Stephen Hawking Joins Academic Boycott Of Israel

200px-Stephen_Hawking.StarChildLeading Physicist Stephen Hawking has created an international stir by joining a boycott of Israeli academic institutions and travel to Israel after sending a letter declining an invitation to attend the President’s Conference. While Cambridge originally claimed that Hawking was not attending due to his health, Hawking sent a letter to Israeli President Shimon Peres saying that he was in fact boycotting Israel due to its Palestinian policies.


The letter was an embarrassment for the University of Cambridge which appeared like it was trying to spin the declination of the invitation for reasons of health. Tim Holt, acting communications director at the University of Cambridge, issued a statement that tied the decision to Hawking’s continued struggle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), known as Lou Gehrig’s disease:”For health reasons, his doctors said he should not be flying at the moment so he’s decided not to attend. He is 71 years old. He’s fine, but he has to be sensible about what he can do.”

However, Hawking sent a letter to Peres clearly stating that he was refusing on principle to travel to the conference in Israel. Hawking described Israel’s treatment and policy of the Palestinians as a “disaster” and reprehensible. Hawking stated that he initially accepted the invitation with the intention to speak out against the policies: “Had I attended, I would have stated my opinion that the policy of the present Israeli government is likely to lead to disaster.” He then explained that “I accepted the invitation to the Presidential Conference with the intention that this would not only allow me to express my opinion on the prospects for a peace settlement, but also because it would allow me to lecture on the West Bank. However, I have received a number of emails from Palestinian academics. They are unanimous that I should respect the boycott. In view of this, I must withdraw from the conference. Had I attended, I would have stated my opinion that the policy of the present Israeli government is likely to lead to disaster.”

There are various groups of academics supporting the boycott of Israeli products as well as academic and cultural ties with Israel, including a group with Desmond Mpilo Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus. The boycott has also received support of groups this year like the Asian American Studies Association. Various divestment policies have been proposed or passed at American academic institutions.

Ironically, MIT linguistics professor and political author Noam Chomsky actually opposed the ban by scholars but was himself banned from Israel simply because of his political views by the Israeli government.

The Hawking controversy reveals a deepening divide among academics in the United States over the boycott — an increasingly heated debate. The Hawking decision comes as Israel has ordered the building of new settlements opposed by the United States and the world community as well as a report this year from the United Nations stating that Israeli have taken a “heavy toll” on the rights and sovereignty of Palestinians. The U.N. complained about the creeping annexation” by Israel in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Others have disagreed that such boycotts are productive and insist that more interaction with Israel is better for pushing reforms. Israel Maimon, chairman of the Presidential Conference, added this week that “Israel is a democracy in which all individuals are free to express their opinions, whatever they may be. The imposition of a boycott is incompatible with open, democratic dialogue.”

The response to Hawking from conservative publications have been extreme. One such site asked “Would Professor Hawking ever survive in any Arab country or under the Palestinian autocracy he shamefully defends?” The Israeli publication noted that “[w]hile in the Arab world disabled people have been called ‘the invisibles,’ because they are segregated and hidden from the public eye, Israel’s work with illness and disabilities would merit a book in itself.”

Hawking’s letter has put the boycott and divestment movement on the front pages of international newspapers and is likely to rekindle the debate on U.S. campuses.

120 thoughts on “Stephen Hawking Joins Academic Boycott Of Israel”

  1. Ralph Adamo:

    Omissions and misleading statements are still false statements, and when done knowingly, as they were here, are still lies–as Turley well knows or should know.

    I still don’t see it. An omission is not a statement at all and therefore, cannot be either true or false.

    Furthermore, the Leftists are lying that Chomsky was banned by the Israeli Government. Although Turley’s link is a dead one, I’m sure that it was a link to some other Leftist site, like al-Jazeera or Haaretz.

    Noam Chomsky Denied Entry By Israel may be the link JT was referring to:

    Israeli authorities barred leading American intellectual Noam Chomsky entry into Israeli-controlled territory.

