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Boycott Calls Against Israel
[TAU] Anat Matar, Rachel Giora & [Weizmann] Kobi Snitz sign petition against Cornell U & Technion collaboration

 


                 
Anat Matar                 Rachel Giora               Kobi Snitz
matar@post.tau.ac.il   giorar@post.tau.ac.il    ksnitz@gmail.com


Editorial Note:
 
When Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the Cornell University - Technion partnership the winners of an intense international competition to built a highly prestigious graduate science center in New York, few were surprised.  Israel and its leading institutions including the Technion has become a scientific powerhouse, a fact that many observers have commented on. As Mayor Bloomberg noted, the new cutting- edge facility will become "transformative" in a variety of fields such as science education and biotechnology that would benefit not just New York and the United States but the global community.
 
For radical academics such as Anat Matar (TAU) Rachel Giora (TAU) and Kobi Snitz (Weizmann Institute) none of this matters.  Using the shopworn slogans of the BDS movement, they signed a petition asking Cornell University to boycott the Technion.  Among others, they state that the Technion suppressed the freedom of speech of Palestinian students during the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.  This is highly ironic, as Haaretz published documents indicating that the Flotilla secured the cooperation of Bashar Assad, who was eager to score a public relation point against Israel.
 
Worse, Matar and her academic peers, always eager to show solicitousness toward the plight of the Palestinians, have ignored the death of thousands of Syrians at the hands of the brutal regime.

 

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/in-opposition-to-cornell-universitys/

The Petition
Petition: We oppose Cornell University’s collaboration with Technion—Israel Institute of Technology

To:

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Cornell University President David J. Skorton, Cornell University Vice President Susan Murphy, Cornell University Provost Kent Fuchs,

On Monday December 19 2011, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the joint bid advanced by Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in the multi-billion-dollar competition to create a massive applied sciences and technology campus on Roosevelt Island had won. While this initiative is sure to benefit Cornell University and the City of New York in many ways, the partnership with Technion means that these benefits will come at the expense of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation and, thus, also of the moral standing of the University and the City.

More than any other university in Israel, the Technion, which is involved in the research and development of military and arms technology, is directly implicated in war crimes. Its joint programs with the Israeli military and its cooperative research programs with two of Israel’s major weapons corporations, Elbit and Rafael, renders Technion a full participant in the actions carried out by the Israeli military. Those actions include targeting civilians, as in the 2006 invasion of Lebanon and the 2008-2009 Cast Lead operation against Gaza, and physically contributing to Israel’s discriminatory practices in the West Bank with the construction of the separation wall that cuts sharply into the occupied West Bank and disrupts the lives of Palestinians in countless ways. The Cornell administration cannot plead ignorance of these facts. We refuse to collaborate with this.

Rafael Advanced Defence Systems LTD., which established a three-year ‘in-house’ MBA program at Technion University, has worked with students and faculty there to develop the ‘Ramtech’ rockets and different unmanned aircraft to be used in Israel’s ongoing occupation. Rafael also developed the armor used by the Merkava-4 tanks, which enabled the Israeli military forces to carry out urban warfare, as they did during the Cast Lead operation. In the course of that warfare, actions were taken that constitute war crimes under international law. We refuse to collaborate with this.

Elbit Systems, which established a training program for engineers in the Technion and has given research grants to Technion consisting of half a million US dollars a year for 5 years, is one of the two main contractors for Israel’s separation wall—which has been declared illegal by the international Court of Justice—and is the producer of the Hermes 450 drones, which were used during the flotilla attack, as well as during some of the deadlier incidents during the 2006 war against Lebanon and the 2008-2009 attack on Gaza. Human Rights Watch has condemned Israel’s use of drones for targeted killings. Such killings have prompted Amnesty International to call for a suspension of UK arms sales to Israel. Technion is complicit in these killings. We refuse to collaborate with this.

Institutional links with Technion will, furthermore, entail complicity in the unjust treatment of Palestinian Israelis within Israeli society and academia. At every level of the Israeli educational system, Israeli-Palestinian students encounter obstacles in terms of access to many programs—especially the ones tied to participation in the IDF—as well as to housing and resources. Beyond these pervasive structural inequalities, freedom of speech for Palestinian-Israelis is curtailed at Technion. For example, in the first few days of June 2010, in the wake of Israel’s attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, a pro-military students’ group was permitted to demonstrate, while the mostly Palestinian led rally against the attack was repressed brutally by the police and several demonstrators were arrested. Severe restrictions on freedom of speech and freedom of assembly for Palestinian students at Technion are part and parcel of a broader colonial and racist educational system, one that is by now integral to the functioning of the Israeli occupation. We refuse to collaborate with this.

