‘The policy of the present Israeli government is likely to lead to disaster': Stephen Hawking pulls out of conference hosted by Shimon Peres, backs academic boycott of Israel (Updated)

ActivismIsrael/Palestine
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StephenHawkingBirzeit
Professor Stephen Hawking visiting staff and students at Birzeit University, Palestine in 2006.
(Photo: Churchill College, Cambridge)

Update, May 8, 11:36 AM:

The pro-Israel website CiF Watch has published this statement from Tim Holt, Acting Director of Communications at Cambridge, confirming Hawking’s decision was out of support for the academic boycott:

“We have now received confirmation from Professor Hawking’s office that a letter was sent on Friday to the Israeli President’s office regarding his decision not to attend the Presidential Conference, based on advice from Palestinian academics that he should respect the boycott.

“We had understood previously that his decision was based purely on health grounds having been advised by doctors not to fly.”

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign has published a part of the letter Hawking sent to conference organizers:

“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.”

Update, May 8, 11:22 AM:

British Committee for the Universities for Palestine (BRICUP) has issued the following clarification of Stephen Hawking’s decision to boycott Shimon Peres’s President’s Conference. The statement below reaffirms that Hawking’s decision to back the academic boycott was “based upon his knowledge of Palestine, and on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there.”

From BRICUP:

UPDATE 8 May: The statement above has been issued with the specific endorsement of Professor Hawking’s office. His staff sent us the following message on 7 May “Just spoken to Tim [Tim Holt, Acting Director of Communications for Cambridge University] and we are both in agreement with the quote – and as you say – sensible to get this out rather than a lot of differing opinions.” We have seen the letter that Professor Hawking sent to the Jerusalem organisers giving his clear reasons for not attending and are seeking his permission to release the letter but will not do so until we have his approval. We regret the misinformation being circulated about this matter.

Michael Kalman reports over Twitter that Cambridge is about to retract the statement that Hawking backed out over health concerns:

Update, May 8, 9:00 AM:

There is conflicting reporting around Hawking’s cancellation. Haaretz is reporting the University of Cambridge has said the cancellation was due to health reasons:

World-renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking canceled his participation in an Israeli academic conference next month due to health and personal reasons and not as a boycott of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, the University of Cambridge said on Wednesday.

The university’s statement came after The Guardian reported that Hawking decided to skip the Israeli Presidential Conference, hosted by President Shimon Peres, as a form of boycott. . .

But Tim Holt, media director at the University of Cambridge spokesman, said Hawking’s decision was based strictly on health concerns.

“For health reasons, his doctors said he should not be flying at the moment so he’s decided not to attend,” said Holt. “He is 71-years-old. He’s fine, but he has to be sensible about what he can do.”

A University of Cambridge statement released earlier Wednesday cited “personal reasons” for his decision.

Yet, Reuters is reporting, similar to the Guardian, that Hawking’s cancellation is in fact a protest. Reuters says Cambridge confirms that this British Committee for the Universities for Palestine (BRICUP) statement was approved by Hawking:

However, his name was quietly dropped from the list of participants earlier this week, giving a major boost to supporters of pro-Palestinian groups that want to isolate Israel on the international stage over the continued occupation.

“This is his independent decision to respect the boycott, based upon his knowledge of Palestine, and on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there,” the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine said on its website.

Cambridge University, where Hawking works, confirmed that the statement had been approved by the professor. Hawking did not issue any statement in his own name.

Here is the full BRICUP statement:

We understand that Professor Stephen Hawking has declined his invitation to attend the Israeli Presidential Conference Facing Tomorrow 2013, due to take place in Jerusalem on 18-20 June. This is his independent decision to respect the boycott, based upon his knowledge of Palestine, and on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there.

Original Post:

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 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”.

Hawking’s decision marks another victory in the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions targeting Israeli academic institutions.

The Guardian adds that Peres’s office did not respond to a request for comment on the story.

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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275 Responses

  1. Avi_G.
    May 7, 2013, 11:39 pm

    Kudos to Stephen Hawking. This makes me respect him even more. It’s great to see such brilliant minds give science, humanity and dignity equal consideration.

    • Egbert
      May 8, 2013, 3:39 am

      Were he still alive, I’m sure Einstein would join Hawking too.

      • miriam6
        May 9, 2013, 12:26 am

        Lysias you have been surely had.

        Einstein’s golden “helmet”! would cause much giggling in Britain.

        Perhaps all you supporters of Hawking “decision” and hoax fans in general ought to read on about Hawking’s decision to boycott…

        “LONDON–The eminent physicist and professor Stephen Hawking announced his decision to boycott particular theories of physics, it has been reported.

        Mr. Hawking, who currently teaches at the University of Cambridge, made the announcement after withdrawing from the annual Israeli president’s conference, Facing Tomorrow.

        The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine commended his decision, which was based on “the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there,” to support the academic boycott of both lesser and greater Israel….”

        Now read on at;

        link to jewishtelepathicagency.com

        I’m beginning to think Hawking really only cancelled due to ill-health but because of his Pro Palestinian sympathies the anti Israel crew took liberties with the truth.

        BTW how desperate an anti -Israel fanatic do you need to be to try to involve the good name of a long dead physicist like Einstein?

        How creepy!
        Like a sort of political necrophilia!

      • amigo
        May 9, 2013, 7:02 am

        Do not worry Miriam, very few people will be practicing necrophilia on the carcass of your theories.

        You are just peed off , because you know the gig is up for Israel.

        Kudos to the very brave Professor.

      • SQ Debris
        May 10, 2013, 6:33 pm

        Not really necrophilia. The following was written by Einstein in a letter to Zvi Lurie,
        “Should we be unable to find a way to honest cooperation and honest pacts with the Arabs, then we have learned absolutely nothing during our two thousand years of suffering and deserve all that will come to us.”

        It’s like a paraphrase on a Beatles tune; Bang Bang Einstein’s Golden Helmet came down upon their heads.

      • Hostage
        May 8, 2013, 6:33 pm

        Were he still alive, I’m sure Einstein would join Hawking too.

        LOL! Hell even the Zionists Lawfare dummies have joined-in the call!

        Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of the Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center called Hawking a hypocrite and said that he should take his boycott further, and stop using Intel products in the computer he uses to speak.
        * link to guardian.co.uk

        * link to theinquirer.net

        As I understand the situation, Intel is entitled to compensatory damages from anyone calling for a boycott of their products, including Nitsana Darshan-Leitner and/or Shurat Hadin, in accordance with the terms of the Israeli anti-boycott statute. IIRC there is no need for any showing of actual damages;-)

      • ToivoS
        May 8, 2013, 9:13 pm

        As far as I know Intel is an American company. Can anyone explain why the hasbarists continue to claim Intel inventions are from Israel? Yes, yes I know that they have a presence in Israel but that does not mean their chips are Israeli.

      • ToivoS
        May 8, 2013, 10:30 pm

        Just googled around a bit and it seems that the chip in question was developed in an Intel company in Oregon (that is in the US, not Israel).

      • kylebisme
        May 8, 2013, 11:34 pm

        Bah, next you’ll be denying that Israel invented the cherry tomato. /s

        Seriously though, you’re question can basically be reduced to why do hasbarists hasbara?

      • miriam6
        May 8, 2013, 11:51 pm

        “As far as I know Intel is an American company. Can anyone explain why the hasbarists continue to claim Intel inventions are from Israel? Yes, yes I know that they have a presence in Israel but that does not mean their chips are Israeli.”

        You didn’t google FAR enough Toivos. ” Stephen Hawking’s decision to boycott an Israeli conference in protest at the state’s 46-year occupation of Palestine was derided as hypocritical by some, who pointed out that the celebrated scientist and author uses Israeli technology in the computer equipment that allows him to function.

        “Hawking’s decision to join the boycott of Israel is quite hypocritical for an individual who prides himself on his whole intellectual accomplishment. His whole computer-based communications system runs on a chip designed by Israel’s Intel team. I suggest if he truly wants to pull out of Israel he should also pull out his Intel Core i7 from his tablet,” said Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Shurat HaDin.”

        link to .

        ToivoS:

        QUESTION: Under WHAT circumstances does an American company with previously acknowledged ( including on THIS very website ) STRONG ties to Israel — SUDDENLY inexplicably become a company with NO important Israeli connections?

        ANSWER: When the fanatical anti-Zionist propagandist finds the once acknowledged Israeli connection suddenly becomes an inconvenient fact that totally screws their argument!

        I am going to detail here the evidence for American company’s strong connections to Israel.

        For one thing:

        Mondoweiss’s very own commenters and Adam Horowitz has ACKNOWLEGED the Israeli ties here;

        link to mondoweiss.net.

        Henry Norr a contributor to MWeiss wrote an disapproving article in 2002 about Intel’s Israeli connections.

        link to en Norr/

        This next website is one of a few CALLING for the BOYCOTT of Intel BECAUSE of their ISRAELI TIES!:

        hhtp://www.inminds.com/boycott-intel.html.

        Here is the Jewish virtual library with further confirmation of Israel’s ties FOR THIRTY YEARS NOW! to American co. Intel.

        link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

        The fact is ToivoS American company Intel has strong undeniable links to Israel.

        Whether or not an Israeli personally hand- crafted the technical kit Prof. Stephen Hawking uses to enable his “speech” is neither here-no-there.

        ToivoS ,you and others have been badly caught out.

        Intel is a company with such STRONG evident ties to ISRAEL that people including on THIS website have sought to boycott it!

        Therefore Prof Stephen Hawking has been proven hypocrite.

        He says he is boycotting Israel BUT the equipment he uses to facilitate his communication with others is supplied by company which does business with ISRAEL!!

        Maybe he ought to follow Nitsana Leitner’s advice.

        Or better still for his 0wn well being drop his short-lived hypocritical boycott of Israel and get off his ignorant ill-informed high-horse.

        *************************************************
        “Israel bashers are masters of the double standard”: Israel-bashers: masters of the double standard

        Radicals who protest against the censorship of anti-Israel academics cheer with hypocritical glee when Israeli academics are banned.

        “The claim that Israeli academics and artists are ‘complicit’ is bogus. Academia and culture should be arenas to discuss issues, not shut them down due to disagreement. Israeli academics and artists are not responsible for their government’s policies. There is a double standard at work here. Would you require American institutions, such as the National Institutes of Health and the New York Philharmonic, to produce political statements, say to denounce American intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan? Of course not.

        Indeed, the identification of Israel as uniquely wicked is deeply problematic. Why not boycott other countries – the US, perhaps, which is a far bigger power player in the Middle East than Israel? ‘The situation is different’ in the US, says USACBI, because ‘millions of US citizens vigorously protested US militarism in the Middle East’, which ‘contributed to the election of Obama’. Oh, I see; you mean the same Obama who continued the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, who engaged in new warfare in Libya, and whose regime has massively increased drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan, killing thousands, including civilians?

        The true academic freedom lesson that arises from last week’s dispute over BDS is not just ‘defend CUNY’ but also ‘no to BDS-style censorship’. The latter task is arguably more important today, because far fewer people recognise the boycott campaign as problematic. Boycotting Israel is seen as radical and progressive, rather than being seen as censorious and anti-free speech as it thoroughly is.

        Those who are serious about academic and artistic freedom should oppose both formal threats of censure from government bodies and informal campaigns that are waged against academics and artists.”

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

        link to spiked-online.com
        *************************************************

        Prof S Hawking is not the only practitioner of double standards to come to light recently.

        There is Roger Waters, who only LAST MONTH! was telling anyone who could be bothered to listen (Gleefully reported on this website) he intended to BOYCOTT Israel.

        He was the one who apparently was instrumental in persuading Stevie Wonder to abandon participating in a benefit gig for the IDF.

        However Mr Waters, an ageing, evidently easily confused rock star who has seen better days,has had a sudden change of mind!

        All of a sudden his motto is now :

        “TO TALK IS NOT AN OPTION”

        So says Mr Waters who was due to speak at an event at the respected 92Y, a Jewish cultural centre later this month.
        Apparently the cancellation is due to problems with the suggested date of the event.

        It would seem once Mr Waters realizing that his freedom of association and freedom of speech might be curtailed, he chose to desperately back-pedal and soft-pedal on his previous decision to boycott and suddenly now embracing the very position he stood for just a matter of weeks ago!

        Curiously, Mr waters sudden change of mind hasn’t featured on this website!

        see:link to huffingtonpost.com 08 2013.

        see also latest :

        link to thejc.com

        With hypocritical pals like Hawking and the unreliable Mr Waters on their side I do feel extra sorry for the Palestinians.

        Remember all you Mondoweisser’s who embrace BDS,

        To talk is NOT an option!

      • ToivoS
        May 9, 2013, 3:05 am

        Sorry Mirriam. You do not make the case. Intel is an American company. It is one very creative company. It is not Israeli. What you say above does not change that fact. I know you want to claim cherry tomatoes and hummus and many other things but they are not yours. No more than Intel chips are yours.

      • HarryLaw
        May 9, 2013, 4:15 am

        ToivoS @ “Just googled around a bit and it seems that the chip in question was developed in an Intel company in Oregon (that is in the US, not Israel). Intel is an american corporation, not Israeli, so that is a lie”. Hostage above linked to the Enquirer, here is an interesting comment regarding that article.

        The i7 was designed by Intel’s architecture design team in Hillsboro Oregon. The claims the i7 was designed in Israel are also lies.

        For the i7 in particular, the Sr. Principal Engineer’s name is Ronak Singhal. He is an Indian. The design team does not consist of Israelis and is not located in Israel.

        Hawking’s sentence construction software, EZ Keys, was designed and built by an american company, Words Plus, which was based in Palmdale, California. Hawkings speech synthesizer, NeoSpeech, is produced by a company based in Fremont, California and backed by Voiceware Co of Korea. It has nothing to do with Israel either.

