Technion: Structures of Oppression

October 26th, 2010 | Posted in Boycott, Canada, Palestine, Quebec

Why McGill & Concordia Universities must sever their links with Technion University


    report updated April 2011download full document
    Photo: window in Palestinian home smashed by Israeli military bullet.

McGill and Concordia universities maintain bi-lateral exchange programs with the Technion University in Israel. What does this mean in the broader context of the denial of justice for Palestinians, the systematic discrimination they face within Israel, and the occupation and forced exile they suffer outside? The following document outlines the various levels of militarization that are created by, and fostered at the Technion, through its complicity in the Israeli military-industrial complex, and perpetuation of systematic discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel.

In this research, we examine the importance of the Technion University in arms research and technology and the repressive use of this technology by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Through cooperative research programs with Israeli defense companies like Elbit and Rafael, McGill and Concordia are directly participating in the creation and development of technology for Israel’s ‘separation barrier’, parts for battle tanks, and various unmanned aircraft. Palestinian students who are citizens of Israel endure unjust treatment and inequality in all levels of state education, and Technion University is no exception. They are often denied access to programs, housing and funding, and denied the right to publicly demonstrate against these injustices.

In sum, the bi-lateral exchange programs that Concordia and McGill maintain with the Technion help to further normalize an institution that participates in military programs that are in flagrant violation of international law, maintains an oppressive campus atmosphere, and is an important tool in the systemic discrimination against Palestinians. The following document challenges these programs, and demands that they be terminated until Israeli universities comply with the demands of the Palestinian civil society’s call for an end to the occupation, the right to return for all Palestinian refugees and equal right for all Palestinian citizens of Israel.

    click here to view full report

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Comment by Guy Perrier — August 26th, 2011 @ 4:02 AM

the Technion is also the source of countless of engineering initiatives for the purposes of humane services, its technologies having been used in Japan Relief, in Turkey when aid was sent after the earthquake hit in ’99, and others: beyond this, environmental engineering is at prime in Haifa – Israel being the world’s leader in solar energy per capita thanks to innovations by Israeli engineers.

think carefully before you boycott an educational institution, it has ramifications well beyond the scope of this conflict.

Comment by elay — September 16th, 2011 @ 3:13 PM

Cutting off your nose to spite your face? I am Arab and graduated from the Technion in 2007. Best investment I I ever made — and if the government paid for most of it. Have you guys ever set foot in the place?! The Technion is very welcoming to Arabs and when my brothers and sisters get to have their own state in Palestine (hopefully very soon), graduates of the Technion and other topnotch Israeli universities will be there to help build its scientific and educational infrastructure. As it happens, this year’s Nobel prize winner in Chemistry is from the Technion!

This boycott business is very, very shortsighted. The only people who will be harmed by it is us!

Comment by Sami — October 21st, 2011 @ 6:40 PM

Previous comment doesn’t sound very likely to be coming from an Arab (Israeli or not).

Comment by OhWell — November 5th, 2011 @ 5:19 PM

That’s a little prejudiced – why shouldn’t an Arab oppose cutting off ties to the Technion, a university that does indeed contribute greatly to the international scientific community?

Comment by Lauren Gold — November 9th, 2011 @ 9:28 PM

Your arguments fall into two main categories.
1 – some of the (very many) things Technion does are in cooperation with companies that produce products used in the separation barrier.
2 – Technion discriminates against arab students.

As far as 1 goes, Technion is the main scientific university in Israel. To criticize it for dealing with two companies in particular is fairly absurd. To ask another University to divest from it because of two of its relationships is even more so. Why not disengage from Concordia and McGill for dealing with the Technion? Or are you willing to overlook these institutions’ transgressions because you enjoy going to a University that works with academic and other institutions around the world? Seems to me you should stop going to University altogether…

As for 2, you accuse the Technion of discrimination, but then instead of providing details, you go into a diatribe against the Israeli education system as a whole, citing no actual evidence or statistics other than the Technion. While the Israeli education system is in bad shape, it deserves its own attention. And please remember that it fails Jewish and non-Jewish students alike. Try going to a city like Netanya and telling Jewish parents that their children are robbing Arabs of a good education.

Your other points are generally about preferential treatment for people in the Army. You claim that Palestinians are not conscripted into the army (I bet you’d really like that wouldn’t you), but you don’t mention that they are actually allowed to serve if they wish. Perhaps this raises some questions about why citizens in a country choose not to serve in one of the most basic institutions of its defense. I think that any person who wants their country to take full responsibility for them (including Jewish Israelis), ought to serve in the military if possible (especially when it is the norm of the society).

All-in-all, your arguments are weak, backed up by little fact and based on a clear agenda of zealous attack against all institutions of Israeli society.

When I read things like this, I enjoy reminding myself that the Technion will soon have a beautiful new campus in NYC. I encourage you to stay far away from it.

Comment by Lonny Moses — January 15th, 2012 @ 8:16 PM

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