Technion students hit back…and the PM waves her anti-BDS flag

April 30, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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The BDS issues in play at both Sydney University and the UNSW are heating up with Technion students responding to their counterparts at Sydney University Prime Minister having her say on the BDS issue at the University of New South Wales.

Sydney University’s Sudents’ Representative Council wants the academic institution to break off its ties with the Haifa-based Technion and UNSW students are part of a campaign being mounted on Facebook to stop the university from establishing a branch of Israeli chocolatier’s Max Brenner’s chocolate stores being opened on campus.

Technion students have issued the following statement:

“Regretfully, we have been recently notified of a resolution by the University of Sydney’s Student Representative Council (SRC) calling for the university to discontinue its cooperation with the Technion.
For more than two millennia academia has played a vital role in human progress and enlightenment, whilst global cooperation has spurred science and technology throughout the world.

Since its establishment, almost a century ago, the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, has played a key role in pushing humankind forward, through research and alumni activity.

The Technion is the source of extensive contributions to human knowledge and well being, spanning various fields of science, medicine and technology. These include the Nobel Prize winning research on ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation; Rasagiline, a drug effective in the treatment of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases; the “Snake Robot”, an innovative search and rescue robot invaluable to earthquake survivors; the Nobel Prize winning and paradigm-shifting discovery of quasi-crystals; pioneering work in data compression, such as the Lempel-Ziv algorithm; and much more – Technion research has benefited the world greatly.

Alongside these there are important contributions of Technion alumni, including “ReWalk”, a motorized walking  assistance system for the paraplegic, developments in semiconductors and data storage and more.

To affirm these, in a recent and comprehensive survey by MIT, the Technion was named sixth in innovation and entrepreneurship amongst universities worldwide.
In addition to these tremendous contributions, we are proud that our university serves as a model of coexistence. The student population includes students from Israel’s various minorities, and nearly a fifth are Arab students from across the country. Side by side, Arab, Jewish and international students study, work and engage in extra-curricular activities.
Therefore, we were extremely surprised by SRC’s call to cut ties with our university. This is no more than a boycott of a link for accumulating knowledge and promoting innovation; a boycott of science and academia. This is a malicious step to undermine a path to support peace, instead of encouraging a model which should be replicated.
We call on our fellow students at the University of Sydney to revoke this unconstructive resolution.
We call the administration of the University of Sydney to continue its important cooperation with the Technion, of high value to both institutions and to human progress, peace and stability.
This resolution was passed by the Board of Directors of the Technion Students Association.”

Prime Minister Julia Gillard

Prime Minister Julia Gillard

In the meantime, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has thrown her hat into the ring when quizzed by The Australian on the Max Brenner issue.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister told J-Wire that she responded the following to the national tabloid: “The Australian Government has always been firm and clear in its opposition of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.

This campaign does not serve the cause of peace and diplomacy for agreement on a 2-State solution between Israel and Palestine.

I welcome the strong ties our universities have with Israeli researchers and academic institutions, and I hope those ties will deepen in the years ahead.”


3 Responses to “Technion students hit back…and the PM waves her anti-BDS flag”
  1. Otto Waldmann says:

    Point is that, while universities have been traditionally ( in fact just after the 1st decade 19th Century ) hot beds for political activism, one of the first such agitations had a distinctive anti Semitic character.
    Starting with 1819, the “hip-hip” German universities movement targeted exclusively Jewish students. So, nothing at all has changed here.
    As all this activism is, most definitely, extra-curicullar, one wonders how much time do the students up on the BDS barricades devote to ACTUAL mental improvement, because, considering the full dedication of the malice and stupidity of their full time political/insurectional enthusiasm, there would be no time left for intellectual improvement, the ACTUAL function of being a uni. student. Consequently, the “substance” of this current anti-academic activity is a precise reflection of their “brain power”, a clear example of a massive ZERO.

  2. Paul Winter says:

    Yes indeed, our PM has taken the right approach. The BDS movement is exceedingly unhelpful with regard to the “two state solution” on which the international community is fixated, often superficially and hypocritically. The BDS movement, so ardently backed by the PA is, in truth, a denial of two states for two people; it calls for the destruction of Israel, the nation state of a people the mohammedans claim do no exist and are not recognised.

    The Technion students’ statement is absolutely right and absolutely clueless. The BDS movement is founded on Jew hatred, based on religion, copying Soviet antisemitism. Technion students are trying to reason with irrational people.

    What Julia Gillard should do is to defund the antisemitic indoctrination program run by Jake Lynch, because that is what the so-called peace and conflict studies at Sydney Uni with its openly Jew-hating guest lecturer really is. If money is short, universities have better ways of spending it than on hate creation and truth bending cadre creators.

  3. Naomi says:

    Once again, well done, Julia Gillard. We may be greatly at odds with you on your recent willingness to sacrifice the quality of our universities in the name of “School Reform”, but on these two issues (the Technion and Max Brenner) you are “right on”. Let’s hope that in Australian universities we still have students of a calibre to benefit from interaction with creative, innovative and brilliant students and faculty of the Technion.

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