palestinian students in the West Bank.

Ramzy Baroud on Palestinian Academic Freedom – from THE GAZA STORY: CHALLENGING HISTORY THROUGH NARRATIVE – Olympia, WA (15 November 2010)


Under Israeli pressure, U.S. officials cancelled a two-year-old scholarship program for students in the Gaza Strip, undercutting one of the few American outreach programs to people in the Hamas-ruled territory. According to this article in the Associated Press, the program now faces an uncertain future, just two years after being launched with great fanfare by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during a visit to the region.

Israel deported a Palestinian student from West Bank to Gaza Strip (Press TV, 1 November 2009)


This article in the Electronic Intifada reports on the heightened repression of Palestinian students at Tel Aviv University, Hebrew University, and the University of Haifa during Israel’s November 2012 military offensive against Gaza.

Aid to Bedouin school slated for demolition (UNICEF Television, 14 December 2011)

AMERICAN TEACHER AT BIRZEIT DENIED ACADEMIC FREEDOM (Right to Education Campaign, Birzeit University, 5 May 2009)

This article from the Birzeit University Right to Education Campaign reports on the deportation and electronic surveillance of an American graduate student teaching at Birzeit, who was forced to return to the U.S. on account of Israel-controlled visa restrictions on foreign nationals working in the oPts.

STORY OF STUDENT FROM GAZA (Right to Education Campaign, Birzeit University, 26 March 2007)


This article in The Guardian exposes the Israeli army’s continued barring of Palestinian students from Israeli universities, in spite of an order from the Israeli high court that it relax its restrictions.


For many Palestinian students, returning to school is a happy occasion, but for the 75 students in Khan El Ahmar School in Area C of the West Bank, just getting there is an arduous experience; many have to walk long distances through unsafe regions to reach substandard and overcrowded classrooms […] Due to severe restrictions on building permits, some 10,000 students are compressed into 135 schools. There is inadequate water and sanitation facilities and the learning experiences of children are adversely affected. But like many schools in the Israeli controlled Area C, Khan El Ahmar School is slated to be demolished.


view full statement on Mondoweiss
R2E Campaign
Whilst institutions of higher education around the globe strive to foster a tolerant and inclusive space for meticulous, critical and balanced academic enquiry, the Technion’s role in denying the Palestinians of their right to education violates its obligation as a university to follow suit and uphold the same egalitarian values and practices.

The Technion’s institutionalised discrimination against Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel on its own campus further runs contrary to this obligation and reinforces the apartheid nature of Israel.

The Technion commonly curtails the freedom of speech and expression of its Arab-Palestinian students, who are prevented from forming an Arab students union and voicing opposition to the Israeli state’s prejudiced and apartheid policies.

The stifling of political discussion by attacking freedom of speech at the Technion needs to be placed in the broader context of the Israeli state’s brutal campaign to stamp out dissenting voices. At universities in the West Bank, simply belonging to a student organisation, attending a student meeting or distributing flyers are activities that can lead to one’s arrest, interrogation and detention under Israeli military law (Addameer, 2012). Israel’s military courts pay scant regard for the formalities of due process, denying defendants the right to interpretation and translation, the presumption of innocence, and the right to prepare and effective defence (ibid). As a result, at least 90 per cent of children plead guilty (DCI-Palestine, 2012) regardless of whether or not they actually committed an offence and approximately 99.74 per cent of all those who are charged are convicted (Addameer, 2012). During incarceration, it is forbidden for Palestinian political prisoners to pursue their education remotely. Education is conditional on security requirements, limited to approved subjects, and essential materials are priced extortionately (ibid). Israel’s widespread use of torture and mental and physical violence (CAABU, 2012) within its military prisons adds yet another layer of blatant indifference to the international statutes it itself ratified in the Fourth Geneva Convention.