The proposed partnership with an institution like the Technion, because of its direct and indirect assaults on the freedoms of speech and assembly, the right to education and to basic security, and because of its intimate bond with the needs and dictates of a discriminatory and brutal project of military occupation, would give the lie to Cornell’s founding values of universalism and inclusion embodied in the university’s motto “any person any study.’ We refuse to collaborate with this.

At both Concordia University and McGill University there are currently campaigns calling for divestment from Technion by ending the bilateral exchange programs with it. Norway’s pension fund, Europe’s largest investment fund, has divested from Elbit. The Swedish national pension fund, Kommunal Landspensjonkasse (one of the largest life insurance companies in Norway), Danske Bank (the largest bank in Denmark), and PKA Ltd., one of the largest Danish pension funds, have also divested. We, too, refuse to collaborate with this.

Cornell Provost Kent Fuchs commented on this successful bid with the words: "I think we were the only university that had unanimous support from the administration, faculty, staff, students and alumni." This is simply not true. On Monday December 12 2011, some of us met with Cornell Provost Kent Fuchs and with Cornell Vice President Susan Murphy and voiced our concerns about and our opposition to the collaboration with Technion. We informed them of the above facts, yet they decided to disregard them and move on with this collaboration. But we the undersigned do not and will not lend our voices to the “unanimous support” of this collaboration with an Israeli institute that facilitates war crimes. We refuse to be implicated in war crimes and we reject any attempt to normalize them.

We refuse to collaborate with this, and call on Cornell University to end the partnership with Technion!
Signatures:

