Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tickled Pink

The Australian's Christian Kerr is tickled pink to report that:

"Sydney University students are expected to move to overturn support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions movement when their representative council meets this week."* (Student body rethinks anti-Israel boycott, 6/5/13)

Note how it's always the "anti-Israel BDS", suggestive of party-pooping negativity at best, vile anti-Semitism at worst?

No reader would ever guess, from a 'report' by Kerr and friends that BDS is actually pro-Palestinian rights and pro-international law, IOW a mechanism to help bring about 3 fundamental, long overdue and incredibly positive changes:

1) ending Israel's ILLEGAL occupation and colonization of all Arab lands [occupied in 1967] and dismantling the ILLEGAL West Bank wall;

2) recognizing the fundamental rights of Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

3) respecting, protecting, and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties, as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

"BDS supporters... claim the Technion works closely with the Israeli government and military, and weapons manufacturers in Israel."  (ibid)

Note the sly, mendacious use of the word 'claim', with its connotation of still-to-be-proved.

So what does the Technion's website says:

"[I]ts graduates are cited to have provided the skills and education behind the creation and protection of the State of Israel." (About Technion)

The very creation and protection of the State of Israel! Couldn't be clearer really, but just to ice the cake:

"Technion's workshops supplied vital weapons and equipment for the Jewish self-defense [!!!] fighters of the Haganah - everything from cartridge clips and gun parts to signaling keys for lamps and wireless radios. Through the 1930s and 1940s, almost every student at Technion played a role in clandestine military efforts. Students descended into the 100-meter well in the school's courtyard to test weapons out of hearing range of British authorities; they practiced firing pistols in a basement corridor where the sound would be drowned out by the clamor of industrial machinery. During the 1948 War of Independence, Israeli fighters relied on 'Ilioff cocktails' - mass-produced, hand-thrown bottle bombs invented by Technion's Professor Alexander Ilioff. This was just the start of a long, productive partnership between Technion and the Israeli Defense Forces that would provide the young state with everything from night vision goggles to an entire aerospace industry." (Technion Nation: Technion's Contribution to Israel & the World, Amnon Frenkel & Shlomo Maital, 2012, p 42)

"Opponents say the Technion works regularly with Arab institutions... In an open letter to the SRC last week, the Technion student union said nearly a fifth of its numbers were Arabs."  (ibid)

Funny though, you can trawl the Technion's website till the cows come home but nowhere are these assertions corroborated, let alone adduced as a selling point.

Nor is any of the following highly relevant data likely to find its way into the pages of the Australian:

"Under the anodyne classification of 'applied sciences', Technion's research accomplishments read like a what's what of science fiction, full of unmanned drones, pilotless surveillance gizmos and driverless bulldozers. The Jerusalem Post reports that Technion's D9 unmanned armored tank performed so magnificently during Israel's massacre of 1,400 Gazans in the 2008-09 Operation Cast Lead that the IDF doubled its order. Journalist Max Blumenthal reported about the drone plane based on the dragonfly, with a 9-inch wingspan and 8-inch body. According to a quote Blumenthal cited from the American Technion Society website, 'The plane's relatively low speed enables it to easily enter rooms through small windows and to send back photos from a miniature camera.' Technion personnel have worked on means to track human eye movements in collaboration with Elbit, a key developer of Israel's apartheid wall, illegal under international law, that slices through the occupied West Bank. Technion is also a global expert in developing mini-robots capable of traversing rubble and planting bombs, as well as building 'surveillance snakes' whose goal is to explore tunnels that are crucial for transporting desperately needed banned goods into blockaded Gaza, where 1.6 million Palestinians barely scrape by. In this era of neoliberalism, Technion's invention of clever military gadgets that require minimal labor is a budget-cutter's dream come true. Not surprisingly, Palestinians aren't the only victims of Technion's 'applied sciences'. North America's own apartheid wall along the US-Mexico border uses surveillance technology developed by Technion. And stealth drones that the US has used to such deadly effect in Pakistan are also developed by Technion." (NYC's deadly deal with Israeli apartheid, Sherry Wolf, indypendent.org, 20/1/12)

Sounds like the road to Orwell's 1984 could be paved with Technion inventions. But then, would Rupert Murdoch want it any other way?

Now, as it happens, the Australian's mini-me, the Australian Jewish News is also tickled pink to report that:

"A Jew and a Palestinian are working together to counteract 'damage' done by the University of Sydney's SRC's recent decision to boycott the Technion... SRC representatives Palestinian-Australian Fahad Ali and Jewish-Australian Joel Einstein have moved to counter the recent motion to sever all ties with the [Technion] as part of the international BDS movement. Ali and Einstein's counter-motion asserts a two-state solution is 'the ultimate goal', and 'argument and vilification of either side' is disruptive to peace and 'contribute[s] nothing'... Ali approached Einstein about drafting a counter-motion... 'I wasn't comfortable with continuing the motion when its flaws became evident... I was really unhappy the motion passed and wanted to reverse the damage. The counter-motion will reaffirm the SRC's commitment to supporting both Israeli and Palestinian students. There's no sense of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians on campus. We're good friends. People who aren't invested want to impose their views on us'." (Palestinian, Jew unite to reverse student BDS motion, 26/4/13)


Where's this Ali bloke coming from? What's this 'damage' he keeps referring to? What are these mysterious 'flaws' he's so uncomfortable with? And what's all this banging on about 'Israeli students' and 'Israelis on campus'? Is Sydney University under Israeli occupation or what?

Is Comical Ali for real or is he just taking the piss?

Could he perhaps - and I admit to standing on the wilder shores of speculation here - be yet another of the Technion's sinister creations, a BDS-busting 'Palestinian' robot, remotely controlled by some Dr Frankenstein from a secret room deep within the bowels of that institution?

Watch this space...

[*See my 17/4/13 post If They're Good Enough for the Technion...]


Peter D said...

Comical Ali?

I hope if he's a real guy that the name sticks!

Patrick Harrison said...

Comical Ali is, unfortunately, no fiction, but a nice fellow student at USYD involved in struggles for queer rights and against cuts to tertiary education. This is the first time in a while that this issue has been put forward proactively on campus, so there are regrettably many people's heads still full of "common sense" nonsense.