PALESTINIAN SCHOOL STUDENTS – Hebron (Christian Peacemaker Teams, 2010)

The Technion

What is The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology?nyact

The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology was founded in 1912, 36 years before the formation of the state of Israel, with a donation from New York banker, businessman, and philanthropist Jacob Schiff [1].  The Technion is located in Haifa in what was then Ottoman Palestine.  Classes began in 1924, and from the outset the institute’s purpose was to educate the engineers, planners, and weapons manufacturers who would go on to create the Jewish-only state of Israel.  The Technion quickly grew into Israel’s major weapons lab thanks to the continuation of financial support from the US.  According to a recent article on the WNYC News site:

[The Technion’s] operating budget comes from the Israeli government, but two-thirds of all private fundraising come from the U.S. – and the biggest donor region is the New York metro area [2]

Education and research at the Technion is focused on the development of hi-tech weaponry, serving as an incubator for the Israeli military-industrial complex, and developing technologies which are detailed below.  Most Israeli universities are involved in one way or another in helping the military, but the Technion has all but enlisted itself in the Israeli armed forces.

Despite this history, or perhaps because of it, the mainstream press has supplied little information about The Technion.  Events hosted by Cornell University and Mayor Bloomberg’s office have also sidelined the issue.  The Technion is not contributing financially to this project [3], and the principal actors kept its involvement secret until ten days before the City’s deadline for proposals [4].  Less than two weeks after Cornell announced their receipt of a $350 million ‘gift’, later revealed to be from Cornell alumnus and millionaire Charles Feeney [5], the frontrunners in the race, Stanford University, dropped out.  Stanford’s President said that: “The city had changed the terms of the proposed deal”, and Stanford’s general council stated:

I have been a lawyer for over thirty years, and I have never seen negotiations that were handled so poorly by a reputable party [6]

Following Stanford’s exit, the Cornell-Technion proposal was speedily approved in what Cathy Dove, Vice President of the New Campus, called an “amazing fast tracked progress” [7].  Why all the secrecy?

1. The Technion is complicit in crimes committed by Israel against the Palestinian people

According to Israeli historian Ilan Pappé, The Technion was complicit in ethnic cleansing in the Galilee, a north-central region of Israel largely populated by Palestinians.  Leading academics from The Technion prepared a plan, publicized in 2003, which stated that the Jewish ‘takeover’ of the Galilee was a national priority.  Their prospectus began by saying: “It is either them or us.  The land problems in the Galilee proved that any territory not taken by Zionist elements is going to be coveted by non-Zionists” [8].  A 1993 United Nations Commission defined ethnic cleansing as “the planned deliberate removal from a specific territory, persons of a particular ethnic group, by force or intimidation, in order to render that area ethnically homogenous” [9], and it is considered a crime against humanity under the statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [10].

2. The Technion is deeply involved in the research and development of weapons and surveillance equipment

The remote-controlled Caterpillar D-9 bulldozer

The armored bulldozer is an essential component of the Israeli occupation. It has enabled the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to demolish approximately 25,000 Palestinian homes since 1967, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions [11].  Bulldozers have occasionally come under attack by Palestinian resistance fighters and stone-throwing children, defending their homes and property from unwarranted and illegal demolition.  In response, The Technion has developed remote-control capabilities for the Caterpillar D-9 bulldozer to facilitate the continued destruction of Palestinian houses, olive groves, and tunnels without any risk to their operators.  According to one IDF officer, the IDF doubled its order for D-9s after they “performed remarkably during operation Cast Lead [the invasion of Gaza]” [12].  A UN-appointed fact finding mission later reported strong evidence of war crimes committed during that operation [13].

IDF Caterpillar D9R armored bulldozer


In 2006, the Church of England divested from Caterpillar, stating that it would not invest in “companies profiting from the illegal occupation [of Palestine]” [14].  In May 2012 the Quaker Friends Fiduciary Corporation voted to divest completely from Caterpillar due to their “zero tolerance for weapons and weapons components…We are uncomfortable defending our position on this stock” [15, 16].  Also, in May 2012, one of the world’s largest pension funds, TIAA-CREF, removed Caterpillar from its Socially Responsible Investment portfolio following the downgrading of Caterpillar by the MCSI ratings agency, which cited “on-going controversy associated with use of the company’s equipment in the occupied Palestinian territories” [17, 18].

