End UTS partnerships with Israel's Technion University

End UTS partnerships with Israel's Technion University

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BDS Australia started this petition to Professor Attila Brungs (Vice Chancellor, University of Technology Sydney) and

The University of Technology Sydney has partnered with the Israeli Technion University by offering an international study abroad and exchange program and other links as well as a series of webinars which are hosted by Technion Australia and UTS Alumini. 

Technion University provides research and development in weapons and security for the Israeli government and is complicit in the Israeli government's grave breaches of international law and human rights conventions in relation to Palestinians [1]. 

We deplore the University of Technology’s partnership with the Israeli Technion University. We are appalled at your decision to yet again,[2] to partner with Technion Institute of Technology, to host the webinar “Exploring the Dark Web - Cybercrime and Cyber Security in the Digital Age” on the 27 May. Technion directly contributes to what has been described as Israel’s military-security-surveillance complex, which includes systematic digital and cyber oppression.[3]

It is May 2021 and yet again Palestinians in Gaza have faced the full onslaught of Israeli military and chemical devastation. Across the rest of historic Palestine, protestors face live & rubber tipped bullets, tear gas, stun grenades, skunk water spray tanks, home raids, arrests, beatings, fortified checkpoints, extreme systems of surveillance, religious based extremist militias and neighbourhood gangs.

Technion has played an active developmental role in Israel’s military-security-surveillance complex. An example is the remote-controlled Caterpillar DR: a gigantic, armoured bulldozer used to demolish Palestinian homes.[4] Technion also operates in a symbiotic relation with Israeli weapons manufacturers, such as Elbit and Rafael, accepting their grants, while dedicating research & education to developing tools of colonial warfare, such as drone systems used for surveillance, intimidation, and murder of Palestinians (and Lebanese). These technologies are sold to many governments who also use them in the oppression of their people. 

These types of partnerships, even if they build careers, budgets, and scientific discoveries, are in fact a danger to the very heart of what education should be and violate UTS’s professed commitment to social justice. They transform the university into an ally of power and hegemony, where the colonised and poor serve as “laboratory” for immoral profit making.

Along with the various other links that UTS maintains with Technion, these partnerships implicate UTS in violations of international law, including the apartheid practices of military occupation, annexation of land and resources, and theft of homes across Gaza, West Bank and East Jerusalem[5].

We stand with Palestinians in their historic and dignified uprising. As they forge histories, educators must cease to make alliances with those who oppress them.

We demand, unequivocally, that UTS cancel its involvement in the webinar and cease to partner, promote, or contribute to any institution or event involved in Israel’s ongoing violations of international law, and crimes against the Palestinian people.

[1] Further information -https://bdsaustralia.net.au/uts-must-end-partnerships-with-technion-university/
[2]  https://austechnion.com/event/covid-19-impact-on-business-how-do-we-reinvent-ourselves/ and https://www.tau.ac.il/news/webinarAI
[3] Vlazna, V (2 May 2012). Israeli Hawkademia in Australian universities. Palestine Chronicle. https://www.palestinechronicle.com/israeli-hawkademia-in-australian-universities/
[4] Dawes, S. (2015). The digital occupation of Gaza: An interview with Helga Tawil-Souri. Networking Knowledge 8(2). http://scholar.google.com.au/scholar_url?url=https://ojs.meccsa.org.uk/index.php/netknow/article/download/374/204&hl=en&sa=X&ei=uCuqYODSC9iR6rQPnuCzWA&scisig=AAGBfm2ZYauKwjG5TAWRh8yK1KyQE7l7lQ&nossl=1&oi=scholarr
[5] White, B (13 September 2012 ).Why a boycott of Israeli academics is fully justified. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2012/sep/12/boycott-israeli-academics-justified

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