    Chomsky was denied entry by Israeli authorities. Whether these authorities of the Israeli government “overstepped” or not, is IRRELEVANT. Those authorities represent the Israeli government.

  2. Ralph Adamo:

    I only intend to say this once. If you wish to engage me in a discussion on an issue of importance, I am both amenable and educable. If you instead simply prefer to toss out epithets, you’ll need to play with someone else. When I express an opinion, it does not “make me” anything other than a human being with an opinion. I think about matters before I express myself, and I have reasons behind my views. And it matters not a whit to me whether you, or David Duke, or Arafat, or HItler or anyone else gives me a fiery thumbs-up or thumbs-down. Those are my ground rules.

  3. So, you applaud Hawking’s hypocritcal boycott of Israel, which makes you a Leftist? That isn’t news. You’re in plentiful company. Most posters here, on al-Jazeera, on Loonwatch, and on Stormfront agree 100% with you. David Duke would be proud of you. If they could, Arafat and Hitler would be giving you a fiery thumbs-up from their roasted remains.

  4. Be careful what you eat Malisha. Perhaps you missed that other article posted on this website about rat meat or byproducts being served in China.

  5. Furthermore, the Leftists are lying that Chomsky was banned by the Israeli Government. Although Turley’s link is a dead one, I’m sure that it was a link to some other Leftist site, like al-Jazeera or Haaretz.

    But the following is the reality, as reported in the New York Times, another Leftist rag, but not as extreme as the former two I’ve mentioned.

    “There is no change in our policy,” said Mark Regev, a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The idea that Israel is preventing people from entering whose opinions are critical of the state is ludicrous; it is not happening. This was a mishap. A guy at the border overstepped his authority.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/18/world/middleeast/18chomsky.html?_r=0

    And note that the anti-Israel publication Haaretz is BASED in Israel. Of course the Leftists ignore that Israel is a beacon of democracy but ignore the relentless attacks on free speech and liberty throughout all of the Muslim nations or elsewhere, but that kind of hypocrisy is standard operating procedure for the vile Leftists.

  6. Re: Tripe.
    I went to a Chinese buffet.
    On the little sign above one of the buffet dishes it said: BEEF STRIPE.
    It was delicious!

  7. What Chomsky said or claimed to believe in 2003 is IRRELEVANT to what he’s doing and saying today, and specifically what he did to “persuade” Hawking to do regarding THIS specific boycott. Omissions and misleading statements are still false statements, and when done knowingly, as they were here, are still lies–as Turley well knows or should know.

  8. Ralph Adamo:

    The fact is, as I’ve pointed out, that Turley LIED when he said that Leftist Noam Chomsky did not try to get Leftist Hawking to join the Leftist anti-Israel boycott.

    I just don’t see it. The only thing JT said about Chomsky was:

    Ironically, MIT linguistics professor and political author Noam Chomsky actually opposed the ban by scholars …

    Which is true – Chomsky attacks boycott of Israel.

    Whether Chomsky still opposes the academic boycott is not germane since JT used the past tense.

  9. I will discuss the issues, regardless of what you mentals say, so STFU stunods. I am going to discuss the facts whether you like them or not. And if you don’t like it, go express your angst at some other Leftist websites, like Loonwatch or Stormfront. They will empathize with you.

    The fact is, as I’ve pointed out, that Turley LIED when he said that Leftist Noam Chomsky did not try to get Leftist Hawking to join the Leftist anti-Israel boycott. The facts cannot be disputed: Chomsky directly urged Hawking to join the boycott. So Leftist Turley is LYING to cover-up for his scumbag comrad Chomsky.

    http://www.algemeiner.com/2013/05/12/anti-israel-linguist-noam-chomsky-behind-efforts-to-prevent-stephen-hawkings-israel-trip/

    The reality is that Chomsky is a LEADER of the BDS (anti-Israel Boycott Diversment and Sanctions) movement. Interestingly, another Leftist anti-Israel Jew, Professor Norman Finkelstein has ATTACKED the BDS movement as a “cult” and accused its followers of lying about their goals–which Finkelstein characterized as the destruction of Israel.

