Don’t Be Evil: Google and Cornell-Technion
Every other Tuesday of the semester, from 5:00-7:00 PM, a quiet demonstration takes place outside the offices of Google on the corner or 15th Street and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan. “Don’t Be Evil,” the signs say, referencing Google’s own slogan.
This is because Google is hosting classes for the new Cornell-Technion project while its large campus on Roosevelt Island is being developed. When Mayor Bloomberg announced a competition for a new and glorious science and education project to be designed and built, it looked very exciting. Numerous impressive entries were received. After a fast-tracked, non-transparent process, eliminating another proposal that had seemed a sure win, a project conceived by Cornell University and The Technion, an Israeli institution, was awarded $100 million in New York taxpayer money and free land to build on Roosevelt Island. Along with the fact that a hospital will be demolished to make room for the project, and the lives of Roosevelt Islanders will be permanently affected during the 25-year construction and influx of students and staff, The Technion develops, among other things, many military devices that are being used against the Palestinian people–such as drones, surveillance devices and militarized bulldozers. Choosing a project involving The Technion is a way for New York City, representing the US, to endorse and strengthen the perpetual Israeli campaign against the Palestinian people, stealing their land and water, harassing, pillaging, killing. The US has been supporting Israel in this campaign, with lavish financing and cheerleading, for many years. Cornell-Tech is just one more way.
This affects all New Yorkers. Either the United States is going to cease propping up an oppressive regime or every American is going to become further and further enmeshed in something we should never have supported in the first place. The Cornell-Technion Partnership brings the issue right to our doorstep here in the city.