Stephen Hawking joins academic boycott of Israel

The Guardian reports: Professor Stephen Hawking is backing the academic boycott of Israel by pulling out of a conference hosted by Israeli president Shimon Peres in Jerusalem as a protest at Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

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.

Hawking is in very poor health, but last week he wrote a brief letter to the Israeli president to say he had changed his mind. He has not announced his decision publicly, but a statement published by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine with Hawking’s approval described it as “his independent decision to respect the boycott, based upon his knowledge of Palestine, and on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there”. [Continue reading…]

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3 thoughts on “Stephen Hawking joins academic boycott of Israel

  1. delia ruhe

    It’s about time a prominent scientist stepped up to the plate. The task of boycotting Israel can’t be left entirely up to the artistic and activist communities. Science–especially technoscience–is what Israel cares about. Hit them there.

  2. Norman

    Perhaps an uproar over the cancellation, but change in tactics by the Israelis over the Palestinian land grabs/apartheid/hatred that shows its ugly head, should be cause for a reevaluation, not just “we do as we damn well please.” But I doubt anything short of a miracle, will take place/change the mindset.

  3. est

    it’s time someone like him said something
    this can not possibly go on [continue]

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