        Hawking’s laptop which ran the software used AMD chips. This was an embarrassment to Intel. Intel’s CEO at the time Gordon Moore (now retired) personally negotiated with Prof. Hawking to participate in a marketing arrangement where Hawking would use Intel provided off-the-shelf laptops so

      • HarryLaw
        May 9, 2013, 5:32 am

        Regarding my comment above, sorry I failed to complete the whole quote, here is the rest of it….. that they could claim he used Intel equipment. The financial details of this arrangement are private, but it is a marketing expense for Intel. Intel’s Portland team flies out to England each year to check on things. Because they kept asking Hawking if they could build him something custom for this (since none of the software or hardware was actually made by Intel, the laptops were built in China), they designed and built a small audio amplifier that was louder than the one he used previously. This could also have been replaced with an off the shelf amplifier as well, but it is the basis for Intel’s claims to have contributed custom hardware. None of the Portland team that visits Prof. Hawking is Israeli either.

        These claims are complete nonsense and are complete lies.

        One must ask what possible agenda of hatred could be behind the people promoting these false stories.

      • amigo
        May 9, 2013, 7:21 am

        Miriam, we applaud Israel for providing us the tools with which to fight it,s vile actions.How very generous of them.

        Now , if they could only use those world famous brains you keep waxing on about , to make peace and learn to live as a civilized nation ,that would be a truly technological achievement .

      • Krauss
        May 9, 2013, 8:02 am

        ToivoS wrote:

        As far as I know Intel is an American company. Can anyone explain why the hasbarists continue to claim Intel inventions are from Israel? Yes, yes I know that they have a presence in Israel but that does not mean their chips are Israeli.

        Well, they have a production facility in Israel but they also have a strong research center, in large part because one of their chiefs in charge of research is an Israeli Jew and a committed Zionist and made sure they got it. In addition, their Dadi Perlmutter, yet another Jewish Zionist (but this guy is from America) was supportive of this all along.

        Nevertheless, the next cadence step for Intel is being made by Ireland at 14 nm. Israel really wants the 10 nm cadence because if they don’t, they’ll slip to irrelevancy. My guess is that the economics do not make sense plus that Israel does not have the high-tech human capital it claims. Ireland can tape whole of Europe, Israel can’t.
        America will get at least part of the 10 nm manufacturing process, Ireland probably should get the other half but in Intel there’s political lobbying too, just like in Congress ;)

        We’ll see what happens, but no, the main research centres in Intel by far and away are located in America.

      • Shingo
        May 9, 2013, 8:27 am

        Thank you Harry,

        That is a resounding destruction of Miriam’s completely insane argument with respect to intel and any technology associates with Hawkins.

        I am predicting they will now claim the mobile phone his assistant uses on his behalf is an Israeli invention.

      • Shingo
        May 9, 2013, 8:30 am

        Wow, how many Red Bulls do you think Miriam has downed in her effort to put out the fired on this thread?

      • thankgodimatheist
        May 9, 2013, 8:34 am

        Miriam
        10 foot long comment jam-packed with prove nothing links is DESPERATION.

      • Ecru
        May 9, 2013, 9:14 am

        God lord – Hasbarites are so THICK!

        Ooooh, there’s an Intel chip in Hawkings equipment so he’s obviously a hypocrite. That is such a breath-taking fail it could only come from a knee-jerk Zionist tool.

        Most modern devices have chips inside, there’s even an entire branch of computer engineering given over to them – embedded systems. How many people, even world renowned Professors are aware of which chip is in which equipment or who made it. Was it made by Intel? AMD? ARM? Motorola?

        So Miriam6, what chip is used in your computer? What chip is used in your car? In your television? In your DVD player? In your watch? In your washing machine?

        You just can’t find quality of hasbara these days……..oh wait a sec. you never could.

      • seafoid
        May 9, 2013, 10:25 am

        Toivos
        Bots like Miriam do.not understand capitalism. Intel is one of the biggest companies in the world. If it came to.a choice between Israel and growth it would choose growth every single time.

      • Dutch
        May 9, 2013, 7:31 pm

        No Red Bull. Ziocane.

    • Cliff
      May 9, 2013, 5:22 am

      Gawker covering the Hawking boycott!
      link to gawker.com

      The comments are supportive with the usual sprinkle of Zionist trolls using the same stale dishonest pre-made talking points.

    • ritzl
      May 9, 2013, 11:41 am

      And he came to his decision rationally and over time. He’s gone to Israel and Palestine several times over the last decade or so. Each time he expanded his contacts with Palestinian academics and saw that their opportunities for scientific exchanges were restricted. He made known his desire to meet with Palestinian scientists to Israeli academics. Then Cast Lead. Now he makes this choice.

      link to guardian.co.uk (I think this is the original Guardian article on this)

      Hawking has visited Israel four times in the past. Most recently, in 2006, he delivered public lectures at Israeli and Palestinian universities as the guest of the British embassy in Tel Aviv. At the time, he said he was “looking forward to coming out to Israel and the Palestinian territories and excited about meeting both Israeli and Palestinian scientists”.

      Since then, his attitude to Israel appears to have hardened. In 2009, Hawking denounced Israel’s three-week attack on Gaza, telling Riz Khan on Al-Jazeera that Israel’s response to rocket fire from Gaza was “plain out of proportion … The situation is like that of South Africa before 1990 and cannot continue.”

      The high-profile rationality of his decision process should scare the bejeebers out of people that believe the oppressive status quo is in any way maintainable (or worse, ignorable). A good thing…

  2. Mike_Konrad
    May 7, 2013, 11:44 pm

    Hawkings was one man who should not have been brought into the fray.

    • kevin
      May 8, 2013, 12:42 am

      Because he’s smart enough to see through it?

    • thankgodimatheist
      May 8, 2013, 1:15 am

      “Hawkings was one man who should not have been brought into the fray.”

      To say he was “brought” is an insult to the man. He took a decision after pondering the facts. And btw, it’s not the first time, though verbally only in the past:
      “Hawking has visited Israel four times in the past. Most recently, in 2006, he delivered public lectures at Israeli and Palestinian universities as the guest of the British embassy in Tel Aviv. At the time, he said he was “looking forward to coming out to Israel and the Palestinian territories and excited about meeting both Israeli and Palestinian scientists”.
      Since then, his attitude to Israel appears to have hardened. In 2009, Hawking denounced Israel’s three-week attack on Gaza, telling Riz Khan on Al-Jazeera that Israel’s response to rocket fire from Gaza was “plain out of proportion … The situation is like that of South Africa before 1990 and cannot continue.”
      From the Guardian article

    • Ellen
      May 8, 2013, 3:18 am

      Mike, Hawkings is one man who wasn’t “brought into” anything. Your statement is patronizing and implies he is a victim, being used by others. Hardly.

      He has previously visited Israel, its institutions and people, and is one man who surely makes his own decisions.

      • seafoid
        May 8, 2013, 11:38 am

        Reading the hasbaradim here and at guardian.co.uk it’s the same tired memes that they have been using for the last 60 years. Time for some new material.

        Israel is no progressive state. It’s a vile occupier. Maybe Diaspora people can identify with Israel on religious grounds and with both eyes closed but don’t expect ordinary Europeans to.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 8, 2013, 2:07 pm

        old material, new material, it makes no difference. time for new policies!

    • justicewillprevail
      May 8, 2013, 4:05 am

      So, according to you, one of the most brilliant scientists does not have a mind of his own. He brought himself into it. Get over it, and accord him some respect for having principles and making a stand, instead of trying to demean him. How petty and self-absorbed you are.

    • Cliff
      May 8, 2013, 6:45 am

      LOL

      Hawkings during Israel’s slaughter in Gaza in 2008:

      link to youtube.com

      Hawking wasn’t “brought” into the fray.

      He made a choice. Just like people made a choice not to play/perform/speak/associate with South Africa during apartheid.

      Unlike apartheid supporters like you, Mike_Konrad, Hawking has an independent mind (not tribalist, not cultist) and doesn’t follow the mainstream hypocritical piety regarding Israel.

    • lysias
      May 8, 2013, 10:08 am

      You mean, you regret that he brought himself into the fray because it is so difficult to attack such a man?

    • libra
      May 8, 2013, 10:35 am

      Mike, it’s rather ironic given your namesake but, unlike you, Professor Hawkins knows how to recognize a heart of darkness.

    • Annie Robbins
      May 8, 2013, 1:59 pm

      perhaps you should not have been brought into the fray either mr. konrad. what were your handlers thinking?

    • Shingo
      May 8, 2013, 6:36 pm

      <blockquot Hawkings was one man who should not have been brought into the fray.

      Why not?

    • MK_Ultra
      May 8, 2013, 9:30 pm

      Are you implying that he has not done this of his own free will? What do you suggest, little green men from outer space, perhaps?

  3. Safakhouli
    May 8, 2013, 12:18 am

    Thank you.

  4. Annie Robbins
    May 8, 2013, 12:26 am

    and i read it here first!

    link to mondoweiss.net

    thanks bumblebye. ;)

    • Bumblebye
      May 8, 2013, 9:15 am

      Today’s Guardian poll “Is Stephen Hawking right to join the academic boycott of Israel?”:
      link to guardian.co.uk

      Presently, the yeas have it – 66%
      the nays at 34%
      and nearly 900 comments!

      • Cliff
        May 8, 2013, 12:19 pm

        Hasbara trolls probably sounded the Megaphone Zio alarm.

      • seafoid
        May 8, 2013, 2:27 pm

        Panic at hasbara central. IDF chief hasbara wizard refuses to answer phone. Frantic calls and the only.person who will offer content is Pamela Geller. Liberal Zionism has disappeared. Paging Beinart.

      • Taxi
        May 8, 2013, 3:05 pm

        Zios and their cyber minions are out in freaking droves, rushing, smacking at Stephen Hawking at the divey but popular yahoo news:
        link to news.yahoo.com

        LOL never seen anything like it.

        Yap they all got their instructional hasbara memo today: everyone stomp on Stephen and all at the same time!

        Ya think they know goy can read? That goy can see the racist ant colony in paroxysms of desperation?

      • Reds
        May 8, 2013, 4:52 pm

        Terrorist is now being used

      • Hostage
        May 9, 2013, 1:53 am

        Terrorist is now being used

        Worse than that. For the first time since they murdered Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, people in wheelchairs are once again an existential threat.

        Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal reports that Amos Yadlin, a former military intelligence chief, said last year efforts to turn Israel into a pariah state are a strategic threat to the country on the level of missiles and rockets.
        link to stream.wsj.com

      • hophmi
        May 8, 2013, 1:02 pm

        “Presently, the yeas have it”

        It’s the Guardian. If the yeas didn’t have it, I’d be shocked.

      • eGuard
        May 10, 2013, 3:31 am

        hophmi: It’s the Guardian. If the yeas didn’t have it, I’d be shocked.

        No. It is internet, hophmi.

      • Cliff
        May 11, 2013, 8:13 am

        You’re shocked of what? The Internet? People in general?

        The Guardian doesn’t exist in an Internet Vaccuum where only amorphous blobs of ‘The Guardian’ vote for polls/surveys conducted by, drumroll, ‘The Guardian’.

      • Tzombo
        May 8, 2013, 5:51 pm

        Up to 68 now.

      • amigo
        May 9, 2013, 8:02 am

        Up to 69 now –1pm GMT

      • MK_Ultra
        May 8, 2013, 9:33 pm

        69% yes to 31% nays now.

    • Reds
      May 8, 2013, 1:32 pm

      I read the legalinsurrection website. want a laugh check it out and what they previously said it was #2 under the guardian’s piece on google search. All the Zio sites than spreaded it like wildfire attacking the guardian and instead of admiting they were wrong they go with.

      ‘BDS lied about Stephen Hawking joining anti-Israel academic boycott (Update – retraction of the retraction?)(Final update? Hawking essentially refused to cross boycott picket line)”

      link to legalinsurrection.com

      Super classy of them. They also seemed to have deleted or moved eariler comments on this at least the ones I saw in the morning.

      • Bumblebye
        May 8, 2013, 2:36 pm

        The pathetic Shurat HaDin has weighed in now, accusing the Prof of hypocrisy for using “Israeli” technology to communicate:
        link to guardian.co.uk

        “His whole computer-based communications system runs on a chip designed by Israel’s Intel team. I suggest if he truly wants to pull out of Israel he should also pull out his Intel Core i7 from his tablet,” said Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Shurat HaDin.”

      • seafoid
        May 8, 2013, 4:15 pm

        Shurat ha din are the shock troops of hasbara. I bet Intel’s PR people are furious. Imagine a neutral brand being sucked into a rabid political dispute and how well that goes down with shareholders. Intel will probably have a quiet word with an adult in the Israeli govt assuming one can be found.

      • Ecru
        May 8, 2013, 4:19 pm

        They always come out with this one. The depressing thing is that the Guardian actually gives some credence to their claims. Since when is Intel an Israeli company – they’re American and merely have an Israeli branch., which the Israeli government gave them incentives to expand.

      • Walker
        May 8, 2013, 4:25 pm

        That’s hilarious. I guess the Americans had no business pulling out of the British Empire in 1776 – all of their manufactured goods came from Britain.

      • Bumblebye
        May 8, 2013, 4:51 pm

        The Guardian’s fourth Hawking article today(!):
        link to guardian.co.uk

        “The full text of the letter, dated 3 May, said: “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.””

        Then the pushback:

        “”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,” said conference chairman Israel Maimon. “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.”

        Daniel Taub, the Israeli ambassador to London, said: “It is a great shame that Professor Hawking has withdrawn from the president’s conference … Rather than caving into pressure from political extremists, active participation in such events is a far more constructive way to promote progress and peace.”

        The Wolf Foundation, which awarded Hawking the Wolf prize in physics in 1988, said it was “sad to learn that someone of Professor Hawking’s standing chose to capitulate to irrelevant pressures and will refrain from visiting Israel”.”

        These people are so deluded if they think their blatant lies will prevent the “disaster” they’ve wished upon themselves.

      • libra
        May 8, 2013, 5:03 pm

        I suggest if he truly wants to pull out of Israel he should also pull out his Intel Core i7 from his tablet…

        Let’s hope there’s not a single Israeli component in his wheelchair or else this heartless fanatic would have him lying helpless on the ground.

      • Hostage
        May 8, 2013, 6:49 pm

        I suggest if he truly wants to pull out of Israel he should also pull out his Intel Core i7 from his tablet,” said Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Shurat HaDin.”