Drones as weapons and surveillance devices

The first modern drone was developed in Israel in 1973 [19], and Israel is the single largest exporter of drones in the world [20].  As part of the Technion Autonomous Systems Program (TASP), students at The Technion developed the “Stealth drone” which can fly up to 1850 miles and carry two 1100-pound “smart bombs.”  TASP also developed the “Dragonfly” drone whose 9-inch wing span makes it small enough to “easily enter rooms through small windows and to send back photos from a miniature camera” according to the American Technion Society’s website [21].

UAV Stealth drone


For decades, The Technion has been engaged in weapons research and development as part of Israel’s longstanding war against Developing World liberation struggles.  The effect, according to Israeli scholar Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, is that:

What Israel has been exporting…is not just a technology of domination, but a worldview that undergirds that technology…the logic of the oppressor, the way of seeing the world that is tied to successful domination…not just technology, armaments, and experience, not just expertise, but a certain frame of mind…that modern Crusaders have a future [22]

Furthermore, Technion has close links with Verint, Check Point, and NICE systems. NICE systems, Check Point, and Comverse, a Verint acquisition, are three of Israel’s largest high-tech companies. Each is influenced by technology developed by Unit 8200 – Israel’s version of the NSA, which is involved in the surveillance of Palestinian telephone and internet traffic.[23, 24, 25] Check Point and NICE were founded by Unit 8200 alumni, and one of Comverse’s main products is based on the Unit’s technology. Comverse develops and markets telecommunications software used, among other things, to direct airborne drones.[26] Check Point is an international provider of software and hardware products for IT security. NICE systems specializes in telephone voice recording, data security, and surveillance, as well as systems that analyze this recorded data.[27] NICE lists among its leading customers the New York Police Department and the Miami Police Department.[28]

Verint is considered the world leader in “electronic interception,” and Amdocs is the world’s largest billing service for telecommunications. Both companies are based in Israel and are heavily funded by the Israeli government, with connections to the Israeli military and intelligence, and both have major contracts with the US government. Verint and Amdocs form part of the backbone of the US government’s domestic intelligence surveillance technology. Verint was one of the companies to which Verizon and AT&T outsourced their mass wiretapping of US citizens as orchestrated by the NSA since 2001. Its President and CEO, a Technion graduate, stated his enthusiastic support for the partnership of Technion with Cornell at a 2012 Israel Day event at the New York Stock Exchange.[29]  Technion receives significant funding from Amdocs, which is on the BDS boycott list for its declaration of support for Israeli “security” policies against Palestinians, and for its alleged spying on US citizens via digital tracking and recording of telephone conversations[30, 31]. Indeed Amdocs has been accused of wiretapping, for which it was investigated by the FBI.[32, 33, 34] Amdocs awards annual prizes to Technion students and hires many Technion graduates [35]. The Technion’s Computer Science Department library is even named Amdocs Computer Science Library [36].

3. The Technion works closely with two of Israel’s largest weapons manufacturers

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems is one of Israel’s largest government-sponsored weapons manufacturers, famous for the “advanced hybrid armor protection system” used on the IDF’s Merkava Mk4 main battle tank.  Shots were fired from one such tank in April 2008, killing a 24-year-old Reuters cameraman and eight Palestinian civilians, aged 12-20 [37, 38].  Rafael also develops the high-speed Tamuz “smart” missile, a previously top-secret weapon planned for use against Gaza and deployed against Syria in April 2013 [39]. The relationship between The Technion and Rafael reaches back over 10 years.  In a 2001 press release, The Technion announced an “MBA program tailored specifically for Rafael managers,” [40] further solidifying the relationship this collaboration represents between academia and the military.

Merkava Mk4 tank with Trophy Active Protection System


Elbit Systems is a major Israeli private weapons research company.  It is one of the two main contractors of the electronic detection fence [41], a key component of Israel’s Separation Wall in the West Bank which the International Court of Justice has deemed a violation of international law [42].  Elbit provides surveillance equipment (LORROS surveillance cameras, unmanned ground vehicles, and the TORCH surveillance system) which are used to monitor activity around the wall [43] and are now being exported to the United States through its American subsidiary, Kollsman, Inc. [44].

