Scientist Stephen Hawking To Boycott Israeli Conference


stephen-hawkingBritish physicist Stephen Hawking has stepped into a political black hole.

He announced this week that he was withdrawing from a conference in Israel to protest that country’s treatment of Palestinians, throwing his weight behind an academic boycott of the Jewish state. The Guardian reports:

“Hawking, 71, the world-renowned theoretical physicist and former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, had accepted an invitation to headline the fifth annual president’s conference, Facing Tomorrow, in June, which features major international personalities, attracts thousands of participants and this year will celebrate Peres’s 90th birthday.”

Israeli President Shimon Peres is hosting the conference.

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine confirmed that Hawking’s decision not to go to Israel was “based upon his knowledge of Palestine, and on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there.” Hawking’s office verified the group’s account on Wednesday. The scientist said that he’d planned to make a speech criticizing Israeli policies toward the Palestinians.

The conference organizers criticized his decision.

“The academic boycott against Israel is in our view outrageous and improper, certainly for someone for whom the spirit of liberty lies at the basis of his human and academic mission,” conference Chairman Israel Maimon said in a statement, according to the BBC.

Indeed, as the Guardian reports, supporters of Israel have accused Hawking of hypocrisy. The celebrated scientist suffers from motor neuron disease and uses a computer-based system to communicate. That system uses Israeli technology.

The boycott campaign has several high-profile supporters. As The Associated Press reports:

“It has had some success, deterring a string of famous entertainers from performing. Elvis Costello and the Pixies canceled concerts, as well as the British dance band Klaxon and the Gorillaz Sound System. Israel has also faced occasional boycotts of its academics, unions and in some cases commercial products.”

Source: NPR NEWS

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  1. This has already been debunked: Professor Hawking is not going due to his health. He is 71, and has been suffering from ALS all his life. His doctors recommended that he not embark on the arduous trip.

  2. Stephen Hawking is as morally ugly as he is physically. His specialty is in wild speculations that can not be scientifically verified for the most part. Once in a hundred he might hit it right purely by coincidence; he is then crowned as the greatest ever. Hawking was made popular by the media for his eccentricity, the ability to spew out unverifiable crazy gibberish, and most importantly as a way to point out that the Jew Einstein is not the greatest. How is this ugly Jew-hater a real scientist?! That’s right, Boycotting Israel as well as all other forms of double-standard are nothing more than a form racism and Jew-hatred. Any amount of self-hating Jewish traitors don’t change the fact, the fact that should be publicized: Boycotting Israel = racism and antisemitism.

  3. #6, your comment is contemptable. How can you mock someone’s disabilty? The Ribbono Shel Olam made him, just as he made you and me.
    You want to debate his actions? His views. Go for it. I agree, he is warped and rotten. But to mock him for his physical state? Shame on you! Yidden do not speak this way.

  4. #6 he was turned into a zoo creature by the media, and he allowed that to happen because, guess what? It takes much money. How many people do you know, who have been living 40 years with ALS? As for his science, the consensus is that it is quite good, I notice you think otherwise, but perhaps you have not fully understood his papers.