        They must have forgotten that it’s a violation of The Law for Prevention of Damage to State of Israel through Boycott for anyone, including Shurat HaDin, to engage in activity that encourages avoiding “economic, cultural or academic connections with a person or other entity solely because of their connection with the state of Israel, one of its institutions or an area under its control, the effect of which is to cause economic, cultural or academic damage.”

        Intel can sue Shuhat HaDin for damages and the State can revoke its tax exempt status or ban it from participation in tenders for state contracts.

      • Dutch
        May 8, 2013, 11:10 pm

        @ Hostage

        True. But at the same time we should blame Intel for being there at all. If they have just a bit of Intel Inside they should get out of that place.

      • amigo
        May 9, 2013, 7:34 am

        “chose to capitulate to irrelevant pressures “.

        Irrelevant, really.

      • Hostage
        May 9, 2013, 7:53 am

        If they have just a bit of Intel Inside they should get out of that place.

        Yes, I’ve linked comments to Henry Norr’s article on Fab 28 several times. He hit the nail on the head when asked: “Just how diligent was Intel’s due diligence when it chose to build a multibillion-dollar chip plant in Qiryat Gat, Israel?” Read more @: link to sfgate.com

      • CloakAndDagger
        May 9, 2013, 9:59 pm

        Just read Henry Norr’s article in sfgate ( link to sfgate.com ) – what an amazingly scholarly piece of journalism!

        I hope that it is distributed far and wide. Can’t wait to see the ensuing lawsuit! I hope it encourages Intel to bring all of those jobs back to the US.

    • Reds
      May 8, 2013, 1:35 pm

      Check twitter or facebook yet?

      Some nasty comments coming from the peace loving israeli supporters against Hawking(reversed from some previous ones)

  5. miriam6
    May 8, 2013, 12:58 am

    How tragic that apparently Hawking has become the latest to grab some attention for himself by jumping on the mindless boycott Israel bandwagon.

    Tragic that any academic should seek to join an ugly bandwagon campaign that seeks to single out and vilify one nation only – above all others when there are so many other countries violating human rights and international law.

    It’s pretty repugnant in fact.

    It is particularly dumb and ironic that any intellectual would embrace a boycott that seeks to curtail freedom of expression and exchange of ideas and interaction between people – interaction that could change things for the better.

    Of course those who endorse the boycott of Israel are the same people who screeched in hypocritical farcical complaint when Israel decided to boycott the boycotters:

    link to spiked-online.com

    I wonder would Hawking respond in the same in order to protest America’s barbaric treatment of the Guantanamo inmates?

    BTW not everyone is uncritical of Hawking.

    link to scientificamerican.com

    cosmic-clowning-stephen-hawkings-ne-2010-09-13

    link to adherents.com

    http://www.new.english.review.org.cust.page.

    In the area of physics, by 2003, consensus was growing that Hawking was wrong about the loss of information in a black hole.[259] In a 2004 lecture in Dublin, the physicist conceded his 1997 bet with Preskill, but described his own, somewhat controversial solution, to the information paradox problem, involving the possibility of black holes have more than one topology.[260][197] In the 2005 paper he published on the subject, he argued that the information paradox was explained by examining the all the alternative histories of universes, with the information loss in those with black holes being cancelled out by those without.[196][261] As part of another longstanding scientific dispute, Hawking had emphatically argued, and bet, that the Higgs Boson would never be found.[262] The particle, proposed to exist as part of the Higgs Field theory by Peter Higgs in 1964, became discoverable with the advent of the Fermilab near Chicago and the Large Electron Positron and the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.[263] Hawking and Higgs engaged in a heated and public debate over the matter in 2002 and again in 2008, with Higgs criticising Hawking’s work and complaining that Hawking’s “celebrity status gives him instant credibility that others do not have.”[263] The particle was discovered at CERN in July 2012: Hawking quickly conceded that he had lost his bet[264][265] and said that Higgs should win the Nobel Prize for Physics.[266]

    • Bumblebye
      May 8, 2013, 9:57 am

      miriam6
      It’s the unconditional, uncritical support of nasty apartheid Israel that is ‘mindless’, not BDS.
      It is Israel that “seeks to curtail freedom of expression and exchange of ideas and interaction between people” – by impeding educational opportunities available to Palestinians: vastly less resources put into education for its Palestinian citizens, and for the non-citizens, everything from school demolition to preventing students taking their exams, attending their schools or universities, etc. Check points, settler attacks, curfews, arbitrary arrests and road closures, endless impediments. All highly deserving of academic boycott support.
      But of course, you have to play hasbara troll “ugly bandwagon campaign that seeks to single out and vilify one nation only” – waaaahhhh!- and then smear Professor Hawking!

      • seafoid
        May 8, 2013, 10:12 am

        Zionism is mindless. It’s Scientology with stars of David.

    • talknic
      May 8, 2013, 10:21 am

      miriam6 “the mindless boycott Israel bandwagon”

      To call to task a state in breach of laws, a UN Charter and conventions that were adopted in large part because of what the Nazis did to Jewish folk is “mindless”? WOW!!!!

      In respect to those laws, the state is no better than the Nazis. such a state to task on its lawlessness indicates where you stand when it comes to right and wrong.

      “Tragic that any academic should seek to join an ugly bandwagon campaign that seeks to single out and vilify one nation only – above all others when there are so many other countries violating human rights and international law”

      The vast majority of UN/UNSC resolutions against Israel pertaining to the M East are reminders of the law, the UN Charter and relative conventions to which Israel is legally obliged.

      UNSC res 252 alone has at least EIGHT reminders. UNGA res 194 has been confirmed about 130 times and reaffirmed some 25 times.

      Had Israel adhered to its obligations…. Quite simple really

      But I see what you’re saying….. If Hawking boycotts these “many other countries violating human rights and international law”, as I am sure you are (links please …. thx …) then you’ll boycott Israel?

      Or is it that Israel will suddenly adhere to the law, end occupation, get out of all non-Israeli territories taking its hundreds of thousands of illegal settlers, pay rightful reparations to those it had dispossessed?

      “It is particularly dumb and ironic that any intellectual would embrace a boycott that seeks to curtail freedom of expression and exchange of ideas and interaction between people – interaction that could change things for the better”

      A) Is it cancelled? B) Wouldn’t Israel adhering to the law, UN Charter & relative conventions for a change change things for the better?

      “Of course those who endorse the boycott of Israel are the same people who screeched in hypocritical farcical complaint when Israel decided to boycott the boycotters:”

      MKs are now demanding that all Israelis decide whether to be with their state or against it. If they choose the latter, they will be punished” link to spiked-online.com

      What was it you were saying about “seeks to curtail freedom of expression and exchange of ideas and interaction between people “ – interaction that could change things for the better BTW

    • libra
      May 8, 2013, 10:22 am

      Well Miriam, at least Professor Hawkings knows one thing about black holes that you don’t – that when you spot one the best thing to do is stay well clear of it.

    • libra
      May 8, 2013, 10:29 am

      Miriam: BTW not everyone is uncritical of Hawking.

      Indeed so. I found his book only slightly easier going than your posts. And worse yet, without any of the laughs.

    • libra
      May 8, 2013, 10:48 am

      Lastly Miriam, how come given your twin obsessions of the repugnancy of boycotts and the barbarity of Americans we don’t hear a peep from you about the American-led sanctions on Iran that are physically harming millions?

    • Citizen
      May 8, 2013, 11:01 am

      @ miriam6

      You forgot to understand just one principle:The case for Israel is made of four propositions that should always be presented in the correct escalating order.
      1.We rock
      2.They suck
      3.You suck
      4.Everything sucks
      That’s it. Now you are reminded of everything . The rest is details; filling in the dotted lines. Please finish your hasbara, or we won’t pay you your shekels.

      PS: The apartheid regime of old SA use to complain because everybody was picking on them when there were worse perps in the world, just like Charlie Brown. Also, didn’t you get the memo it’s not nice to pick on a messenger guy in a wheel chair?

    • Sumud
      May 8, 2013, 11:37 am

      How tragic that apparently Hawking has become the latest to grab some attention for himself by jumping on the mindless boycott Israel bandwagon.

      Tragic that any academic should seek to join an ugly bandwagon campaign that seeks to single out and vilify one nation only – above all others when there are so many other countries violating human rights and international law.

      It’s pretty repugnant in fact.

      That must feel better miriam, dropping the pretence of “liberal” and just being a plain old “zionist”.

      I can’t speak on behalf of anyone else but:
      • country in violation of more UN resolution than any other: Israel
      • country undertaking longest military occupation in modern history: Israel
      • country responsible for creating & maintaining the largest refugee population in the world: Israel

    • Les
      May 8, 2013, 11:41 am

      Miriam is afraid to ask herself why she is opposed to publicity for anyone objecting to Israel’s occupation and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. It would be nice if she could name just one person who she believes is not a racist but who supports Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

    • eGuard
      May 8, 2013, 11:51 am

      miriam6: clearly nothing of this mattered when they invited him. Peres would have smiled. But only now you come up with this.

    • Woody Tanaka
      May 8, 2013, 1:06 pm

      “How tragic that apparently Hawking…”

      No, what’s tragic is the oppression that the israeli Jews have been inflicting on the Palestinians in their native land of Palestine since 1947 and before.

      “It is particularly dumb and ironic that any intellectual would embrace a boycott that seeks to curtail freedom of expression and exchange of ideas and interaction between people – interaction that could change things for the better.”

      When the Goddamned israeli Jews who are keeping the Palestinians in ghettos after stealing 3/4 of their land show ANY inclination to dismantle their demonic ethno-religious apartheid state, then you can talk about whether treating the israelis as a normal decent society, rather than enablers of evil, is the proper way to go. Until then, every israeli and israeli supporter, of any degree, anywhere should be made to fell shame and put upon until they atone for their crimes.

    • justicewillprevail
      May 8, 2013, 1:21 pm

      miriam, are you trying to make a fool of yourself by copying and pasting some physics debates which you apparently don’t understand? And this is relevant to Hawking’s support for the boycott because? your scattergun approach of pasting a load of links is desperate. There is nothing ‘repugnant’ about a man standing up for his principles and in support of people requesting that he does so. He is free to do so, and is not subject to the Israeli thought police, like so many others. The boycott is not ‘curtailing freedom of expression’, much as that is how you would like to portray it. On the contrary, he is employing his freedom of expression to say what he thinks, and his freedom of action, to do what he considers right. And is entitled to support freedom for Palestinians from Israeli occupation as he sees fit. Israeli physicists can discuss his scientific ideas as much as they like, no curtailing there, but Hawkings refuses to endorse the actions of the state in which they reside. Making them, and others aware of that is his way of protesting the relentless attack on the indigenous people of the region. That is his choice, and a perfectly principled one, or maybe you don’t support his freedom of expression.

    • Ecru
      May 8, 2013, 4:27 pm

      Right so now you’re slagging off a man based on science you obviously don’t understand. Ooh, he got some of his stuff on black holes wrong. Einstein famously had a big problem with Quantum theory, backtracked on his own Cosmological constant, and failed at his attempt on a Unified Field Theory. So we can just ignore him too now can we? Note that even the stuff you produce to back your position clearly shows that Hawking can do something you and all Zionists find impossible – gracefully concede.

      As for “grabbing some publicity” – he’s already the worlds most famous physicist so not something he really needs to do is it. And has he gone would you be saying the same thing “Hawking hobnobbing with politicians?” No of course not you’re painfully transparent.

    • Daniel Rich
      May 8, 2013, 6:06 pm

      @ miriam

      Q: … jumping on the mindless boycott Israel bandwagon.

      R: “When on a wagon, refrain from sitting backwards and steer the wheels along the curves, not over them.” – Sun Tzu – The Art of War.

    • Dutch
      May 8, 2013, 8:41 pm

      @ Miriam6

      I love your comparison between Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and ‘America’s barbaric treatment of the Guantanamo inmates’. Well phrased.

      About ‘singling out': How is your Tibet campaign coming along? I am sure most of us here will join in right away.

    • RoHa
      May 8, 2013, 9:12 pm

      “Tragic that any academic should seek to join an ugly bandwagon campaign that seeks to single out and vilify one nation only – above all others when there are so many other countries violating human rights and international law.”

      Let’s take them out one at a time. Israel first. (Or do you think we should never do anything about anything wrong unless we can fix everything at once.)

      “In the area of physics, by 2003, consensus was growing that Hawking was wrong about the loss of information in a black hole.”

      Well, that demonstrates beyond any doubt that he is wrong about the moral issue of the boycott, doesn’t it?

    • miriam6
      May 9, 2013, 4:24 am

      Shingo the only person backed into a corner here is YOU.

      Shingo, screaming abuse in someone’s face as you prefer to do is NOT the same as making a reasoned argument.

      The point about the Knesset bill is that it is taking the logic of boycott as employed by BDS to it’s logical conclusion by seeking to boycott the Israel boycotters.

      If YOU had actually READ the piece properly you would understand the article is NOT in your favour!

      You choose to brand me a “Zionist” in the same way a sulky adolescent brat would scream “fascist” at a parent who just wants their offspring to tidy their room.

      You choose to brand me so in order to avoid engaging in a political argument.

      I am not a Zionist.

      Questioning the wisdom of the BDS campaign to vilify Israel does not automatically mean someone must be a Zionist.

      I am questioning the supposedly ” progressive ” credentials of those people and organizations who wish to vilify Israel as uniquely evil.

      “So unable to counter anything Hawkins is saying with respect to Israel, you decided to attack him personally.”

      This particular sentence makes no real sense.

      Hawking is a PUBLIC FIGURE.

      He made his statement in the context of a PUBLIC arena in which others are, whether you like it or not , are entitled to respond to his position.

      Of course your response fits in perfectly with the double standards flaunted by those on board the fashionable anti-Israel BDS bandwagon.

      You demand freedom of speech for yourselves but seek to deny it to others.

      “Libel settles nothing”-
      -George Orwell -

      • Shmuel
        May 9, 2013, 4:39 am

        Questioning the wisdom of the BDS campaign to vilify Israel does not automatically mean someone must be a Zionist.