LORROS virtual border security system


Norway’s Finance Ministry divested from Elbit in 2009, stating:

We do not wish to fund companies that so directly contribute to violations of international humanitarian law [45]

In 2010 Denmark’s largest financial institution, Danske Bank, and Sweden’s largest pension funds also divested from Elbit [46, 47].  In contrast to these investors, The Technion opened a center for the development of electro-optics in partnership with Elbit in 2008.  According to The Technion’s Dean of Electrical Engineering, “We view the establishment of the new research center as a major upward step in our long-term partnership with Elbit Systems” [48].

4. The Technion gives special treatment to Israeli soldiers while discriminating against Palestinian students and stifling political dissent

The Technion boasts the highest percentage of students serving in the army reserves, many of whom form part of both the academic elite at Technion and the military elite in the IDF [49].  Israeli law stipulates that universities give special treatment to student reservists [50], and no Israeli university has ever expressed even symbolic opposition to that law.  This practice highlights not only the complicity of Israeli academic institutions in the occupation, but also discriminates against Palestinian students, who are not required to serve in the Israeli military.  It also discriminates against the small but significant number of Jewish conscientious objectors who refuse to serve in the IDF.

Grants and academic benefits are commonly awarded based on past, present or future military service.  More recently, reservists studying at The Technion who had served in Operation Cast Lead were rewarded with academic benefits in excess of the usual and customary benefits [51].

The Technion has a long record of stifling political dissent.  In 2009 the Student Union produced a poster supporting the IDF invasion of Gaza, and arranged a counter-demonstration against Palestinian students holding a protest outside The Technion against the IDF atrocities.  Despite having received no prior approval, the pro-IDF demonstration was allowed to continue within the grounds of the Technion.  In contrast, in 2010 ten Palestinian students were arrested for peacefully protesting the assault on the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla, even though they had applied for, and been granted permission to demonstrate [52].

Finally, The Technion trains students for specific positions in Israel’s military and is a partner in the Brakim academic reservist program which trains students in Mechanical Engineering and, according to the publication Technion Focus, allows students to “complete their undergraduate degrees and apply their education during their military service” [53, 54].

We respond to the Palestinian call for action

In March 2012, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) [55], a Palestinian civil society organization, sent out an Appeal for Action to End the Cornell Collaboration with The Technion.  They stated:

[W]e call on US civil society to bring the injustices of this venture to light.  In the first instance, all New York City residents should, rightfully, be outraged that their tax dollars are being apportioned in the service of such an endeavor, and we appeal to them to pressure the City of New York administration to end this collaboration.  Moreover, we ask students, staff, and faculty at institutions around the country, including student groups such as SJP [Students for Justice in Palestine], as well as workers, labor unions, and other civil society organizations in New York City, to mobilize against the administration of Cornell University to end its partnership with Technion.  More importantly, we call on people of conscience to mobilize against the Cornell-Technion partnership, and more broadly, [to boycott Israeli academic institutions] through street protests, educational venues, media presence and other such mobilizations [56]

NYACT now joins the campaign against The Technion as it attempts to open a campus in New York City.  Our demands are:

  • That the New York City administration end this collaboration, for which $100 million of New Yorkers’ tax-payer money has been promised
  • 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” [57]

We ask all people of conscience to join us in our campaign and to make it clear that institutions complicit in ethnic cleansing, house demolitions, illegal separation walls, surveillance and weapons drones, and academic and social discrimination have no place in New York City.


[1] “How One Stone Changed the World”, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology website, 1 April 2012: https://www.technioniit.com/2012/04/how-one-stone-changed-world.html

[2] Stan Alcorn, “The MIT of Israel: A Look at Cornell’s Partner on the Roosevelt Island Tech Campus”, WNYC News, 10 May 2012:

[3] “Israel’s Technion making its mark in the U.S.”, Jewish Journal, 28 February 2012: “[A] “precondition for participation” was that Israel could not take funds from its own budget for investment in New York.”

