The Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign endorsed these letters, authored by New Yorkers Against the Cornell-Technion Partnership (NYACT), sent to architecture firms being considered for the design of the planned Cornell-Technion joint venture:
25 Organizations Urge Architectural Firms of Proposed CornellNYC Tech Campus to Drop Project
NEW YORK, New York, October 16, 2012 – 25 organizations, including several representing the architecture community as well as students at Cornell and other universities, academic scholars, human and civil rights advocates in the United States and abroad, and Roosevelt Island residents, have called on two architectural firms that were granted contracts by the New York City Economic Development Corporation to begin designing CornellNYC Tech to drop the project. The applied science and technology campus, to be run jointly by Cornell University and The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, is scheduled to be built on Roosevelt Island starting next year.
The letters, sponsored by New Yorkers Against the Cornell-Technion Partnership, urge Morphosis Architects, Inc. and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP to reconsider their involvement on the basis of Cornell’s partnership with the Technion, citing the latter’s record of complicity in Israeli violations of international law and human rights. As the letters state, the Technion is “an Israeli university that is strongly implicated in the oppression and subjugation of the Palestinian people.”
The Technion, like many Israeli educational institutions, provides the research and development as well as strategic planning for Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian lands. The letters go on to explain, with numerous examples, how the Technion is not just linked to the occupation but deeply complicit with it, working hand-in-hand with the Israel Defense Forces. The Israeli occupation has consistently been condemned by the United Nations and human rights organizations for its persistent breaches of international law and human rights.
The letter’s 25 signatories implore Morphosis Architects and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to heed the fact that Cornell’s partnership with the Technion serves only to exacerbate the contemporary manifestation of racism, neocolonialism, and apartheid in Israel/Palestine. They ask these architectural firms to join the contemporary struggle against Israeli apartheid and ethnic cleansing, by reconsidering and ultimately declining participation in the CornellNYC Tech project.
About New Yorkers Against the Cornell-Technion Partnership (NYACT)
NYACT is an ad-hoc coalition of New York-based students, academics, activists, writers, and concerned individuals who are working together to oppose the collaboration of Cornell University with The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Founding members include activists from the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) and Cornell University Students for Justice in Palestine, both of which continue to collaborate with NYACT. NYACT works within a wider framework of support that includes additional NYC-based groups as well as groups across the US, Canada, Palestine/Israel, South Africa, India, and Europe. Notably, along with Palestine solidarity groups and grassroots and labor activists, several key Jewish groups support the NYACT campaign.