        No it doesn’t, but positing that the purpose of BDS is “to vilify Israel” would appear to indicate that the person making such a statement is a supporter of Israel. Not 100%, but a pretty safe bet.

        I am questioning the supposedly ” progressive ” credentials of those people and organizations who wish to vilify Israel as uniquely evil.

        Of course you are. Well, not really, because you have already answered your “question” with extraneous premises regarding the wishes and motivations of the subjects of your “inquiry”.

      • gamal
        May 9, 2013, 7:42 am

        “You choose to brand me a “Zionist” in the same way a sulky adolescent brat would scream “fascist” at a parent who just wants their offspring to tidy their room.

        You choose to brand me so in order to avoid engaging in a political argument.

        I am not a Zionist.”

        ah the much fabled not-a-zionist, shh dont make a sound….

      • Shingo
        May 9, 2013, 7:59 am

        No Miriam
        In case you hadn’t noticed, your arguments have been an utter failure and your response to this article as been frantic, desperate and completely irrational

        Shingo, screaming abuse in someone’s face as you prefer to do is NOT the same as making a reasoned argument.

        Says she who in is accusing Hawkins of drawing attention to himself.

        The point about the Knesset bill is that it is taking the logic of boycott as employed by BDS to it’s logical conclusion by seeking to boycott the Israel boycotters.

        No, they are complete opposites.

        The Knesset bill is an act of making boycott of Israel a crime. It imposes a law to criminalize the freedom to participate in such a movement. It is thus, the epitome of violation of freedom of speech and expression.

        BDS does none of these. First of all, BDS is not run by any political body so it has no means or strategy for turning BDS into law. BDS is completely voluntary.

        So yes, I did read the entire peace and what it smacks of is a state who is trying to criminalize dissent.

        They are exact opposites.

        You choose to brand me a “Zionist” in the same way a sulky adolescent brat would scream “fascist” at a parent who just wants their offspring to tidy their room.

        Earth to Miriam – you are a Zionist are you not? Do I detect shame and guilt in your response to being referred to as such?

        You chose to brand Hawkins’ position as repugnant, like some spoiled brat who’s been caught in the act of molesting a child while abusing those for paying attention – as though the problem lay with them.
        So you claim that you engaged in political argument huh? Let’s see how you went about it.

        1. You maligned Hawkins by accusing him of drawing attention to himself, rather than having any legitimate conviction.
        2. You dig up some obscure invective article attacking his theories on black holes, without even bothering to explain how his scientific theories have any bearing on his decision to boycott Israel.

        I am not a Zionist.

        Seriously Miriam, if you are not a Zionist, then you are simply a racist supremacist without a cause, which is even worse.

        Questioning the wisdom of the BDS campaign to vilify Israel does not automatically mean someone must be a Zionist.

        Actually it does, because you demonstrate blatant dishonesty by your shameless mispresentation of BDS. The aim of BDS is to pressure Israel into conforming with international law (crazy idea I know). The fact that in doing so, BDS brings attention to Israel’s crimes is not the fault of BDS, it is Israel’s.

        I am questioning the supposedly ” progressive ” credentials of those people and organizations who wish to vilify Israel as uniquely evil.

        Again, there is no suggestion by proponents of BDS that Israel is uniquely evil, but every state accused of war crimes or crimes against humanity tend to resort to the same defense. Apartheid South Africa did that a lot.

        Israel commits crimes against humanity and violates international law. No one is denying that other states do it, but you’re simply resorting to the absurd rationale that unless everyone guilty of these crimes is brought to task in the same way, at the same time, that Israel be given a free pass.

        It’s an old Zionist adage that we hear from the likes of Abe Foxman – criticism of Israel is acceptable so long as one makes mention all the countries in the world (past and present) also guilty of the same crimes when they criticize Israel.

        I call that the Charles Manson defense. Imagine Manson arguing that the court was victimizing him on the grounds that there more gruesome, unsolved murders had taken place at the time of his trial in the United States?

        This particular sentence makes no real sense. Hawking is a PUBLIC FIGURE.

        Hawking made political statement, and has taken a political position. Rather than debate his stance on the issue, you chose to start attacking his credentials in the field of theoretical physics.

        What does his theory of black holes have to do with BDS? How is that responding to his position?

        You demand freedom of speech for yourselves but seek to deny it to others.

        You hasbrats seem to think that freedom of speech means having the right ot have the last world. In fact, freedom of speech means I have the right to refute your infantile argument and do in any way I chose to. I have not called for you to be silenced.

        Grow up.

      • Ecru
        May 9, 2013, 12:22 pm

        Excellently done Shingo.

      • justicewillprevail
        May 9, 2013, 8:44 am

        QED, Shingo, though I fear reason is not miriam’s strong point.

      • Sumud
        May 9, 2013, 10:26 am

        I am not a Zionist.

        Seriously Miriam, if you are not a Zionist, then you are simply a racist supremacist without a cause, which is even worse.

        Hilarious Shingo! And more than a bit tragic…

  6. Taxi
    May 8, 2013, 1:18 am

    A coupla comments from Haaretz:
    link to haaretz.com

    Do you know any Pali physicist?
    By Bob Greenberg
    08 May 2013
    06:37AM

    Surely Israel will help a Palestinian physicist succeed.
    By Li
    08 May 2013
    06:58AM
    “The Israeli occupation yesterday, Wednesday 8 September, released the Palestinian academic Prof Essam Al Ashqar after his detention for one and a half years. Al Ashqar lectures in physics as the Al Najah National University in Nablus. The 52 year-old academic suffers from a number chronic ailments brought on by harsh prison conditions and inadequate medical care. He suffers from acute hypertension and kidney complications.”

  7. eGuard
    May 8, 2013, 5:15 am

    Why does The Guardian use this wording: he has been bombarded with messages from Britain and abroad as part of an intense campaign by boycott supporters trying to persuade him to change his mind?

  8. Cliff
    May 8, 2013, 6:45 am

    Great news. Dr. Hawking is awesome.

    • seafoid
      May 8, 2013, 1:02 pm

      Stephen Hawking confirms he is boycotting Israeli conference
      University of Cambridge officials say they erroneously understood Hawking’s decision to boycott Israeli Presidential Conference was based solely on health concerns.

      link to haaretz.com

      Ma sha allah

  9. eljay
    May 8, 2013, 8:33 am

    >> Hawkings [sic] was one man who should not have been brought into the fray.

    Mr. Hawking objects to the illegal and immoral actions of the supremacist “Jewish State” of (Greater) Israel. Good on him for entering the fray.

    From the article:
    >> Hawking’s decision met with abusive responses on Facebook, with many commentators focusing on his physical condition, and some accusing him of antisemitism.

    Someone who takes a stand against Zio-supremacism is accused of anti-Semitism – imagine that!

    • seafoid
      May 8, 2013, 1:36 pm

      “Hawking’s decision met with abusive responses on Facebook, with many commentators focusing on his physical condition and some accusing him of antisemitism.”

      Not surprising, TBH. The truly indoctrinated are merciless. They have zero compassion. Gaza is the proof.

  10. ckg
    May 8, 2013, 8:47 am

    Confused. Compare the Guardian headline “Stephen Hawking joins academic boycott of Israel—Physicist pulls out of conference hosted by president Shimon Peres in protest at treatment of Palestinians” to the Washington Post AP headline “Physicist Stephen Hawking won’t attend Israeli conference, cites health.” The Guardian quotes British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, but AP quotes the media director spokesman at Cambridge, who said Hawking’s decision was based strictly on health concerns.

  11. hophmi
    May 8, 2013, 8:49 am

    And – – the story is debunked. Correction time.

    link to thecommentator.com

    link to haaretz.com

    • eljay
      May 8, 2013, 9:40 am

      >> And – – the story is debunked. Correction time.

      Pity.

      I wonder if the people who slandered him on Facebook will take back or apologize for their hateful accusations.

      • MK_Ultra
        May 8, 2013, 9:39 pm

        Prof. Hawking has too much class but if he were an “Israeli” he would subpoena Twitter and Facebook and sue each and every single one of those commenters for all they’ve got.

    • Sumud
      May 8, 2013, 10:21 am

      And the debunking is debunked.

      See Adam’s article UPDATE.

    • Cliff
      May 8, 2013, 10:26 am

      Nothing was debunked.

      Hawking has criticized Israel before and there’s reason enough to believe he supports BDS/cultural boycotts.

      link to youtube.com

      He is in poor health also and this is damage control by the university.

      Poor hoppie, move along now.

      • eljay
        May 8, 2013, 12:31 pm

        >> hophmeee: And – – the story is debunked. Correction time.

        And the story stands as originally reported. Correction time.

        I guess those Zio-supremacists on Facebook can now proudly stand by their accusations of anti-Semitism.

    • ckg
      May 8, 2013, 1:33 pm

      hophmi– both The Commentator and Haaretz have now made their corrections. Washington Post/AP had correction time too. lol

  12. NickJOCW
    May 8, 2013, 8:53 am

    link to ynetnews.com

    Presidential Conference Chairman Israel Maimon responded to Hawking’s decision by saying, “The use of an academic boycott is outrageous and improper, especially by those for whom the spirit of liberty is at the basis of the human and academic mission.”
    “The boycott decision is incompatible with open and democratic discourse,” he added

    What an extraordinary distortion of the English language!

    The Guardian is running a poll, and earlier today the support was 76% positive on his decision. It has now dropped and I imagine cadres being mustered to oppose.

    link to guardian.co.uk

    • seafoid
      May 8, 2013, 10:13 am

      “The use of an academic boycott is outrageous and improper, especially by those for whom the spirit of liberty is at the basis of the human and academic mission.”

      Christ. Like the bots know anything about free speech. Ghassan Kanafani RIP.

      Meanwhile bombing Gaza with white phosphorous is right and proper.

    • Citizen
      May 8, 2013, 10:47 am

      60% Yes
      40% No
      Poll closes in 2 days

      • Justpassingby
        May 8, 2013, 1:24 pm

        Hasbara Megaphone and tactics alike are running on full speed now to get the vote reversed.

      • Reds
        May 8, 2013, 1:48 pm

        Can you imagine all the emails,alerts being sent out right now to say no? Can you than imagine if it’s still yes the attacks by politicans and the media it will get?

        My guess NPR,CNN,MSNBC and Fox will cover it if the Poll turns out to be no. With “experts” ( passively on NPR,CNN,MSNBC) attacking Mr. Hawking and his record.

      • lysias
        May 9, 2013, 10:19 am

        Today’s Democracy Now! covered the Hawking story.

      • ToivoS
        May 8, 2013, 9:45 pm

        Last I looked it was:
        69% Yes
        31% No

  13. Krauss
    May 8, 2013, 8:55 am

    This is good news. How will people deflect this away? Even Google is getting radical, comparatively speaking on SV-standards, now this. Although a bit of searching around the web reveals that Hawking has had this position for several years and hasn’t acted on it in a big way until now. Hopefully we can write about it more thoroughly – to avoid being defined by the inevitable smear-campaign as an “anti-Semite”.

    Berkeley, Oberlin, now this. Things are moving up quite a bit. It seems the academic side of BDS is doing better than the economic one, for now. It was similar in the case of South Africa where the cultural opposition formed first and the economic one followed. And it was the cultural part that was more crucial against the Apartheid regime, especially at sporting events where there was immense national pride at rugby and cricket games and being socially ostracized for the racism at those events made sure that the civilian population couldn’t escape the judgement of the world.

    Since Israelis are not great at sport, but prominent in academia, this may be an even better tactic than against apartheid South Africa. But it’s going to be a slugfest. Israel have many, many reactionary supporters among the ranks of faculty, university administrators, deans and especially the donor class that universities are dependent upon. Therefore it will be much more difficult, but I’m hopeful.

    • seafoid
      May 8, 2013, 10:14 am

      Krauss

      Israel has a nice juicy budget deficit so things are moving on the economic side too

      And the usual bot character smear of anyone they don’t like is going to look very unsporting when the target is confined to a wheelchair.

      • Daniel Rich
        May 8, 2013, 6:17 pm

        @ seafoid,

        Q: And the usual bot character smear of anyone they don’t like is going to look very unsporting when the target is confined to a wheelchair.

        R: The Apartheid Regime has proven not to be taken aback by wheelchairs in the past.

      • MK_Ultra
        May 8, 2013, 9:41 pm

        That’s no concern. The American coffers have no bottom when it comes to dear little Isreal.

  14. gingershot
    May 8, 2013, 9:39 am

    This is a very beautiful development … so many people love Stephen Hawkings that this will generate fresh interest in BDS-ing Israel

    He’s even got Carlo Strenger over at Haaretz in a twist – this is entirely out of bounds for Jewish policing and framing of the argument and Carlo regresses to the familiar ‘Israel is being singled out’ song and dance

    I’ve been noticing that lots of liberal Zionists are having their own personal red lines crossed as they start to lose control of the situation and Palestine is getting taken out of their hands. I think it’s partly that this has gone on for so long they actually became convinced they had forever to play at being liberal Zionists as long as it was just play

    The solution to Palestine needs to be taken OUT of Israeli hands completely – dismantling of Apartheid must be forced upon them by BDS.

    Apartheid in Israel is characterized by obsessive control – control, control, control of everything. Now Israel begins to lose all control…

    • Citizen
      May 8, 2013, 10:51 am

      “The solution to Palestine needs to be taken OUT of Israeli hands completely – ”

      Yep. Just as was done with the SA apartheid regime. All it would really take would be Obama taking the pulpit and cutting off aid to Israel until it behaves like a state with something approaching the higher American values the world once respected us for having…

    • American
      May 8, 2013, 11:22 am

      “and Palestine is getting taken out of their hands. “….gingershot

      And out of the US hands…more so every day

      China unveils peace plan based on 1967 lines

      With Netanyahu and Abbas in the country, Beijing moves for larger role in international efforts to broker an agreement
      By Michal Shmulovich and AP

      During his meeting with Abbas, Xi introduced a 4-point peace proposal. The plan calls for an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel, based on the 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital. The proposal also states Israel’s right to exist in security and asserts that negotiations are the key to lasting peace between the two peoples.
      The proposal calls for an end to settlement activities, violence against civilians, and Israel’s blockade on Gaza, and presses for a resolution to the issue of Palestinian prisoners, saying all are “necessary conditions for the resumption of peace talks,” according to Chinese news reports.
      The proposition also urges the international community to become more involved and to encourage the parties to restart negotiations while providing increased assistance to the Palestinians.”
      link to timesofisrael.com

    • seafoid
      May 8, 2013, 1:58 pm

      Strenger – schwacher I would say.

      link to haaretz.com

      “Hypocrisy and double standard: An open letter to Stephen Hawking

      By deciding not to attend the Israeli Presidential Conference, one of the world’s leading scientists is singling out Israel and denying it has been under existential threat for most of its existence.

