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Northeastern University

Northeastern University is a private academic institution located between the Boston neighborhoods of Roxbury and Back Bay. Northeastern is highly complicity in Israel's ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homeland and theft of Palestinian resources, as well as in US Imperialism, US violence against migrants, and the Displacement of Black and Brown community members from the Boston area (through what is often known as 'gentrification').

Support for Israel

Northeastern University runs multiple study abroad partnerships, summer programs, and student coops (undergraduate experiential learning programs) in Israel (see: here and here). Northeastern University maintains a very active and strictly Zionist campus Hillel, which encourages NEU students to travel to Israel, and directs NEU students toward paid internships and fellowships with local Zionist propaganda and lobbying organizations including Camera on Campus, StandWithUs, the Israel on Campus Coalition, and the Jewish National Fund (JNF). One of these groups, the NEU's chapter of Camera on Campus, is a student-run group tied to the parent organization CAMERA (see entry on CAMERA). In collaboration with campus pro-Israel group "Huskies for Israel," CAMERA provides pro-Israel "direction" to NU students, identifying guest speakers, suggesting events, and generally advising students on how to propagandize for Israel on the NEU campus. CAMERA also sponsors and funds CAMERA Fellows at NEU, students who receive stipends from CAMERA for duties including "regular monitoring of the campus media, classrooms/professors, and anti-Israel events; attend Israel-related events, take notes, and ask questions during the event." Publicly listed CAMERA fellows at Northeastern University have included Elie Codron (2020-2021), Harrison Garcia (2020-2021), Matthew Blicher (2021-2022), Jacob Egelberg (2021-2022). (See updated list of CAMERA campuses and current CAMERA campus fellows here.)

In March of 2014, Northeastern University suspended the NEU student group Northeastern Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), and permanently banned student members of NUSJP from holding positions in recognized student organizations. Northeastern University also threatened to expel two women of color members of NUSJP from the university entirely. Northeastern University's move to suspend the club and threat to expel two of its student members came after a long pressure campaign against Northeastern University SJP, which was led by a number of campus and community Zionist organizations, including NEU Hillel, American's for Peace and Tolerance, The Zionist Organization of America, and the Anti-Defamation League (see: here and here). 

In November 2021, the Northeastern University School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs hosted a panel titled “Repairing a Divided America: Blacks, Jews and the Future of American Coalitions.” Josh Kraft, President of Kraft Family Philanthropies (see entry on Kraft Family Philanthropies), along with Former New England Patriot were featured on the panel. The first 30 minutes of the panel featured stories from the former NFL player about a recent propaganda trip to Israel he attended. Contrary to this panel's stated intention of "repairing" the "divide" between Black and Jewish Americans, Northeastern University Hillel protested renowned Black civil rights activist and former political prisoner Angela Davis's invitation to speak on the NEU campus in the same year (2021), due to Davis's solidarity with the Palestinian struggle.

Northeastern University also hosts a chapter of TAMID Group. TAMID Group is a national Zionist organization which describe themselves as "a comprehensive business and technology group that uses Israel as an economic lens to consult leading companies on the forefront of innovation," and which directs students toward programs which provide "Experiential Learning Through Business in Israel." TAMID provides multiple opportunities for students to support and connect with Israel, including the TAMID Fellowship (an eight-week business internship in Israel), TAMID Consulting (in which student teams work to remotely solve "challenging" business problems for Israeli companies), and the TAMID Investment Fund (in which students participate in a competitions with students on other campuses, managing an investment portfolio made up of Israeli companies). By directing Northeastern students to these programs, TAMID is part of the broader Israeli state-led propaganda effort which aims to brand Israel as a "start-up nation" and a hub of "innovation" and "entrepreneurship in order to whitewash over the realities of Israel's ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homeland and theft of Palestinian resources. TAMID Group was fully funded by the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC) until March 2018. Current board members of NEU's chapter of TAMID group as listed on their website include: Curtis Fisher, Marc Bacvanski, Daniel Blundin, Sophie Stevens, Josh Glickman, Ash Vytheswaran, Spencer Belsky, Jeffrey Wallace, Courtney Lee, Madison Taylor, Rahul Mamtora, Miriam Lorber, Michelle Mirkin, and Allie Rozenblyum.

Support for US Tracking, Detention, and Deportation of Migrants

Northeastern University is the lead university participating in ALERT ("Awareness and Localization of Explosives-Related Threats"), a consortium of nine universities and industry partners who receive grants and other support from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct "research, technology and educational development" for DHS. According to an annual report on the program, ALERT supports DHS to "quickly adapt to new research and education priorities related to the daunting mission of DHS to protect our nation from terrorist threats." ALERT includes educational programming targeted to "pre-college, undergraduate, graduate and career professional components" respectively, and includes "High-Tech Tools and Toys Lab," "an Engineering Leadership Program focusing on Department of Homeland Security Topics," and "workshops and short courses" for students. Alongside participating universities, Massachusetts-based weapons manufacturer Raytheon is one of the local industry partners in the ALERT consortium.

