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Google Donates to Cornell/Technion School

Will Silicon Valley darling become BDS target?

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Google's New York City office building.(niallkennedy/Flickr)

Late last year, Cornell University and the Technion, Israel’s foremost university for science and engineering, together won a bid for $100 million and 2.1 million feet of free space on New York City’s Roosevelt Island (which is in the East River between Manhattan and Queens) to build a new science graduate school. Almost immediately, supporters of a boycott of Israeli academia launched a campaign to try to shake Technion lose from the partnership. One petition declared, “We ask students, staff, and faculty at institutions around the country … to mobilize against the administration of Cornell University to end its partnership with Technion.”

You can probably now add Google alongside Cornell. The search engine giant announced today that the company is donating 22,000 square feet in its New York City headquarters in Chelsea (a truly enormous building that, in fact, used to be what the Port Authority bus terminal is now) to the Cornell school for up to five-and-a-half years, so that classes may begin immediately. Cornell will cover most operating costs (no word on whether students will be able to eat in Google’s famous free cafeteria). This is actually a crucial donation—with an estimated worth of $12 million—because Cornell won the bid in part by pledging to start classes in New York this fall.

And Technion is fully involved in this endeavor, Tablet Magazine learned today. “The Cornell/Technion partnership will be launched in this space,” a spokesperson emailed on behalf of Google Cornell. “In addition to Cornell degrees beginning in 2013, the dual Cornell/Technion degree will begin as soon as it is appropriately accredited. There will be Technion faculty located in the space—this will be the campus for the next five years.”

So maybe they should just start using Bing instead.

Cornell’s High-Tech Campus Will Have a Temporary Home at Google [NYT City Room]
Related: Palestinian Boycott Campaign: End Cornell’s Collaboration with Technion [Electronic Intifada]
Earlier: Haifa’s Technion in New York State of Mind

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yevka says:

Anna_Calcutt says:

What a shame that an institution known for its research and development of weapons and surveillance devices is being included in this partnership.  What exactly are the Technion bringing that can help New Yorkers?  Who asked us if whether we want a war mongering institute to have land in our city? 

Learn more at:

JamesPhiladelphia says:

The chemist awarded the Nobel prize this year is an Israeli teaching at the Technion. Well, the anti Israel pestilence is just that a pestilence.

julis123 says:

Anna–I invite you to visit the Technion incubator where companies that originate in the Technion get their start ( and tell me what you find there.  None are connected to either weapons or surveillance.

Anna_Calcutt says:

The fact that other products have been made by Israel doesn’t cancel out the weapons and devices they develop for the Israeli Defense Forces to use to demolish Palestinian homes and lives. 

The Technion has long been deeply involved in R+D for the IDF, including remote-controlled bulldozers (, and drones used to carry bombs and surveillance equipment (  The have strong relations with Elbit Systems and Rafael Systems, two of the largest weapons manufacturing companies in Israel.  This article sums it all up nicely:

    mouskatel says:

    But these “other products” provide income to Israel which is taxed and these tax revenues are diverted in large part to the IDF budget which is used to “demolish Palestinian homes and lives” (if you believe such propaganda. Illegal Israeli homes are also demolished, but who cares about that).

     Every time you use Google, every time you use your computer, every time you chat with someone on the internet, you are providing royalties to Israeli subsidiaries which support the IDF. If you’re going to call for BDS, go all the way, and don’t justify what’s convenient for you. 

      Anna_Calcutt says:

      Boycott is a tactic, and not and end unto itself.  We are using the boycott of academic institutes as a means to put pressure on the Israeli state, which uses its technological and engineering achievements to promote itself while covering up the atrocities committed.

      The boycott was called for by Palestinian civil society, and we are responding.  In the same way that the world eventually responded to the call from black South Africans in the 1980’s to put pressure on the Apartheid government.


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Google Donates to Cornell/Technion School

Will Silicon Valley darling become BDS target?

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