      By Carlo Strenger | May.08, 2013 | 3:56 PM | 22

      By The Associated Press | May.08,2013 | 6:39 PM | 9
      Dear Professor Hawking,

      There are many reasons why you are considered one of the world’s leading scientists. As you know very well, one reason for your achievement is the ability to keep a mind of your own and to refuse caving in to pressure by the mainstream. Innovation is only possible if you are immune to such pressure.

      Given my respect for your achievement I am surprised and saddened by your decision, reported today by The Guardian that you have cancelled your participation at this year’s President’s Conference in Jerusalem, and that you have joined those who call for an academic boycott of Israel. I would have expected a man of your standing and achievement not to be influenced by the pressure that was reportedly exerted on you to cancel your visit in Israel.

      Let it first be said that I have been opposed to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories for many years, and that I have voiced this opposition with all means at my disposal. I think that Israel’s settlement policy in the West Bank is indefensible morally, stupid politically and unwise strategically, and I will continue opposing it as long as I can.

      This being said, I have always found it morally reprehensible and intellectually indefensible that many British academics have been calling for an academic boycott of Israel. This call is based on a moral double standard that I would not expect from a community whose mission it is to maintain intellectual integrity.

      Yes, I think that Israel is guilty of human right violations in the West Bank. But these violations are negligible compared to those perpetrated by any number of states ranging from Iran through Russia to China, to mention only a small number of examples. Iran hangs hundreds of homosexuals every year; China has been occupying Tibet for decades, and you know of the terrible destruction Russia has inflicted in Chechnya. I have not heard from you or your colleagues who support an academic boycott against Israel that they boycott any of these countries.

      But let me go one step further: Israel is accused of detaining Palestinians without trial for years. So is the USA, which, as you very well know, to this day has not closed Guantanamo Bay. Israel is accused of targeted killings of Palestinians suspected or known to be involved in terrorist acts. As is reported worldwide, the United States has been practicing targeted assassinations of terror suspects in many countries for years. ,

      The question whether these detentions and targeted assassinations can be justified is weighty, and there are no simple answers. Personally I think that even in a war against terror democracies must make every conceivable effort to maintain the rule of law and avoid human rights violations.

      Yet let us not forget that both Israel and the United States are in difficult situations. Israel was on the verge of a peace agreement with the Palestinian people when the second Intifada broke out. Daily Israelis were shredded into pieces by suicide bombings, and it is very difficult for Israeli politicians to convince Israelis to take risks for peace., The U.S. is still reeling from the trauma of 9/11. It has occupied two countries, Afghanistan and Iraq for a decade since. I happen to think that it was wrong to attack Iraq, in the same way that I think that Israel’s settlement policy in the West Bank is wrong.

      Professor Hawking: how can you and your colleagues who argue for an academic boycott of Israel justify your double standard by singling out Israel,? You are simply denying that Israel has been under existential threat for most of its existence. ,To this day Hamas, one of the two major parties in Palestine, calls for Israel’s destruction, and its charter employs the vilest anti-Semitic language. To this day hardly a week goes by in which Iran and its proxy Hezbollah do not threaten to obliterate Israel, even though they have no direct conflict with Israel about anything.

      Singling Israel out for academic boycott is, I believe, a case of profound hypocrisy. It is a way to ventilate outrage about the world’s injustices where the cost is low. I’m still waiting for the British academic who says he won’t cooperate with American institutions as long as Guantanamo is open, or as long as the U.S. continues targeted assassinations.

      In addition to the hypocrisy, singling out Israel’s academia is pragmatically unwise, to put it mildly. Israel’s academia is largely liberal in its outlook, and many academics here have opposed Israel’s settlement policies for decades. But once again, British academics choose the easiest target to vent their rage in a way that does not contribute anything constructive to the Palestinian cause they support.

      Israel, like any other country, can be criticized. But such criticism should not be based on shrill moralism and simplistic binary thinking – something I do not expect from academics. The real world is, unfortunately a messy, difficult place. Novelist Ian McEwan is quoted in the Guardian as saying that “If I only went to countries that I approve of, I probably would never get out of bed … It’s not great if everyone stops talking” when he was criticized for coming to Israel to receive the Jerusalem Prize for Literature in 2011.

      He certainly has a point. Living up to the standards of human rights and the ideals of democracy in an imperfect world is difficult. Major thinkers like Philip Bobbitt and Michael Ignatieff have invested deep and comprehensive thought into the difficult topic of how to maintain the human rights standard in a world threatened by terrorism.

      Professor Hawking, I would expect from a man of your intellectual stature to get involved in the difficult task of grappling with these questions. Taking the simple way out of singling out Israel by boycotting it academically does not behoove you intellectually or morally.

      If your cancelation was indeed a function of pressures and not from health reasons, as stated by your university following The Guardian’s report, I would respect it if you were to reconsider your decision and come to the President’s Conference.

      Sincerely,

      Carlo Strenger ”

      Very poor. As long as people are abused anywhere Israel is kosher. Sorry Israel. Try something better than that.

      Maybe the outside world is going to have to do what Israel’s liberals can’t.

      • NickJOCW
        May 9, 2013, 5:22 am

        What is truly saddening is this recurrent Israeli claim that one should not condemn actions if some other entity does the same or worse. You don’t need to be a philosopher, let alone a “Swiss-Israeli psychologist, philosopher, existential psychoanalyst and public intellectual”, to realize such an approach, widely adopted, would spiral humanity to a sub-brute level in less than a generation. Morality is the nisus we all have to resist that spiral. Why can these people not see it is not Israel that is in existential danger but its repellant behavior.

      • Hostage
        May 9, 2013, 8:45 am

        Noam Sheizaf has published a response to Haaretz’s Carlo Strenger @ link to 972mag.com

      • Shingo
        May 9, 2013, 10:45 am

        Thank you for this piece by Noam Sheizaf Hostage. It is superbly written and argued, and is a testament to the integrity of someone who has put humanity and integrity before self interest.

      • Hostage
        May 9, 2013, 10:37 am

        It’s bizarre that Carlo Strenger repeatedly cites crimes and human rights abuses committed by Israel and the United States to a citizen of the UK. That only demonstrates how isolated and marginalized both countries have become in the international community of states.

        Hawking can at least take some comfort from the fact that the UK Supreme Court has ruled that the policies and practices that Strenger mentioned, like internment at Guantanamo, are illegal and violate prohibitions contained in Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention, & etc.
        See UK Supreme Court Rejects Jack Goldsmith’s Interpretation of GC IV link to opiniojuris.org

      • hophmi
        May 9, 2013, 10:59 am

        Noam Sheizaf writes:

        “The issues of boycott and anti-normalization are perhaps the toughest for Israeli leftists right now. Like everyone who deals with Palestinians – if only occasionally – I have personally felt the effects of various campaigns against the occupation. I could also say that I have felt alienated by the language and tone of many pro-Palestinian activists. Often I feel that they reject my Israeli identity as a whole, sometimes even my existence. Many even refrain from using the name “Israel”, leaving very little room for joint action or simply for meaningful interaction.”

      • Sumud
        May 9, 2013, 11:28 am

        Noam Sheizaf writes: …

        Again with the cherry-picking of quotes hophmi?

        If your strategy is representative, no wonder zionism is edging closer to oblivion every day.

        Noam Sheizaf continues where you left off [my emphasis]:

        But all this is beside the point right now. While I myself have never advocated a full boycott, I think that the least Israeli leftists can do is to not stand in the way of non-violent Palestinian efforts to end the occupation. It’s not only the moral thing to do, but also a smarter strategy because as long as Israelis don’t feel that the status quo is taking some toll on their lives, they will continue to avoid the unpleasant political choices which are necessary for terminating the occupation. Since the Israeli left is often unable to admit its own share in the occupation – and therefore acknowledge the legitimacy of Palestinian resistance – again and again it acts against its own stated goals.

      • Hostage
        May 9, 2013, 5:15 pm

        I could also say that I have felt alienated by the language and tone of many pro-Palestinian activists.

        So what? Experts in the field of Comparative Law no doubt feel alienated by the ban Noam Sheizaf implemented on his own blog against comments that compare Israel’s laws with the Nazi-era Nuremberg laws.

        Israelis claim that many of their own country’s laws were adopted out of necessity to remedy the situation created by the Nuremberg race laws. Are we supposed to overlook the injustices created by that remedy or the historical facts and keep silent simply to avoid giving offense to liberal Zionists? I don’t think so.

      • hophmi
        May 9, 2013, 5:17 pm

        “So what? Experts in the field of Comparative Law no doubt feel alienated by the ban Noam Sheizaf implemented on his own blog against comments that compare Israel’s laws with the Nazi-era Nuremberg laws. ”

        You mean the indecent people who don’t understand Godwin’s Law?

      • hophmi
        May 9, 2013, 5:31 pm

        “Again with the cherry-picking of quotes hophmi?”

        How is this quote cherry-picked? It is a comment on how the vitriol of people in pro-Palestinian movement is counterproductive.

        I’m not ignoring what comes after.

      • Shingo
        May 9, 2013, 5:37 pm

        Nicely done Sumud,

        I was just about to quote the same passage from Sheizaf ‘s article. What Sheizaf demonstrates is that unlike Hohmi and many like him, Sheizaf has moved beyond wallowing in self pity and self obsession and acknowledged that their own victimization is not an eternal excuse for victimizing others.

      • lysias
        May 9, 2013, 5:45 pm

        Glenn Greenwald has aptly criticized appeals to Godwin’s Law that try to prohibit comparisons with the Nazis.

        As Greenwald points out, Godwin himself does not intend his rule to prohibit such comparisons when they are substantive:

        UPDATE II: Godwin himself appears in comments (authenticity confirmed via email) to explain that his “law” sought to discourage frivolous, but not substantive, Nazi analogies and comparisons.

      • Hostage
        May 9, 2013, 7:13 pm

        You mean the indecent people who don’t understand Godwin’s Law?

        No I mean the learned doctors of law and the other humanities who examine Israeli claims regarding the necessity of their discriminatory legal system on the bases of Hitler’s Nuremberg code – just like I said in the first place.

        Hannah Arendt’s critique of the Israeli rabbinical laws that govern personal legal status throughout the land simply can’t be brushed aside or “swept under the carpet” by invoking Godwin’s law. Liberal Zionists have never supplied an adequate rationale for the necessity of their racial code, and that goes double for bigots like you:

        Like almost everybody else in Israel, he believed that only a Jewish court could render justice to Jews, and that it was the business of Jews to sit in judgment on their enemies. Hence the almost universal hostility in Israel to the mere mention of an international court which would have indicted Eichmann, not for crimes “against the Jewish people,” but for crimes against mankind committed on the body of the Jewish people. Hence the strange boast: “We make no ethnic distinctions,” which sounded less strange in Israel, where rab­binical law rules the personal status of Jewish citizens, with the result that no Jew can marry a non-Jew; marriages concluded abroad are recognized, but children of mixed marriages are legally bastards (children of Jewish parentage born out of wed­lock are legitimate), and if one happens to have a non-Jewish mother he can neither be married nor buried. The outrage in this state of affairs has become more acute since 1953, when a sizable portion of jurisdiction in matters of family law was handed over to the secular courts. Women can now inherit property and in general enjoy equal status with men. Hence it is hardly respect for the faith or the power of the fanatically religious minority that prevents the government of Israel from substituting secular jurisdiction for rabbinical law in matters of marriage and divorce. Israeli citizens, religious and nonreligious, seem agreed upon the desirability of having a law which pro­hibits intermarriage, and it is chiefly for this reason—as Israeli officials outside the courtroom were willing to admit—that they are also agreed upon the undesirability of a written constitution in which such a law would embarrassingly have to be spelled out. (‘The argument against civil marriage is that it would split the House of Israel, and would also separate Jews of this country from Jews of the Diaspora,” as Philip Gillon recently put it in Jewish Frontier.) Whatever the reasons, there certainly was something breathtaking in the naivete with which the prosecution denounced the infamous Nuremberg Laws of 1935, which had prohibited intermarriage and sexual intercourse between Jews and Germans. The better informed among the correspondents were well aware of the irony, but they did not mention it in their reports. — Eichmann in Jerusalem: a report on the banality of evil, Google ebook, page 7

      • seafoid
        May 10, 2013, 3:26 pm

        Sheizaf understands the outside world and Jewish history. hoph doesn’t.

  15. gingershot
    May 8, 2013, 10:01 am

    This is blaring front page over at Huff Post World

  16. EChandler
    May 8, 2013, 10:07 am

    Vote online Guardian Poll: Is Stephen Hawking right to join the academic boycott of Israel?

    link to guardian.co.uk

  17. ckg
    May 8, 2013, 10:28 am

    Adam–please keep updating us on any new information. Reuters and AP wires are entirely contradictory.

    AP apparently in the last few minutes updated its feed and added this

    University spokesman Holt said that Hawking “did not specifically approve” the committee’s statement. Holt said he had asked the committee to remove the posting.

    The committee did not respond to requests for comment.

  18. pabelmont
    May 8, 2013, 10:55 am

    The decision by Hawking, or by any other person — and let’s hope for more to join Hawking — is more than an opportunity to stand with Palesatinians, afront Israel, and educate the public; it is one way that principled people can stand up to the dreadful inactivity (or complicity) of the governments and corporations who are “in bed” with Israel. He is educating every other conference attender, and one may hope that some will join him. Being first to stand up is hard, and when anyone does stand up, it makes it all the easier for the next person to stand up.