Northeastern University's position as the lead university of ALERT has given rise to numerous collaborations between Northeastern and DHS, including collaborations between Northeastern and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) (ICE is a sub-agency within DHS). One of these collaborations is the Border Enforcement Analytics Program (BEAP), a program within the Northeastern University's Institute for Security and Public Policy (ISPP), which, according to the NEU ISPP website, aims to "provide advanced computing and analytic solutions that enable Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to effectively combine and analyze multiple, large disparate data sets to increase enforcement effectiveness." Additionally, Glenn Pierce who is the director of the Northeastern Institute of Security and Public Policy (ISPP) received more than $2.7 million from US Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) from 2016-18, as part of a research contract between NEU's Institute of Security and Public Policy and US Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE). Pierce's contract with ICE elicited outrage and repeated protests from NEU students and Boston area immigrant community leaders.

In November 2021, Northeastern University won a $36 million contract from DHS to build a surveillance system called SENTRY (Soft target Engineering to Neutralize the Threat Reality). The system promises to turn schools, sporting events, and city spaces into a panopticon that will "integrate elements such as crowd-scanning sensors mounted atop light poles, video feeds, cell phone traffic, aerial drone footage, and social media posts." Eleven other universities will be involved in the development of SENTRY, including Boston University and Tufts University locally. Weapons manufacturer Raytheon and the military R&D firm Draper Labs will be on the advisory board of the project. 

Leaders of ALERT and SENTRY include Michael Silevitch (Director) and Carey Rappaport (Deputy Director), both of whom are professors of engineering at NEU.

Support for the US Military

In 2018, Northeastern University's Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security in Burlington, MA became the host site of a U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL). As reported in the Woburn-based Daily Times Chronicle:

[On] a 14-acre parcel off South Bedford Road, situated not far from the Woburn line and just a few miles away from the Burlington Mall, the U.S. Army's best and brightest intend to wipe away any and all enemy advantages by creating the world's most formidable technological partnership. 

Earlier this month, a host of dignitaries descended upon Northeastern University's George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security to formalize a unique collaboration between academia, tech companies, and the defense department's U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL).

Within the secretive 70,000 square foot facility, where researchers are already experimenting with drones, explosive and force-resistant building materials, and nanotechnology or microscopic robotics and electronics, the ARL plans to house its northeastern regional partnership headquarters.

In the undertaking, staff from the ARL's 3,000-plus strong civilian and military workforce will labor directly alongside some of the state's preeminent university and corporate researchers to move innovations in the laboratory directly to those serving on the battlefield.

(See also entry on Northeastern University's George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security)

Moreover, Northeastern University has hosted weapons company Raytheon at its February 2022 STEM career fair. During this career fair, Raytheon promoted both a job opening and a coop (undergraduate experiential learning programs) to NEU students. Raytheon is itself deeply complicit in Israeli military violence, the death and destruction wrought by US imperialism, and the US government's regime of tracking, detention, and deportation of Black and Brown migrants (see entry on Raytheon). Northeastern University also hosted military Research & Development firm MIT Lincoln Labs at NEU's February 2022 STEM Career fair. MIT Lincoln Labs is highly complicit in US imperialism (see entry on MIT Lincoln Labs).

Complicity in displacement ("gentrification") in Boston

The Northeastern campus occupies 73 acres of real estate in and near the historically Black Boston neighborhood of Roxbury. The land Northeastern owns along with the structures built upon it are collectively valued at $2.34 billion (see: MassGIS statewide parcels dataset, 2021). By gobbling up real estate and bringing students, faculty, and researchers into the area who are, on average, wealthier and whiter than pre-existing residents, NEU bears considerable responsibility the ongoing rise in area housing, rental, and living costs (see imager below), which is leaving residents of Roxbury and other nearby neighborhoods increasingly unable to afford to remain in the homes and communities they have called home for years if not decades.

(Image source: here)

A 2014 article in The Baffler further explains:

Nearly all the Innovation Economy construction has simply added to the region’s phalanx of luxury homes, condominiums, towers, laboratories, auditoriums, and office parks. The capital investment in the machinery of invention (filtered through the region’s tax-exempt colleges, hospitals, and institutes) is staggering" [and includes] $225 million for Northeastern University’s science and research center ... "We think of Boston as one large campus," Northeastern president Joseph E. Aoun told the Boston Globe.

Adding insult to injury, Northeastern University also happily hosted the Boston city agency most responsible for displacement through gentrification, the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA), at NEU's Spring 2022 Northeastern University career fair. Formerly known as the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), the BPDA has repeatedly created and approved rezoning plans which have opened Boston communities up to new luxury housing and commercial developments, driving lower income and predominantly Black and Brown community members out of the neighborhoods they helped build and evoking frequent protests from impacted community members (See entry on the City of Boston for more information on BPDA).

360 Huntington Ave, Boston MA 02115

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