    As I’ve pointed out, there are degrees of Leftism, and Finkelstein is just a little less extreme than Chomsky. Finkelstein wants Israel to give up a large portion of Israel’s land to the Muslims so that they can form their own “Palestinian State.” Chomsky, on the other hand, wants to see Israel destroyed by the Muslims and fully supports terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah who share the same goal. But both share a common bond–much as Turley and the other Leftists on this message board do to varying degrees–of hatred and envy of Israel and a great love for the enemies of Civilization.

    “For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.”–Isaiah 62:1

  10. Ralph wrote:
    “I choose not to reveal my core area of expertise for political reasons”

    **********************************************

    What core area of expertise? So far you have shown no expertise in anything. Well, I might take that back. You have shown remarkable agility at begging questions, avoiding the point, self-aggrandizement, hyperbolic hatefulness and the gratuitous insult.

  11. Gene,

    Probably time for us to just leave the room and let him sit there alone, with his propeller beanie cap, twiddling his lips and making airplane noises.

  12. Your claims about Hawking have indeed been substantively addressed, Ralph.

    And “uh-uh and on top of that you’re a dooty head” is not a cogent counter-argument.

  13. As I indicated, none of you mentals have addressed the substantive points I raised below, nor, of course, could you, given your inherent severe deficiencies:

    “But the fact remains–and is the one you are most avoiding (and for obvious reasons)–that none of you can even converse intelligently on any topic, and certainly fail whenever it involves actual knowledge of anything. You are just droning, mindless regurgitators of leftist tripe. Needless to say, you are dreadfully boring as well.”

    The words of the character Professor William Hundert (played wonderfully by Kevin Kline) in the movie, “The Emperor’s Club,” clearly apply to you:

    “Aristophanes once wrote, roughly translated; “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but STUPID lasts forever.” ”

    Class is dismissed, stunods.

  14. Ralph wrote:
    “I choose not to reveal my core area of expertise for political reasons”
    ~+~

    Just as predictable as the morning sun and stupidity in congress.

    But, I have to admit, it was greatly funny Ralphie Boy. Can’t reveal it you say? Can’t reveal it because it doesn’t exist is more likely.

    The only thing you are an expert in Ralph is your ability to make people laugh at you with contempt.

    You proclaim to possess an intelligence greater than that of Steven Hawking, but cannot even conjure up the fortitude to reveal what it actually is because of some “political reasons” being the excuse. Well, put on your tin foil hat, wrap your DSL modem in a faraday cage and tell us what it is you are an expert in; the black helicopters are not going to hear you.

  15. OS,

    Yep.

    ************

    “I choose not to reveal my core area of expertise for political reasons.”

    Really. You a double naught secret agent like your mentor Jethro Bodine? A DHS Director? Or is the truth that you don’t have an area of expertise?

    Maybe all of the above.

  16. I choose not to reveal my core area of expertise for political reasons. But I can assure you that nobody here can hold a candle to me in it or in any of the many areas related to it. And in my avocations, I also excel.

    But the fact remains–and is the one you are most avoiding (and for obvious reasons)–that none of you can even converse intelligently on any topic, and certainly fail whenever it involves actual knowledge of anything. You are just droning, mindless regurgitators of leftist tripe. Needless to say, you are dreadfully boring as well.

  17. It is a sad commentary on anyone, when an academic from New Orleans feels compelled to come on this blog and several others to emphasize the Ralph Adamo who has been posting is not him. The Ralph Adamo from New Orleans is so embarrassed at the verbal diarrhea dribbling from this guy he searches out the name, and registers on sites such as Loonwatch so he can distance himself.

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