Time to boycott Spark & Nano Girl for deplorable Israeli propaganda?


I respect ‘Nano Girl’ Michelle Dickinson, I believer her championing of women in science makes her one of the great leaders in NZ, but her despicable pandering to Israel on her Spark led whitewash tour is delusional, disrespectful and akin to playing Sun City in the old Apartheid South Africa.

How Michelle has managed to champion and cheer for a high tech industry that feeds Israel’s brutal and illegal occupation of Palestine is bewildering and lessons her as a person.

Nano Girl Michelle Dickinson: Proud Israel actively nurtures tall poppies

Here are the thoughts of other NZ women appalled by Michelle Dickinson’s sycophancy towards the militaristic, war crime drenched. racist state that is Israel…

Dear Madam/Sir,
Michelle Dickinson (Nano Girl) is not the first to suggest that New Zealand should learn from Israel’s success in high-tech and start-up enterprises. However, she overlooks Israel’s secret ingredient: the close links between Israel’s high tech industry and its booming trade in sophisticated armaments. That includes everything from drones to guns that can shoot around corners. Last year a divisional Director at the Israel Ministry of the Economy confirmed that technology from the defence sector is handed on to the civilian sector.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

Israel’s arms industry accounts for a fifth of all its exports. It thrives not only because of high tech wizardry but also because of its experience with asymmetric warfare against the Palestinian people. The 2013 Israeli documentary “The Lab” spelt out how Israel ‘s arms sales surged after its offensives such as Operation Cast Lead conducted in Gaza in 2008-9. During that 22 day assault 1400 Palestinians were killed including over 300 children while others suffered horrific burn injuries reportedly from white phosphorous. But that does not deter the arms industry from promoting Israel’s experience. Israel ‘s success in a high-tech is no model for a peace-minded nation.

Maire Leadbeater

Oh Nano Girl! How could you?

Describe Israel as a ‘peaceful nation’ who’s compulsory military service ‘fosters a young generation with strong leadership skills’!

Although an arts person who enjoys your science columns, this time you have definitely let down the New Zealand public you generally inform. Israel is an occupying, militarised state, whose young soldiers are regularly involved in the brutal oppression of the Palestinians, whose territories Israel illegally occupies. Check numerous UN resolutions. A country whose government has not ceased encroaching, via its ‘settlement’ program into Palestinian lands, often, and even now, demolishing homes and sometimes entire villages. A state that keeps the inhabitants of Gaza in virtual imprisonment. And ‘Equal opportunity’! You must be joking. Try being a fifth of the population of Israel, the Palestinian percentage. Please do your background as a University academic justice and embark on more research on the place you have, as part of a New Zealand business delegation, been recently visiting.

Elizabeth Eastmond

Michelle Dickinson, Nano girl, has done serious damage to her reputation as a scientist and academic in her column comparing Israel with New Zealand. Propaganda is presented as evidence without analysis. No mention made of the $3 billion per year (and growing) in aid provided by the USA over decades, the largest single recipient of US foreign assistance. No mention of nuclear industry and stockpile of 200 plus warheads Israel has developed and which we know about only because of the heroic whistle blowing of Mordechai Vanunu in 1986 just prior to New Zealand becoming nuclear free. No mention of the indigenous people Palestinians including those living and educated in Israel and the discrimination built into the Israeli education system or those living under occupation in West Bank or imprisoned Gaza. Please, compare us with Finland, Denmark Michelle and seek their technological solutions, not Israel which specialises in products for mass surveillance and military control of civilian populations.

Janfrie Wakim Palestine Solidarity Network

Michelle Dickinson’s appalling lack of judgement in praising Israel would make Leni Riefenstahl blush. If this is the humanity of science at work, where praise for technology that creates war criminals trumps human rights, then science can fuck right off!


  1. Yes again Martyn, we see again and again that those who push science as the Gold standard for excellence is littered with an overburdened evidence of corporate biased studies they paid for to discredit the real facts and use this to carry on killing us!

    To deliberate deception by Governments that are now also adopting this same approach of using phoney study reports they engineered for their purpose to ram through their policies is rife even here in little old “Honest John” Planet Key. One recent report MBIE the nerve centre of Government producing these “Phoney” – ‘whitewash” studies for Govt’ purposes was a Gisborne Napier Rail Viability study (2014) which was just a collection of false “cherry picked” figures/predictions, for their phoney study to save them spending Four million Dollars to fix their fuck-up that caused storm damage to the rail in 2012.

