At least the scientists can get along
March 4, 2005 2:54 PM   Subscribe

Bridging the rift. A joint Israeli/Jordanian biological research centre straddling the border between the two nations is set to become operational in the near future. Scientists from Cornell and Stanford are involved as well. See what it'll look like (big PDF), and learn why studies of biosalinity and other forms of extreme biology are important.
posted by greatgefilte (9 comments total)
Psst. Gefilte, they've been "getting along" since 1994.

Fantastic. I hope this sticks in the craw of the crypto-anti-Semites in Cambridge, MA. Academic and cultural exchanges are the one of the best ways to undergird political dialogue.
posted by felix betachat at 3:01 PM on March 4, 2005

I've been told that Israeli scientists love this kind of stuff - since, if they in some way describe their work as serving the cause of peace, or as a collaboration with Palestinians or whatever, they can much more easily get funding for difficult-to-fund projects from various non-profits or from the EU.
posted by kickingtheground at 4:18 PM on March 4, 2005


Just a prediction.
posted by kafziel at 4:33 PM on March 4, 2005

This is, of course, is encouraging news. However, Jordan and Israel do indeed have a more copacetic relationship than the other hostile countries that border eretz yisrael. The most recent intifada from the end of 2000 is certainly to blame for the halt in diplomatic relations.

Coincidentally, your post is timely news, as this weekend is significant in repairing and reinforcing Israeli-Jordanian relations. Big news in the Middle East right now is that the Jordanian foreign minister will travel to Israel for the first time in four years, with a mission to bring back warmth to the relations between the two countries.
posted by naxosaxur at 4:54 PM on March 4, 2005

I've been told that Israeli scientists love this kind of stuff
There's a nice interview in the current New Scientist about a collaborative project between an Israeli and a Palestinian.
posted by dhruva at 7:37 PM on March 4, 2005

felix -- Yah, I know, I meant to say scientists in general, not necessarily Israeli and Jordanian ones.

I thought this was kind of depressing, though:

While the Israeli scientists openly participated in the field survey, their Jordanian counterparts asked that their names and institutional affiliations not be made public for fear of retaliation back home.
posted by greatgefilte at 8:04 PM on March 4, 2005

Despite Cornell's frigid weather and frigid women, I fucking love my alma mater. This was big news months ago in the Daily Sun. I'm a big supporter of Israel and peace there, its pretty much my second home. I'm glad my school invests time and money in such meaningful projects as this, as opposed to the obnoxious divestment movements.
posted by Kifer85 at 8:08 PM on March 4, 2005

Divestment worked in S. Africa, so I wouldn't count it out. Economic divestment was a significant part of bringing down the apartheid regime. However it doesn't seem that it's working in the case of Israel, and as noted, has the potential to punish people like scientists, who are mostly innocent.
posted by cell divide at 9:22 PM on March 4, 2005

Kifer85, those examples you cited are precisely why my opinion of our alma mater pretty much the opposite of yours. Though for science and technology I'm with ya.


Nice to see cooperation between these two nations, but methinks it's already on the watch (and maybe demolish) list as a potential bioweapons factory...
posted by zoogleplex at 5:36 PM on March 8, 2005

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