  19. ckg
    May 8, 2013, 11:08 am

    I see the committee updated its posting and added this:

    UPDATE 8 May: The statement above has been issued with the specific endorsement of Professor Hawking’s office. His staff sent us the following message on 7 May “Just spoken to Tim [Tim Holt, Acting Director of Communications for Cambridge University] and we are both in agreement with the quote – and as you say – sensible to get this out rather than a lot of differing opinions.” We have seen the letter that Professor Hawking sent to the Jerusalem organisers giving his clear reasons for not attending and are seeking his permission to release the letter but will not do so until we have his approval. We regret the misinformation being circulated about this matter.

  20. ckg
    May 8, 2013, 11:39 am

    AP reports now that Cambridge retracts the “health” reason:
    link to washingtonpost.com

    • seafoid
      May 8, 2013, 12:40 pm

      Cambridge has no interest in supporting zionist nihilism. Nobody in galut has.

  21. Les
    May 8, 2013, 11:47 am

    “Jew lover” was an epithet in Nazi Germany as “self-hating Jew” has become in our time. Leave it to defenders of Israel to turn “anti-Semite” into a mere epithet, used even against fellow Jews.

  22. W.Jones
    May 8, 2013, 11:54 am

    I think Haaretz is a mixed bag, don’t you?

    For example, its article on the Church of Scotland’s report was titled “Church of Scotland: Jews do not have a right to the land of Israel”.

    But isn’t it more correct to say that the Church’s report was that they do not have an exclusive right?

    But on the other hand, Haaretz has published articles by Israel Shahak and Gideon Levy.

  23. pipistro
    May 8, 2013, 12:30 pm

    I guess he assesses Israeli occupation as much as a black hole. Where the time has stopped without any comprehensible reason except greed and chutzpah (both of them hardly measurable in Phisics).

  24. atime forpeace
    May 8, 2013, 12:35 pm

    Roll Tide!!!

  25. seafoid
    May 8, 2013, 12:39 pm

    Meanwhile seen at Zurich main train station in switzerland- a BDS ad. ’65 years of israel. 65 years of Palestinian suffering. It is kosher to boycott israel”. Gaza is not forgotten in Mitteleuropa.

  26. seafoid
    May 8, 2013, 12:45 pm

    BTW sweet to see the excrement land on liar peres’ fan. One of the most odious in the bot hierarchy. The man who told the president of Cameroon that ‘a jew and apartheid do not go together’.

  27. David Doppler
    May 8, 2013, 12:50 pm

    Hawking’s solidarity gives thousands of lesser academics breathing room to voice the view that Israel’s policies under the current regime are incompatible with universal values as well as highly destructive to its own long term interests. Interesting that miriam6 would roll out several instances of Hawking conceding he was wrong on this or that prediction about future discoveries in physics, as if to say, those who speak ill of Israel, even if only its bad and inhumane policies, WILL be personally attacked. Netanyahu and his agents and apologists have so overplayed their heavy hand that there is no room left for liberal thinkers in many professions to continue to remain silent in the face of such inhumanity, such hubris, and such blatant efforts to control free discourse. The fact that there is disinformation widely disseminated concerning Hawking’s decision, even as we watch the Israeli cabinet meet without mentioning their airstrikes the night before in Syria, even as we learn that Netanyahu put into effect a secret halt on new settlement construction when Obama visited, puts us at that moment when Toto pulls back the curtain on the “Wizard.” What can be trusted that comes from Netanyahu’s mouth? As he thunders, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.” Will he surprise everyone by creating a true peace, alienating forever the Israeli right wing, who, with encouragement at least from Netanyahu, assassinated the last one to honestly try? Or will he ever more publicly wrestle himself over what he says and what he means, forever discrediting the Israeli government. I give him no more than six months before he is ousted. The sooner the better for everyone, including Israel and Palestine.

  28. Taxi
    May 8, 2013, 1:09 pm

    Heh heh heh.

    Dancing-dancing-dancing to the Music of the Spheres!

  29. Sassan
    May 8, 2013, 1:17 pm

    It looks like it was a lie! link to algemeiner.com

    • ckg
      May 8, 2013, 2:43 pm

      Algemeiner called the Guardian piece a “fraud”. Note that one of the 4 responses to the Algemeiner post was from Matt Kalman, who co-authored the original Guardian scoop. Kalman told Algemeiner, “You are wrong. Watch this space.”

    • Woody Tanaka
      May 8, 2013, 2:57 pm

      “It looks like it was a lie!”

      Nope. The hasbara excuse that it was for “health” reasons is the lie.

  30. Justpassingby
    May 8, 2013, 1:21 pm

    I applaude Hawking if this really is the reason why he rejected the invitation.

    However. Why did he accept the invitation initially?

  31. Sassan
    May 8, 2013, 1:23 pm

    I am sad and disappointed. I rather delude myself and say that his cognitive faculties are declining that he made this decision but that would just be to reduce my cognitive dissonance. He has already been to Israel four times before. Maybe because it was a government event and not academia. But still, it is the wrong thing to do and it highly saddens me and disappoints me. It makes me lose a bit of respect for Dr. Hawking. And I speak as an Iranian-American non-Israel non-Jew. :sigh. :(

    • Justpassingby
      May 8, 2013, 2:51 pm

      Are you here too?
      Of course it saddens supporters of the neocon camp and pro-israeli camp as yourself.

    • Woody Tanaka
      May 8, 2013, 2:59 pm

      I’m rather heartened and overjoyed. It is awesome that a wonderfully sharp and intelligent man like Hawking can see the truth of the evil brutality that the zionists inflict on the Palestinians. Too bad the likes of you cannot.

    • eljay
      May 8, 2013, 3:50 pm

      >> But still, it is the wrong thing to do and it highly saddens me and disappoints me.

      Opposing oppression, colonialism, expansionism and supremacism – among other immoral and unjust things – is the wrong thing to do. Wow.

      • Shingo
        May 8, 2013, 7:06 pm

        Opposing oppression, colonialism, expansionism and supremacism – among other immoral and unjust things – is the wrong thing to do.

        Yes Eljay, actions and ideologues that Sasssan (aka Mr MEK) holds dear.

    • Ecru
      May 8, 2013, 4:32 pm

      Yeah when you can hold into the chair of mathematics once held by Isaac Newton THEN you can judge someone like Hawking’s cognitive faculties. But not till then. Far from meaning they’re fading (LOL) I take it to signify they’re not limited to questions of Physics and Cosmology but also to the human condition too. Which just makes him even more impressive.

    • libra
      May 8, 2013, 4:41 pm

      Sassan, I have some good news for you. All is not lost. It would seem that Professor Hawking is firm believer in the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. That means there’s another world in which he is a supporter of Zionist supremacy. And another one where you don’t keep popping up on Mondoweiss every couple of months to make a nearly complete anagram of yourself.

    • justicewillprevail
      May 8, 2013, 4:52 pm

      Sassn, you are right in one respect: you are deluding yourself. Forget the crocodile tears. If you respect Hawking as you claim, then you respect his decision. No dissonance required, or self pity. Enough of the mawkish breast beating. Why should Hawking have to agree with you for you to ‘respect’ him? Perhaps he has got more important things to think about.

    • Shingo
      May 8, 2013, 7:04 pm

      I am sad and disappointed.

      As a war crazed MEK supporter and tyrant loving psychopath, that comes as no surprise.

      But still, it is the wrong thing to do and it highly saddens me and disappoints me

      Yes, its to be expected that you are saddened to head criticism of apartheid, ethnic cleansing, mass murder and home oppression.

      You have to be the of the most sadistic commentators on the web.

    • MK_Ultra
      May 8, 2013, 9:26 pm

      Luckily, you are picking up the cognitive faculties Prof. Hawking is losing. Hark!

  32. seafoid
    May 8, 2013, 2:06 pm

    link to haaretz.com

    “Yes, I think that Germany is guilty of human right violations in Poland this year in 1944 . But these violations are negligible compared to those perpetrated by any number of states ranging from Iran through Russia to China, to mention only a small number of examples. I have not heard from you or your colleagues who support an academic boycott against Germany that they boycott any of these countries. ”

    Imagine the people who died at Auschwitz knowing what Zionism would become.

  33. chrisrushlau
    May 8, 2013, 2:27 pm

    Your headline and the source of its quotation are the telling story here. A physicist identifies the salient pattern of events in bare mechanical terms, force equals mass times acceleration, or energy equals mass times the speed of light, squared. Israel is headed for disaster.
    But that’s not quite right, although it is admirably terse. Israel is a disaster, and one by design. A Jewish state oppresses non-Jews. What else could it do?

    • Kathleen
      May 8, 2013, 2:52 pm

      interesting way to look at it

      • chrisrushlau
        May 8, 2013, 6:13 pm

        What other way is there to look at it? What does “Jewish state” mean in physical terms?

      • Kathleen
        May 9, 2013, 2:31 pm

        geez was just agreeing

  34. Shmuel
    May 8, 2013, 2:34 pm

    … but that would just be to reduce my cognitive dissonance

    Thanks for your honesty, Sassan. You’ve just explained the whole circus around Hawking’s principled (yes, I’m afraid that’s what it was) stand.

    Some of the highlights of the rationalisation-overdrive we’ve seen here and elsewhere:
    1. He was used.
    2. It’s not true.
    3. He’s off his game.
    4. He’s not that big of a “celeb” anyway.
    5. He’s an anti-Semite/acting like an anti-Semite (singling out, etc.).

    Cognitive dissonance: Israel is good and BDS (or any forceful criticism of Israel) is bad, so why do people I respect or appreciate sometimes support it? The only possible answers are that they were manipulated, are not too bright, are misinformed, didn’t mean it, or were never worthy of my respect in the first place. There couldn’t possibly be any other explanation, could there?

    • Woody Tanaka
      May 8, 2013, 3:00 pm

      Well, what do you expect?? They lie to themselves about what is going on there to protect that abomination of a racist state and this is the result.

  35. radii
    May 8, 2013, 2:47 pm

    “today’s Einstein” reached the same conclusion as the real Einstein – israel is not worthy of support

  36. Kathleen
    May 8, 2013, 2:52 pm

    Kudos to Mr. Hawking!

  37. Les
    May 8, 2013, 3:09 pm

    One commenter on Common Dreams:

    “Hawking is boycotting a nation attempting to assume a position in the Middle East as a superpower and lacking the resources to do so without the active assistance of the United States. The men who control Israel are about as religious as my pet dog. Religion and ethnicity are the tools that they use to promote their nation state and to secure the assistance that they require to survive. Theocracy, by which I believe you to mean religious fundamentalism, is not the cause of problems in the Middle East. Fossil fuel imperialism is.”

    • MHughes976
      May 8, 2013, 3:53 pm

      Zionism is not a form of theocracy, ie belief in rule by priests or presbyters: rather the reverse. But it is a form of belief in a contested moral proposition concerning the unique rights of people who are Jewish, a term now describing a group of people linked by religion and/or blood. This belief is, plainly as a whole row of pikestaffs, a significant cause of problems in the ME and everywhere. If it were not believed a whole mass of problems would be resolved. The Marxists say that the situation would not actually improve, since Western imperialism would find another way to be just as bitterly oppressive: though this is an untested counterfactual proposition. To my mind it is still worth, whatever we suppose counterfactually, making clear the actual, real-world truth that the basic belief of Zionism is mistaken. If you want something that will put a crimp in Western imperialism there you have it: moreover, it’s making a true statement against a false one. My feeling is that the Marxists, indignant as they are over the Palestine situation, cannot bring themselves to say that Zionism is a moral mistake, since Zionism has many Marxist credentials.

  38. Taxi
    May 8, 2013, 3:28 pm

    Be still my heart, I hear the faint approach of an avalanche.

    • seafoid
      May 8, 2013, 4:19 pm

      I was thinking the same. Momentum . Fairuz fil uds. It might just happen.

  39. Sassan
    May 8, 2013, 3:34 pm

    I love you Dr. Hawking. I am one of your biggest admirers. But you have lost some respect from those of us who value reason. You caved in to the same Palestinian Islamofascists who would love to have you executed for being an atheist.

    • Shmuel
      May 8, 2013, 3:56 pm

      Nice to see you worked that cognitive dissonance thing out, Sassan. Dr. Hawking unreasonably caved in to the “Palestinian Islamofascists who would love to have [him] executed for being an atheist”, and all’s well with the world. So simple. So neat. So eminently logical.

      • tree
        May 8, 2013, 4:08 pm

        Shmuel, you’re slipping. You forgot rationalization #6. “He was threatened by Palestinian Islamofascists.”

        Thankfully, Sassan has corrected your oversight, and in record time.

        BTW, its a pleasure to “see” you back here.

      • Shmuel
        May 8, 2013, 4:15 pm

        Thanks, tree. I guess I haven’t got my sea legs back yet. Good thing Sassan is so forthcoming ;-)

      • James North
        May 9, 2013, 11:23 am

        Shmuel: I’ll be in Rome on my honeymoon in late June. Will you be there?

      • Shmuel
        May 9, 2013, 11:31 am

        Congratulations, James! Yes, I’ll be here.

      • James North
        May 9, 2013, 12:18 pm

        Great! I’ll be in touch. Maybe we can catch a demonstration together.

      • Shmuel
        May 9, 2013, 12:53 pm

        I would be my pleasure, James. Of course man does not live by demonstrations alone ;-)

      • Annie Robbins
        May 9, 2013, 4:39 pm

        nice to see you james, you’ve been missed around here. congratulations on your honeymoon, and what generally comes before it too.

      • Shingo
        May 8, 2013, 7:09 pm

        Nice to see you worked that cognitive dissonance thing out, Sassan.

        What does one expect from someone who think that liberating the Iranian people begins with bombing them.

    • Taxi
      May 8, 2013, 3:58 pm

      Clearly you love Apartheid more than you love “Dr. Hawking”.

      • Shingo
        May 8, 2013, 7:10 pm

        So is his love of the Shah and the MEK.