    The people of East Coast Gisborne/HB know full well how Steven Joyce/Goebbels engineered this for his Government purposes.

    “where praise for technology that creates war criminals trumps human rights, then science can fuck right off! “

  2. The people of the East Coast need to wake up and wise up as the current government has shown they don’t care I suggest they vote for change as they don’t seem to be getting there brighter future we were all promised

  3. Yes M Gray That word change sends a whole new new meaning doesn’t it?

    CHANGE = now means whatever anyone wants to mean now, – CHANGE has absolutely no meaning at all except for those who want to deceive the voter.

    Hope the Opposition parties don’t use that deceptive word CHANGE to often in their request to win over the soft electorate.

  4. You must be tearing your hair out by now; as in the NZ Herald this Monday:

    •Franceska Banga says she is honoured to be recognised for her role in state sector venture capital investment in New Zealand, which she sees as crucial to developing technology and innovation in this country. She has been made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit. She has just returned from the Simon Moutter-led Innovation Mission to Israel and says it has reinforced her commitment to the sector and working with high-growth companie (NZ Herald – Liam Dann)

  5. The best polite term for Ms Dickinson’s ill-advised trip to Israel, as part of it’s propaganda drive for international acceptance, is… unfortunate.

    Perhaps in her next trip to the Middle East, she could take a small detour to Gaza, to see how the Other Half live.

    The more I learn about the vast, open-air prison that is called Gaza, the more I am reminded of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943…

    Whose side would people like Ms Dickinson have been on, seventy three years ago?

  6. The following is what I sent to The Herald
    “As a small country, isolated from others with a strong background in agriculture, there are many similarities between New Zealand and Israel, a country I’ve been travelling around this week..”, Michelle Dickinson reports (04 June)
    I’ve visited Israel and the West Bank 4 times. What I’ve seen and learned from both Israeli human rights activists, Palestinians and from ongoing daily reading is that our 2 countries are vastly different. New Zealand is physically isolated by water, true, but socially in sympathy with other island countries. Israel fences itself in, deliberately isolating itself from its neighbours. Israeli anthropologist Dr Jeff Halper , of Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions , explains in his book War Against the People, that the Israeli economy thrives by exporting its ‘population control’ techniques including militarized policing and its weapons industries, ‘tested’ using the West Bank and especially Gaza as a weapons laboratory. As for praising Israel’s compulsory military service, what an insult to that small number of Israeli teenagers who choose to go to jail rather than participate in oppressing Palestinians.
    ‘Peaceful nation’ the writer tells us.
    PEACEFUL? With hundreds of nuclear weapons, with no hesitation to use tear-gas cylinders and ‘skunk’ water on peaceful protesters..I’ve been to Bil’in.., with no hesitation to use white phosphorus and the experimental weapon DIME in Gaza?
    PEACEFUL? In Gaza, where thanks to Israel’s bombing of sanitation systems the water is dangerously polluted, in the Negev where Bedouin villages are being demolished to make way for Jewish-only ‘settlements’, in East Jerusalem and the West Bank where Palestinians are being continuously squeezed off their land , out of their homes, and into smaller and smaller isolated bantustans?
    PEACEFUL? With hundreds of Palestinian children in prison at any one time, often arrested by breaking into their homes in the middle of the night ? With thousands of Palestinian adults, women and well as men, in prison, often under ‘administrative detention’?
    How technically advanced the elite of a country is, particularly if that elite considers itself somehow ethnically superior, chosen by God even, is one way of judging a country.
    Another way would be how humane, inclusive a society is. No society is perfect. But Aotearoa/New Zealand and Israel are vastly dissimilar.

  7. That’s the problem when scientists step out of their field – their ignorance of the world around them is exposed. She could have done a few history papers at uni to round out her education.

    • Next week- Nano Witch explains how Science, Sex and $atanism could be better applied in New Zealand to create a more violent apartheid state. ..

  8. Next week- Nano Witch explains how Science, Sex and $atanism could be better applied in New Zealand to create a more violent apartheid state.

Comments are closed.