[4] Richard Pérez-Peña, “Alliance Formed Secretly to Win Deal for Campus”, New York Times, 25 December 2011: https://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/26/education/in-cornell-deal-for-roosevelt-island-campus-an-unlikely-partnership.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

[5] Richard Pérez-Peña, “Cornell Alumnus Is Behind $350 Million Gift to Build Science School in City”, New York Times, 19 December 2011: https://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/20/nyregion/cornell-and-technion-israel-chosen-to-build-science-school-in-new-york-city.html

[6] Ilya Marritz, “Mayor Bloomberg Answers Stanford U Critics”, WNYC, 8 May 2012:

[7] Roosevelt Island Town Hall Forum, New York City, 8 April 2012

[8] Ilan Pappé, The Forgotten Palestinians: A History of the Palestinians in Israel (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011), p. 257

[9] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_cleansing

[10] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_cleansing – Ethnic_cleansing_as_a_crime_under_ international_law

[11] The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions website:

[12] Yaakov Katz, “‘Black Thunder’ Unmanned Dozers to Play Greater Role in IDF”, Jerusalem Post, 30 March 2009: https://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=137546

[13] United Nations Human Rights Council Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict:

[14] “Church of England Votes to Divest from Caterpillar” Electronic Intifada, 6 February 2006: https://electronicintifada.net/content/church-england-votes-divest-caterpillar/5867

Furthermore; In May 2012, the World United Methodist Church’s General Conference resolved to urge “the U.S. government to end all military aid to the region” to call on “all nations to prohibit…any financial support by individuals or organizations for the construction and maintenance of settlements,” and to call on “all nations to prohibit… the import of products made by companies in Israeli settlements on Palestinian land.”  See: “World United Methodist Church Recommends Boycotts & Sanctions; Rejects Divestment” U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, 4 May 2012: https://endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=3205

[15] Kirsten Moller, “United Methodist Church Votes on Boycott; Quakers Divest from Caterpillar” Global Exchange,17 May 2012:

[16] “Quakers Divest from Caterpillar!”, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, May 2012: https://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=3210

[17] Naomi Zeveloff, “Israel Was ‘Key’ Issue in Caterpillar Dump” The Jewish Daily Forward, 25 June 2012:

[18] “Caterpillar Removed from TIAA-CREF’s Social Choice Funds” WeDivest.org, 21 June 2012: https://wedivest.org/2012/06/catremovedpressrelease/

[19] Israeli Air Force website, “The First UAV Squadron”: https://www.iaf.org.il/4968-33518-en/IAF.aspx

[20] Jefferson Morley, “Israel’s Drone Dominance”, Salon, 15 May 2012: And figures based on data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) arms transfers database at: https://www.sipri.org/databases/armstransfers

[21] Kevin Hattori, “Stealth UAV, Lunar Elevator Among Student-Developed Projects”, American Technion Society, 24 February 2010: https://www.ats.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=6455&security=1&news_iv_ctrl=1522

[22] Hallahmi, Benjamin, The Israeli Connection: Who Israel Arms and Why (New York: Pantheon) 1987, p. 248

[23]  James Bamford, “Shady Companies with Ties to Israel Wiretap the U.S. for the NSA,” WIRED, 3 Apr 2012: link to www.wired.com

[24]  Jimmy Johnson, “Israeli Firm Helps NSA Spy on Americans and Mexicans,” The Electronic Intifada, 15 Jun 2013: link to electronicintifada.net

[25]  Gil Kerbs, “The Unit,” Forbes, 8 Feb 2007: link to www.forbes.com

[26] Terri Ginsberg, “New York tech university evasive about Israeli partner’s role in arms industry,” The Electronic Intifada, 9 Sept 2013: link to electronicintifada.net

[27] NICE Systems, Wikipedia: link to en.wikipedia.org

[28]  NICE Systems, Company Overview website: link to www.nice.com

[29] “BNC to Telkom South Africa: “Don’t enter into a deal with AMDOCS””, BDS Movement, 12 September 2008:

[30] “Make Eircom Say No to Israeli Company Amdocs – Hanging-In of Petition”, The Irish Anti-War Movement, 23 June 2008: https://irishantiwar.org/node/516