    • tree
      May 8, 2013, 4:03 pm

      Sassan, one sign of an intelligent man or woman is the ability to question oneself and one’s beliefs. It appears from your comments here that it is a quality you find difficult to possess. Try it. Its so much more enlightening than the puerile rationalization you just posted.

    • Shingo
      May 8, 2013, 7:08 pm

      But you have lost some respect from those of us who value reason.

      Sassan consider mas murder, ethnic cleaning and apartheid to be reasonable.

      As an admirer of the Shah, he also considers mass torture and incarceration political opposition to be reasonable.

      As an supporter of the MEK , he also considers setting fire to yourself to be reasonable.

      • Sassan
        May 9, 2013, 10:18 am

        MODS, I think his slanderous accusations of him calling me a supporter of MEK must be addressed. I have never supported that Islamist-Marxist organization and in no way support them. His repeated parroting of slanders against me are ridiculous.

    • eljay
      May 8, 2013, 9:16 pm

      >> I love you Dr. Hawking. I am one of your biggest admirers. But you have lost some respect from those of us who value reason.

      A guy who suggests that opposing oppression, colonialism, expansionism and supremacism – among other immoral and unjust things – is the wrong thing to do, suddenly numbers himself among people “who value reason”. Funny stuff.

      The world needs more people like Mr. Hawking, and far fewer supremacism-excusing reason-valuers like Sassan.

      • Shingo
        May 9, 2013, 8:46 am

        Sassan seems to pop up at the most interesting occasions. I suspect he got a message from his friends at MEK central to get on over here to give Miriam a hand.

    • MK_Ultra
      May 8, 2013, 9:22 pm

      Thank Ford you value reason. I’d hate to see it if you didn’t.

  40. Pamela Olson
    May 8, 2013, 4:06 pm

    It’s funny how every time there’s a successful boycott or divestment initiative, the higher-ups immediately start in with, “Oh, it’s just a coincidence that we’re divesting from these companies (or whatever), nothing to do with Israel!”

    A transparent placating lie. No one is fooled.

    • hophmi
      May 8, 2013, 4:11 pm

      ““Oh, it’s just a coincidence that we’re divesting from these companies (or whatever), nothing to do with Israel!”

      Oh come on, Pamela. There was legitimate confusion over this because Cambridge U issues a statement denying it. You’re in no position to say things like this, given the tendency of your side to latch on to literally anything that looks like it’s anti-Israel without solid proof. No one in my neck of woods suggested it was a false story until Cambridge issued the statement denying Hawking endorsed a boycott.

      • tree
        May 9, 2013, 3:28 am

        No one in my neck of woods suggested it was a false story until Cambridge issued the statement denying Hawking endorsed a boycott.

        You do realize that you just confirmed Pamela’s point with that statement of yours, right? Cambridge U ( you know, the “higher-ups” she was referring to), denied it had anything to do with BDS, without checking with Hawking.

      • Pamela Olson
        May 10, 2013, 12:39 am

        Busted! :D (Nice one, tree)

        Yeah, if this was a one-off event, that’s one thing. But it happens really hilariously sadly often. The people speak, and the institutions get embarrassed and try to pretend like there’s nothing to see here. It’s pathetic.

    • seafoid
      May 8, 2013, 5:56 pm

      The most dangerous aspect of this from the Israeli pov is the reaction of yossi israeli on social media. Some if it is vile. Perfectly normal in Hebrew but translates very badly in Galut. And it is worth several gay pride marches in terms of negative PR.

    • chrisrushlau
      May 8, 2013, 6:47 pm

      Your comment seems to have strayed from its intended site.
      But, speaking of Israel, it’s perhaps the most successful totalitarian state in history (defining “totalitarian” as claiming the right to not only own the bodies of the subjects but to dictate the laws of nature: legitimacy ex nihilo), in terms of mobilization of social resources, but…but that spells a bigger boom when it finds its doom, to paraphrase the NYT Magazine’s cover story this week. I think we’re finding that it’s a lot harder to leave the ghetto than just buying a station wagon. “You don’t know how hard it is for a Jew to talk about Israel.” But it’s hard for a WASP to unlearn the idea of global dominance, which is where Israel springs from in practical terms.

  41. gingershot
    May 8, 2013, 4:13 pm

    Israel is going nuts – they know this is ‘A Big One’ if not ‘The Big One’

    ‘Cut it out – you’re only making things worse with your condemnations of Hawkings’, say the official pros – but the Hasbara teams have their blood up for being suckered at the first clumsy attempts of their disinformation campaigns….

    ‘Stephen Hawking is now the academic boycott movement’s unlikely poster boy’

    ‘The more Hawking is condemned, the more severe the repercussions will be’

    “The decision of world-renowned astro-physicist Stephen Hawking to cancel his participation in the upcoming President Conference could be a breakthrough moment for the anti-Israel boycott movement.

    The recruitment of such a universally respected and admired international figure to the cause of BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) clearly overshadows other significant gains that boycott advocates have made recently with groups such as the Irish Teachers Union or the American Association for Asian Academic Studies.

    With Hawking, the Palestinian-inspired BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement now has a powerful symbol and an unlikely poster boy at its disposal in its increasingly successful drive.”

    from Haaretz…

  42. hophmi
    May 8, 2013, 4:22 pm

    There’s no need to declare Palestinians Islamofascists, Sassan.

    Nevertheless, the boycott is bigoted in application, if not in intent. Israel is the world’s only Jewish state. There are states that do plenty of business with Great Britain with worse human rights records, include states Hawking has spoken in, such as China.

    There is little question that if Israel were a country of 1 billion rather than a few million, no one would consider boycotting it.

    • Shmuel
      May 9, 2013, 1:59 am

      Israel is the world’s only Jewish state…. There is little question that if Israel were a country of 1 billion rather than a few million, no one would consider boycotting it.

      So what is it, Hophmi? Anti-Semitism or the fact that in Israel’s case a boycott might actually have an impact?

      Naomi Klein:

      3. Why single out Israel when the United States, Britain and other Western countries do the same things in Iraq and Afghanistan?

      Boycott is not a dogma; it is a tactic. The reason the BDS strategy should be tried against Israel is practical: in a country so small and trade-dependent, it could actually work.

      • miriam6
        May 9, 2013, 3:13 am

        Shmuel, what a repellent argument you and Naomi Klein propose:

        What the above statements’ amount to is this:

        ” In other words, a sanction-backed boycott against Israel is a fight that we can win. This is not a principled defence of Palestinian self-determination, let alone an assertion of anti-imperialism; it’s a search for the most viable arena for personal vainglory.”

        see link:
        link to spiked-online.com

        Ultimately Shmuel, if you are seeking sanctions against Israel you must involve nation states and the leaders of those Western nation states.

        The same militaristic nations who made war on Iraq and Afghanistan.

        What sort of progressive political sense do you imagine it makes to furnish Western politicians , those that presumably you and Klein ALREADY recognise as responsible for the arbitrary disastrous military adventurism in Afghanistan and Iraq – with a cause and purpose in demonizing Israel that can only enable them to have even greater arbitrary power?

        Shmuel, certainly you can be said to be a fanatical opponent of the state of Israel.

        But you are no left-wing progressive.

        Far from it.

        What you propose is in fact deeply conservative and reactionary.

        ***********************************************************
        ***********************************************************
        “Sanctions did not liberate South Africa”

        “And whatever the vainglorious campaigners against Israel say, boycotts and sanctions won’t liberate Palestinians either.”

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

        “The nostalgic recollection of anti-apartheid sanctions and boycotts is not just a delusion. It serves a purpose. By associating the action of foreign states, not to mention consumers, with the end of racial oppression in South Africa, the fantasies of the anti-apartheid activists place potential action against Israel in a specious tradition of state-sponsored anti-imperialism. In this sense, economic sanctions, far from being an arbitrary exercise of Western power, are instead legitimised as the exercise of a moral imperative. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, given their desperate search for the good fight, many British politicians have been growing extremely enthusiastic about the possibility of sanctions against Israel. Former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell argues that if any other country had behaved as Israel had, economic sanctions would have already been imposed; and former foreign office minister Chris Mullin has urged the British government to start talking to the European Union about sanctions (4). – ( this was in January 2009 )

        While it’s understandable that elected representatives of the British state might enjoy the role of international adjudicators, why would a left-wing activist like Naomi Klein seek to encourage it? Indeed, why, when British and American states are seen as the principal enemies in the eyes of those opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, would the same people seek the support of these states in opposition to Israel? For Klein the answer is unashamed pragmatism: ‘In [Israel], a country so small and trade-dependent, it could actually work’, she says (5). In other words, a sanction-backed boycott against Israel is a fight that we can win. This is not a principled defence of Palestinian self-determination, let alone an assertion of anti-imperialism; it’s a search for the most viable arena for personal vainglory.

        And this is the real aspect that today’s anti-Israel lobby shares with the Anti-Apartheid Movement. They are both born of narcissism, an inability, as the social theorist Christopher Lasch defined it, to distinguish the self from the external world. Instead, the world appears as little more than a mirror of the self. Be it a conflict in the Middle East, or an anti-colonial struggle in Africa, both are experienced in terms of the self, and its frustrated desire for meaning and purpose. Little wonder that the ultimate horizon of such narcissistic solidarity with spectacles of suffering is the boycott, as if the act of individual consumption contained within it the potential for world revolution. Do we really want to turn Palestinians into the pet victims of Western liberals, in the same way that the Anti-Apartheid Movement did with black South Africans 20 years ago?”

        link to spiked-online.com
        Tim Black is senior writer at spiked.

        link to spiked-online.com

      • Shmuel
        May 9, 2013, 3:26 am

        In other words, a sanction-backed boycott against Israel is a fight that we can win. This is not a principled defence of Palestinian self-determination, let alone an assertion of anti-imperialism; it’s a search for the most viable arena for personal vainglory.

        You figured me out, Miriam. I thought to myself, where’s there an easy “human rights” battle I can win so I can get me some personal vainglory? And the obvious answer was staring me right in the face: why the Israeli-Palestinian conflict of course!

        OK Phil, Miriam’s got our number. Time to move on.

        whatever the vainglorious campaigners against Israel say, boycotts and sanctions won’t liberate Palestinians either.

        So you mean it won’t be as easy as we thought? Definitely time to move on.

      • Shingo
        May 9, 2013, 5:11 am

        Shmuel, what a repellent argument you and Naomi Klein propose:

        I can see how it would be repellent to right wing Zionsits and champions of ethnic cleansing, apartheid, mass mureder and land theft. When your arguments are repellent, anything opposing them must seem extreme.

        Ultimately Shmuel, if you are seeking sanctions against Israel you must involve nation states and the leaders of those Western nation states.

        What law or requirement does hat satisfy Miriam? Aren’t you just setting arbitrary pre conditions so that you can criticise the movement for being anything less than 100% credible or morally pure?

        This is truly mind boggling. After all while Israel continues to expand settlements, ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their land, kill them at a rate of one every 2 days and generally make the lives of Palestinians absolutely unbearable, yet apologists of these war crimes insist that only a morally prefect and unquestionable response is allowed in order to countenance Israel’s crimes against humanity.
        AS for Tim Black’s thesis, it simply doesn’t hold water.

        Having provided financial and military support for the ANC’s insurgency efforts, the USSR’s disintegration left President de Klerk and his Pretoria government facing a far less threatening political movement.

        Can anyone spot the elephant in the room here? If it were at all true that the political movement is what kept apartheid in place, then how does Black explain apartheid being introduced in the first place – when there was no political movement? It wasn’t a political movement that motivated apartheid, it was racism. Black argues that the collapse of the Soviet Union freed Apartheid South Africa from racism and bigotry, but if one were to follow Black’s logic, that fear of the anti apartheid political movement kept apartheid in place, surely then the absence of it would have given them nothing to fear by maintaining apartheid.

        The truth is that apartheid was brought down by a number of factors, not least of which was simmense economic pressure to end apartheid. Banks and investment firms withdrew from South Africa, indicating that they would not invest in the country until its institutionalized racism came to an end. Many churches also applied pressure. Combined with violent demonstrations from within and a mass organization of angry South Africans, these factors doomed apartheid, and repeals to apartheid laws started to occur in 1990; four years later.

        The fact is Miriam, your opposition to sanctions are morally repugnant no matter what your position. Either you fear they will be effective, which means that you are a supporter of Israel’s human rights abuses, violations for international law and apartheid, Or you fear that Israel is too far gone to be reasoned with and that you would rather Israel be allowed to continue committing war and human rights abuses than have to be held accountable for their actions.

      • justicewillprevail
        May 9, 2013, 5:11 am

        So you can copy and paste from spiked online, a right-wing libertarian journal run by the former editors of Living Marxism, a journal which folded when they lost their case trying to defend Serbian nationalists against accusations of war crimes. Well done. Perhaps you have some ideas of your own, which don’t involve lengthy quotes from such crackpot sites, with blatant biases. And don’t involve screaming down people who have posted arguments you fail to understand.

      • Cliff
        May 9, 2013, 5:21 am

        LOL

        Miriam is blowing her gasket too early.

        She’s not going to last on MW.

        If you’re a Zionist troll, you need to pace yourself here so you don’t have a heart attack.

      • NickJOCW
        May 9, 2013, 7:50 am

        Miriam, The treatment Israel meets out to Palestinians and others disturbs an increasing number. Sanctions are a modern version of the timeless practice of ostracism. States are inanimate entities and if they come to support sanctions against Israel will be because they are democracies responding to the wishes of their citizens just as some commercial and other entities respond to their customers and members. Meanwhile, individuals, like Hawking, are free surely to demur at behavior they personally find offensive.