Name: Carl Gelderloos on Feb 5, 2012
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Name: Paul Flaig on Feb 5, 2012
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Name: Dan Sinykin on Feb 5, 2012
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Name: Eric Cheyfitz on Feb 5, 2012
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Name: Anonymous on Feb 5, 2012
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Name: Elizabeth on Feb 5, 2012
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Name: Kevin McGinnis on Feb 5, 2012
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Name: Adin Lears on Feb 5, 2012
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Name: Rae Grabowski on Feb 5, 2012
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Name: Matthew Evangelista on Feb 5, 2012
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Name: Liron Mor on Feb 5, 2012
Comments: A Cornell student
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Name: Paul Sawyer on Feb 5, 2012
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Name: Anonymous on Feb 5, 2012
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Name: Joe Catron on Feb 5, 2012
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Name: Samantha on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Alaa Yousef on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Beth Harris on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Antonia Shouse on Feb 6, 2012
Comments: Neither correct nor honorable.
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Name: Diana.hamilton on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Susan Koppelman on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Deppen Webber on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Max Ajl on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Ronnie Barkan on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Anonymous on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Ofer Neiman on Feb 6, 2012
Comments: Israeli citizen
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Name: International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Jane Jewell on Feb 6, 2012
Comments: Collaboration with a company that has committed war crimes is immoral. Don't do it.
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Name: Charlotte Kates on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Tom Moore on Feb 6, 2012
Comments: As a pacifist, I cannot support Cornell's partnership with an institution of war.
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Name: Victoria Dahl on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Dr. Roberta Wallitt on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Alexandra Robinson on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Ari Linden on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Holly Jones on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Avigyle Carmeli on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: David Klein on Feb 6, 2012
Comments: Cornell Alumnus
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Name: Bayan on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Anonymous on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Evergreen Snow on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Noor Haydar on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Jonatan Stanczak on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Sandy Abu El Adas on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Linda Frank on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Fernanda Negrete on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Jamil Sbitan on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Majdi Alhusseini on Feb 6, 2012
Comments: Israel is a rogue state
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Name: Anonymous on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Reem Fadda on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Eran Efrati on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Alexis Martin on Feb 6, 2012
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 Name: Maya Wind on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Farah Erzouki on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: HASSAN FOUDA on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Anonymous on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Esther Nelson on Feb 6, 2012
Comments: Please investigate collaborative projects with Palestinians.
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Name: Mikos Fabersunne on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Valori George on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Anna Prouty on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Cindy Gao on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Larry George on Feb 6, 2012
Comments: Having worked for 23 years with NGO's in Israel and in the Palestinian land under Illegal Israeli occupation, I am appalled at the intensifying ethnic cleansing being carried out by the Israeli government. It is time to stand up for human rights, to oppose the diabolical alliance between Israeli "academic" institutions and crimes against humanity.
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Name: Darlene Wallach on Feb 6, 2012
Comments: Have the courage to do the right thing. Support Boycott Divestment and Sanctions. Do not collaborate with Technion—Israel Institute of Technology
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Name: Dr. Anat Matar on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Patricia Villavicencio Carrillo on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Robert Kissous on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Sally Brownfield on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Carla Curio on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Anonymous on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Anonymous on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Antonia House on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Susan Harman on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Annette Herskovits on Feb 6, 2012
Comments: Cooperating with the Technion, given its close involvement with the Israeli defense industry and the Israeli military is unconscionable. The state of Israel is guilty of war crimes. A holocaust survivor and child of Holocaust victims.
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Name: Shir Hever on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Ruth Edmonds on Feb 6, 2012
Comments: As an Israeli citizen opposed to Israels arpartheid and military rule I urge you to stop this connection with the Technion until Israel complies with all international law and respects universal human rights. These are not empty words. You need to be here to see it. When it all comes back to hit us in the face let no-one say they did not know or were not told. WE ARE TELLING YOU. Please help us to get them to stop. Thank you.
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Name: Oshra Bar on Feb 6, 2012
Comments: As a Jew, living in Israel, I fully support the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions on Israeli institutes until the occupation of Palestine comes to an end. This is your chance to make a change overseas - show Israel you will not endure it's racist policies and violent ways!
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Name: Janet Jones on Feb 6, 2012
Comments: Israel/Palestine is worse than South African apartheid because the US does not care
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Name: Prof. Rachel Giora on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: David on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Maher on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Karen Benezra on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Michael B Smith on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Federico Sor on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Patricia Rodriguez on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Noam Lekach on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Timothy Zorach on Feb 6, 2012
Comments: As a graduate of Cornell, I am appalled that the University has agreed to work with Technion. It represents the very worst of Israeli society and for the various reasons in the petition Cornell should immediately cancel its partnership with such a warmongering corporation.
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Name: Joan McGlotten on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Tanweerul Haq on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Michal Vexler on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Sami Abed on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Jeannette Liberman on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Elisha Baskin on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Eithne Cunningham on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Fred Nagel on Feb 6, 2012
Comments: I am a graduate of Cornell, and I have never been ashamed of my University before. Collusion with the Zionist military establishment is about as low as a US college can go. Must our university leaders follow the example of Obama and our congressional representatives? The aiding of war crimes?
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Name: Corey Hill on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Andrew Paul Gutierrez Professor Emeritus on Feb 6, 2012
Comments: Do not support the occupation and repression of Palestine.
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Name: Amina Kadimi on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Claire Sternberg on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Chris Sabas on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Anonymous on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Dr. Marcy Newman on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Kobi Snitz on Feb 6, 2012
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 Name: Penny Rosenwasser on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Nina Sakun on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Kenneth Ring on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Richard Greve on Feb 6, 2012
Comments: Israeli apartheid will not end until it affects Israel's monied establishment. Apartheid and israel's policies of house demolitions and land confiscations based on religious identification, are terrible crimes, and it's particularly disturbing when religious leaders in Israel and the US support apartheid.
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Name: Joyce Burstein on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Thomas McEvilley on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Gene St.Onge on Feb 6, 2012
Comments: The price of ridding the world of the scourge of Zionism is eternal vigilance.
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Name: Dror WARSCHAWSKI on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Anne Poirier on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Leslie Angeline on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Dr. Nancy C. Arvold on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Deborah Kapell on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Ralph M. Coury on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Anna Durrans on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Janet Green on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Anonymous on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Amanda M. Stout on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Omar Hashwi on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Marita Mayer on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Alice Diane Kisch on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Frank Baldwin on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Karen Platt on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Esther Riley on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Dorothy B. Wagner on Feb 6, 2012
Comments: I am a graduate of Cornell Nursing School and feel very compelled to sign this petition. We need to work for a peaceful society not more military development.
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Name: Lila Braine on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Julien Poirier on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Fr. James Babcock on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Burton Steck on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Bradley Depew on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Gustavo Furtado on Feb 6, 2012
Comments: Please do not cooperate with the IIT
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Name: Basma on Feb 6, 2012
Comments: BDS
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Name: Darlene Evans on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Darlene Evans on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Cindy Shamban on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Michelle Gentile on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Dorothy Naor on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: MAran Cohen on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Jeanette Hartley on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Nancy Du Plessis on Feb 6, 2012
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Name: Sara Traub on Feb 6, 2012
Comments: We must look at the big picture when making choices. If it is harmful to anyone, it is not a good choice. It sounds that t will surely be harmful to the indigenous people of the country. We do this time and time again. Does history teach us nothing?
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Name: Marcia Bernstein on Feb 6, 2012
Comments: This Israeli Institute is implicated in war crimes because of its development of weapons for the Israeli military.
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Name: Liza Behrendt on Feb 6, 2012
Comments: Public money in New York City should not fund war crimes!

 

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