[31] Bamford op cit. link to www.wired.com

[32] Johnson, op cit. link to electronicintifada.net

[33]  Christopher Ketcham, “An Israeli Trojan Horse,” Counterpunch, 27 Sep 2008: link to www.counterpunch.org

[34]  TheMarker, “What was the Israeli Involvement in Collecting U.S. Communications Intel for NSA?” Haaretz, 8 Jun 2013: link to www.haaretz.com

[35] “2012 Amdocs Best Project Contest”, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology Computer Science Department website, 9 May 2012: https://www.cs.technion.ac.il/news/2012/522/

[36] Technion – Israel Institute of Technology Computer Science Department website:

[37] Robert Mahoney, “Israeli Army Decision Endangers Journalists in Gaza”, Committee to Protect Journalists, 14 August 2008:

[38] Nidal al-Mughrabi, “Reuters Cameraman Killed in Gaza”, Reuters, 16 April 2008:

[39] “Israel reveals use of Tamuz “smart” missile”, Middle East Monitor, 1 May 2013:

[40] Technion Press Release, “Technion MBA Program Delivered In-House to 40 Rafael Managers”, 7 January 2001: https://pard.technion.ac.il/archives/PressEng.NotActive/Pdf/MBA-eng.pdf

[41] Who Profits – The Israeli Occupation Industry:

[42] International Court of Justice Press Release, “Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory”, 9 July 2004: https://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?pr=71&code=mwp&p1=3&p2=4&p3=6&ca

[43] Border Security, Elbit Systems website: https://www.elbitsystems.com/elbitmain/area-in2.asp?parent=8&num=67&num2=67

[44] Elbit. We Divest.org website: https://wedivest.org/learn-more/elbit/

[45] Elizabeth Adams, “Norway’s Pension Fund Drops Israel’s Elbit”, The Wall Street Journal online, 3 September 2009:

[46] “Danske Bank Divests from Elbit and Africa-Israel”, BDS Movement News, 26 January 2010:

[47] Benjamin Joffe-Walt, “Swedish Pension Giant Divests from Elbit”, The Jerusalem Post, 31 March 2010: https://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=172146

[48] “Out of Sight”, Technion Focus, November 2008:

[49] The Scope, Newsletter of the Canadian Technion Society, Summer 2006: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CFAQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdntech.org%2Fpdf%2F07-2006.pdf&ei=3kfvT4P0JMi06wG6n7H8BQ&usg=AFQjCNGtbVnNnlTBZ0ETZwvtmR3vt0w0hw&sig2=m8yYtUvfn6nTv6XgBR9a3Q

[50] Anhel Pfeffer, “New ‘bill of rights’ for student reservists”, Haaretz, 24 December 2003:

[51] Uri Dekel (Technion Student Association Chairman, 2009), “Update for Reservists – Suite Of Solutions Following Operation Cast Lead”, Technion Student Union, 21 January 2009: https://forums.asat.org.il/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=191840

[52] “Arrest of 8 demonstrators at the entrance of ‘Technion’ Haifa”, Panet, 2 June 2010:

[53] Ruth Ebenstein, “Lightning Strikes”, Technion Focus, 2009: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CFEQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmeeng.technion.ac.il%2F~meeng%2Fadb_admin%2Fuploads%2F%2FStudies%2Fundergraduate%2FBrakim%2Fbrakim-media.pdf&ei=r1PvT5HVD-e36wGyxsSRBg&usg=AFQjCNFmnKhZdqn4ntimYAbrePMiJWl6Bg&sig2=wrgudlToVAOX-XhM10jySw

[54] “’Brakim’ Excellence Program”, website of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology: https://meeng.technion.ac.il/Brakim/

[55] PACBI was launched in Ramallah in 2004 by a group of Palestinian academics and intellectuals.  For more information see: https://pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=868

[56] “An Appeal for Action: End Cornell University Collaboration with Technion”, PACBI website, 4 March 2012: https://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=1829

[57] Statement of thanks to the UK academic union NATFHE in 2006: https://www.mohe.gov.ps/ENG/news/index.html#7