      • chrisrushlau
        May 9, 2013, 7:51 am

        Israel is perhaps the most successful totalitarian state in history, in terms of mobilization of social resources for an irrational objective. Your use of the term “repellant” is repellant, as is your citation of the “reality is in your head” fallacy. Israel celebrates what England only allowed itself to get away with by assiduous inattention in its imperial policies: racial prejudice, which is a subsitution of arbitrary and capricious standards for forensic procedures of state. A Jew in Israel has a thousand times better chance to get a building permit than a non-Jew. And in the US, why is it so hard to get any discussion of what “Jewish state” means? Because it doesn’t mean anything and we’re “people who want to know”. Israel reduces “Jew” to “supporter of Israel certified by Israel”. Israel is a perpetual motion machine, something that cannot exist, and its defenders defend an absence. Where is the improved security for Jews and Jewishness? In Palestine? In the US?
        To call the Israel movement a suicide cult draws a reasonable conclusion, but does not penetrate the culture of the movement. Suicide is a real-world goal, whereas the movement’s goal is to escape the real-world, by presenting a, what, Bob Dylan, perfect image of a priest, albeit in a temple of idolatry: where reality is in one’s head and God is a fool. And outside in the streets, people marvel at the priest’s anxiety. As a supporter of J Street said to me on the phone, “You don’t know how hard it is for a Jew to talk about Israel.” I should have told her, “That difficulty is painfully obvious.” But I don’t understand why it is so hard. There seems a, to note Chesterton’s analogy, tribal consciousness (“why don’t Jews wear sheets, live in tents, and ride camels?”) that, the more it is examined in empirical terms, the more it strives to turn over the tables and end the examination: something you can do as a state: which in fact defines a state: that which ends discussion when its own welfare is endangered. But what is the purpose of the Jewish state, or of Jewish identity? Is it not merely to proclaim, “I am a human, and so are you, and so are they?” What else is there to say? How can anyone pretend that that is a proprietary secret?
        Credo quia absurdeum est, I believe it because it is absurd, is the credo of a sycophant. That is the national character of the Jewish state in Palestine and in the US: nothing to do with Jewish history or philosophy: everything to do with the decaying English empire.

      • Shingo
        May 9, 2013, 8:18 am

        What an amazing post chrisrushlau,

        When you spoke to that supporter of J Street, you should have said:

        “You don’t know how hard it is for a non Jew to talk about Israel.”

      • hophmi
        May 9, 2013, 10:43 am

        “Israel is perhaps the most successful totalitarian state in history”

        LOL. In other news, chrisrushlau proclaimed North Korea the world’s most successful democracy.

        ” Israel celebrates what England only allowed itself to get away with by assiduous inattention in its imperial policies: racial prejudice,”

        Which is why it’s the region’s most racially and religiously diverse state with the region’s best record of protecting minorities.

        ” And in the US, why is it so hard to get any discussion of what “Jewish state” means?”

        It isn’t for the literate. Read a Jewish newspaper sometime. Heck, just learn to use Google already.

        “Because it doesn’t mean anything ”

        It generally means that it’s the only state in the world where most of the inhabitants are Jewish. There are Muslim and Christian states too. But dozens and dozens instead of one.

        ” Israel is a perpetual motion machine”

        24/6.

        “To call the Israel movement a suicide cult draws a reasonable conclusion, but does not penetrate the culture of the movement. Suicide is a real-world goal, whereas the movement’s goal is to escape the real-world, by presenting a, what, Bob Dylan, perfect image of a priest, albeit in a temple of idolatry: where reality is in one’s head and God is a fool. ”

        To call this hilarious hyperbole would be a reasonable conclusion. The culture of the movement is that it’s a state of refugees who wanted to escape persecution in Europe and the Arab world and did so through exercising their right to national self-determination.

        ” As a supporter of J Street said to me on the phone, ‘You don’t know how hard it is for a Jew to talk about Israel.'”

        As everyone else but this person said to me, you don’t how hard it is to escape discussing Israel in nearly every Jewish forum, and lots of non-Jewish ones as well.

        “But what is the purpose of the Jewish state, or of Jewish identity? Is it not merely to proclaim, ‘I am a human, and so are you, and so are they?'”

        The purpose of a Jewish state is to proclaim that Jews are human, like the French are human and like the Germans are human. The expression of human nationalism is a state. It is not a utopia. The Palestinians strive for a state for the same reason.

      • ritzl
        May 9, 2013, 11:09 am

        Ditto, Shingo.

      • Sumud
        May 9, 2013, 11:17 am

        “Israel is perhaps the most successful totalitarian state in history”

        LOL. In other news, chrisrushlau proclaimed North Korea the world’s most successful democracy.

        FYI hophmi – in partially quoting someone to make a point, it is you who presents as a jerk. The full quote:

        Israel is perhaps the most successful totalitarian state in history, in terms of mobilization of social resources for an irrational objective.

      • RoHa
        May 11, 2013, 12:47 am

        “The purpose of a Jewish state is to proclaim that Jews are human,”

        What nonsense is this? Being human does not require an ethnically based state. Being perceived as human does not require an ethnically based state.

        “like the French are human”

        The Position of the French is that all citizens of France are (a) French, and (b) human. This applies to French Jews as well.

        “The expression of human nationalism is a state.”

        Human nationalism is not the same thing as being human. And the Jews are not a nation.

    • Shingo
      May 9, 2013, 2:10 am

      Israel is the world’s only Jewish state.

      What relevance is it whether it’s a Jewish state or not, or whether it is one of many? Are you suggesting that being a Jewish state should make it immune from international law and give it a free pas to commit human rights violations?

      There is little question that if Israel were a country of 1 billion rather than a few million, no one would consider boycotting it.

      What do you mean no one?

      link to opinion.inquirer.net
      link to globalnation.inquirer.net

    • talknic
      May 9, 2013, 2:25 am

      hophmi

      ” the boycott is bigoted in application, if not in intent”

      Of course… if you ignore what the BDS movement is actually boycotting and why. If you ignore the fact that Israel is in breach of International Law, UN Charter Conventions and numerous UNSC resolutions. If you ignore what’s in the room and wade around oblivious, knee or deeper in elephant sh*te

      ” Israel is the world’s only Jewish state.”

      Irrelevant, it is an Occupying Power acting illegally in the territories it occupies.

      “There are states that do plenty of business with Great Britain with worse human rights records, include states Hawking has spoken in, such as China”

      Name one with UNSC resolutions against it for acting illegally outside of its Internationally recognized sovereign extent

      “There is little question that if Israel were a country of 1 billion rather than a few million, no one would consider boycotting it”

      Strange folk’re calling for boycotts on China link to google.ps

      • hophmi
        May 9, 2013, 10:49 am

        “If you ignore the fact that Israel is in breach of International Law, UN Charter Conventions and numerous UNSC resolutions. ”

        Lots of states are in violation of international law, a system that has been repeatedly and unfairly stacked against Israel, as any honest and rational observer, including many who are sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, will admit. You’re targeting only one.

        “Irrelevant, it is an Occupying Power acting illegally in the territories it occupies.”

        Your boycott of China starts when?

        “Name one with UNSC resolutions against it for acting illegally outside of its Internationally recognized sovereign extent”

        China.

        “Strange folk’re calling for boycotts on China”

        I don’t see you doing it. And I don’t see Jacobin magazine calling the China boycott movement “dynamic.”

      • Walker
        May 9, 2013, 1:18 pm

        hophmi, list one UNSC resolution that cites China for “acting illegally outside of its Internationally recognized sovereign extent”. One resolution, that is, that applies to the situation today.

        The UNSC resolutions citing Israel on just Israeli settlements in the occupied territories as a violation of the Geneva Convention include 446, 452, 465, etc, etc. These all apply to open issues.

    • Hostage
      May 9, 2013, 7:59 am

      the boycott is bigoted in application, if not in intent. Israel is the world’s only Jewish state.

      Israel is the homeland of millions of Palestinian people. I believe it’s much more accurate to say that your specious claim that it is a Jewish state is bigoted in both application and intent.

      • hophmi
        May 9, 2013, 10:50 am

        “Israel is the homeland of millions of Palestinian people.”

        That’s great. America is the homeland of millions of Native Americans. I don’t see you boycotting it.

      • Citizen
        May 9, 2013, 11:23 am

        @ hophmi
        Native American “Indians” comprised about 1% of US population. Palestinian non-Jews comprise about 20% of Israel’s population, if one only counts those behind the green line. Otherwise, considering all the land controlled by Israel, it’s about 50-50 Jews and Non-Jews. Further, Native Americans can go anywhere, anytime to anywhere in the USA. Non-Jews in Israel behind the green line, or in the Israeli OT–not so, of course.

      • Cliff
        May 9, 2013, 11:53 am

        Hoppie

        The destruction of the Native American majority is complete and over with and happened before any of us were born. Before our parents were born. Before their parents were born.

        Meanwhile you and your fellow Jewish colonists are destroying Palestine and stealing and colonizing Palestinian land IN REAL TIME.

        In the present.

        There is no comparison between America and Israel.

        Different time periods. One is history. The other, Israel, is current events.

      • hophmi
        May 9, 2013, 4:48 pm

        “The destruction of the Native American majority is complete and over with and happened before any of us were born.”

        So, Israel should just finish the job and wait a couple hundred years, and people will forget about it?

        “There is no comparison between America and Israel. ”

        You’re right. Anything Israel has done pales in comparison to the destruction of Native American culture and society and the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans.

      • Hostage
        May 9, 2013, 4:55 pm

        That’s great. America is the homeland of millions of Native Americans. I don’t see you boycotting it.

        I don’t have to. Every branch of our government has long-since affirmed the fact that the 14th Amendment and the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 provide Native Americans with constitutional guarantees of equal rights under the law. The USA does not boycott the Universal Periodic Review of its implementation of UN human rights conventions by the responsible UN treaty monitoring bodies. Israel does refuse to participate or to protect the fundamental human rights of Palestinians as required by the UN Charter and the other applicable international conventions.

        There is no way to establish a parastatal entity here, like the Jewish National Fund, in order to exclude Native Americans from owning property on the basis of their ethnicity or religion or to use racial covenants, like the State of Israel does, to prevent its gentile citizens from purchasing or owning property on the basis of their ethnicity.

        For example, 42 USC § 1982 – Property rights of citizens says:

        All citizens of the United States shall have the same right, in every State and Territory, as is enjoyed by white citizens thereof to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property.

        link to law.cornell.edu

        I’m reasonably certain you learned about that development at some point in your professional education as a lawyer.

        The Israeli parliament has scrupulously avoided adopting any laws or written constitution in order to deny gentiles equal rights under the law. Once again, see “MKs debate protection of ‘equality’ in future constitution” and tell us what has changed for the better in the meantime? link to haaretz.com

      • hophmi
        May 9, 2013, 5:00 pm

        “I don’t have to. Every branch of our government has long-since affirmed the fact that the 14th Amendment and the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 provide Native Americans with constitutional guarantees of equal rights under the law.”

        Kol Ha’Kavod. Native Americans living in poverty on reservations must be so pleased.

        “Israel does refuse to participate or to protect the fundamental human rights of Palestinians as required by the UN Charter and the other applicable international conventions. ”

        I think the UN’s HCR spends plenty of time on Israel.

        “There is no way to establish a parastatal entity here, like the Jewish National Fund, in order to exclude Native Americans from owning property on the basis of their ethnicity or religion or to use racial covenants, like the State of Israel does, to prevent its gentile citizens from purchasing or owning property on the basis of their ethnicity. ”

        Whoopdie doo. Instead, Americans live on stolen Native American land, and wonder why all of their towns have Indian sounding names. Wow, those people from Quogue sure don’t look Native American.

        “I’m reasonably certain you learned about that development at some point in your professional education as a lawyer. ”

        I’m reasonably certain that this argument is sophistry to avoid acknowledging that America’s history is far worse than Israel’s with regard to treatment of its indigenous population, because you can’t defend your refusal to boycott it on any logical basis.

      • Hostage
        May 9, 2013, 6:25 pm

        And, yes, I know: Saudi Arabia and Mali are worse.

        It’s a matter of record that Israel participated in the Universal Periodic Review of Saudi Arabia (see paragraph 27 on page 6 of 23) . When it came time for Israel to permit the Saudis to offer constructive criticism, Israel boycotted its own Universal Periodic Review.

        See Human rights orgs: Israeli obstruction of UN Human Rights Council shields Israel from accountability and undermines human rights link to mondoweiss.net

      • Citizen
        May 9, 2013, 6:48 pm

        @ Cliff
        Not to mention, since the end of the American Indian wars nearing the end of the 19th Century, we’ve had the first two world wars, and the international law built up between them and since then at the cost of all those deaths (amazingly, not all Jewish deaths), including the law first applied at Nuremberg, Toyko, and the Geneva conventions and their progeny during the 20th Century. Yes, we are in the 21st Century. Israel acts like we’re still in the 19th Century, which is really odd and ironical since the German state leaders hanged at Nuremberg were hung with ex post facto law. Israel has no such (vain) excuse for its conduct and policies.

      • Cliff
        May 9, 2013, 6:51 pm

        So, Israel should just finish the job and wait a couple hundred years, and people will forget about it?

        Not sure what your point is.

        America’s colonial project is over. Israel’s colonial project is on-going.

        We get it, you want people to do nothing. Not going to happen but you can whine til you’re blue in the face about Darfur, Sudan, Manifest Destiny, blah blah blah.

        Ain’t going to change a thing because normal people (not ethno-religious tribalists and nationalists) do not think the way you do (narrow-minded, racist, cruel, etc.).

      • Cliff
        May 9, 2013, 6:53 pm

        Whoopdie doo. Instead, Americans live on stolen Native American land, and wonder why all of their towns have Indian sounding names. Wow, those people from Quogue sure don’t look Native American.

        But hoppie, you’re an American apparently.

        But a Zionist Jew first and foremost.

        So you live on stolen Native American land and stolen Palestinian land.

        Hence you’re even more of a thief than the rest of us.

      • Cliff
        May 9, 2013, 6:57 pm

        Once again hoppie:

        Different time periods. One is history. The other, Israel, is current events.

        Zionist Jews can change the subject all they want, it won’t stop people from caring.

        We are not like you. We have empathy and do not judge the world based on whether X is ‘good for the Jews’.

      • Hostage
        May 9, 2013, 7:37 pm

        I’m reasonably certain that this argument is sophistry to avoid acknowledging that America’s history is far worse than Israel’s with regard to treatment of its indigenous population, because you can’t defend your refusal to boycott it on any logical basis.

        The aims of the BSD movement are to secure equal human rights. