Weitzmann Institute – Slavery and human experimentation


Not the Garden of Eden


Recently, I ran into press releases, some of which are quite hysterical, sent by the workers of "the 'Science Park/Museum" in the Weitzmann Institute of Science, The   Clor Garden of Science. Regretfully, the young workers, most of whom are students themselves, are forced to discover  – the hard way – that the lucrative scientific institute – situated in the north entrance of my "hometown" Rehovot, has a darker side to it.


When it comes to money and rights of workers, those "geeky" geniuses, who "put Israel on the global map of fame", behave much like any plantation owner in equatorial Africa. After all, they too have tasted neo liberalist "BIg Money", when many of them enjoy business enterprenuership  together  with their intellectual efforts in the lab.


Nowhere in Africa


One of the most recent news from the workers' struggle brought up someone whose name rings  a loud bell, Moshe Rishpon, kind of a  "local celebrity" in Rehovot, always in charge of "Youth and Science", and dissemination of scientific knowledge to children, a sort of politician-scientist in the area of scientific education  in the schools. The workers said  that the enlightened Educator "snapped out" and violently attacked them, to drive away a peaceful, legal, gathering (of the workers) in the premises of the Institute, for the purpose of their labor struggle. .



Forty-seven years later, Rishpon is still exploiting the Institute’s “treasures” to further science education: “It’s amazing to see how the Youth Activities Section (now Young@Science) has grown over the years – from a few army tents that we borrowed in 1964, to today’s International Village. At present, over 30,000 students meet with several hundred scientists every year for popular science lectures, mathematics olympiads, summer workshops and more.” This initiative has even inspired Israel’s universities to incorporate similar activities, though on a smaller scale.

 When i started my 11th grade,   De Shalit high school  kicked me out. My parents – devout neo liberals – solemnly announced that "a child who is not in school has to work and earn their living ". And so, i was schlepped to the nearest Youth Employement office  in Ahad Haam St Rehovot. The office sent me to work for the Faculty of Agriculture, another bastion of Scientific enlightenment, placed right accross from the Weitzmann institute, and is part of the Hebrew University.



My supervisor was a lady called Judith (Yudit) Rishpon , graduate of PhD from Weitzmann Institute, who was doing her post-doc, in the Faculty, with the supervision of the Weitzmann institute as well. Her research was part of a NASA space research, into the findings of the unmanned probe to Mars, the one that brought in samples of land and what not. Oh well. I was a bit surprised then, that the Hebrew University employs "drop out" youth, but the place seemed ok, because in addition to the pay which wasn't great, apx 1 $ per day, there was subsidized food in the Menza. And there were lawns and a pool.


My assignment was simple. I was to weigh soil powder, place it in tubes, put a hook on the cork,  and on it, hook up a spongy paper triangle . On that white triangle i sprinkled drops of liquid, sealed the tubes and placed them in some special glass door closet.


This is what i did for months. I did notice that the liquid is taken out from a special vault, with scary signs of skulls and some rotor picture, but i didnt quite figure it out. My question was generally, and impatiently addressed by Rishpon, "its radioactive". thats all.


Judith the scholar and Moshe the youth educator – the A Team


Rishpon needed a cheap Congolese slave to sprinkle radioactive substance unwittingly, without suspicion of danger without hassle and too much pay and bargaining. Where does one find an available African slave in Rehovot ? I suppose they could have looked for them in Shaarayim (Yemenite neighborhood, south of Rehovot), the usual deposit for these kind of delicate missions, but the employement office for Youth delivered a much better catch. an educated monkey.


Judith Rishpon was already married to Moshe, perhaps the resourceful idea to use/exploit "youth" for that very radioactive scientific "education" –  was his idea.  Rishpon had the cynical audacity to include my name in the references of her paper, where she thanked the "technical assistant", your truly, for the dirty job. I  was an innocent girl, and i took pride in my first "scientific" publication, not realizing what these scientists were up to.


Every little sin, grows into a huge poisonous tree

  ,  .

Years laetr, upon a polite email inquiry i made to her , Prof. Rishpon added insult to injury when she insisted that she took care of my safety, such as periodical blood tests and protective suits. that's a blatant lie, i remember everything clearly and there was no such procedure at all. In any event, a minor is not among those who can qualify as "worker in dangerous materials". AND – The Hebrew university states that it had no protective means for workers at the time, who dealt with radioactive materials. So..>Rishpon is very simply LYING.


Therefore, I was not at all surprised that those same practices that emerged back then, in hiding and in secret, and naturally for  "An American Space research" , graduatlly turned into the core of labor-industrial relations in Weitzmann Institute and in Israel, generally.


Now, go and start from the beginning….


I can only hope that Obama liberates not only people from his homeland Kenya, but perhaps he will turn his gaze to "little Africa" here in Equatorial Rehovot.



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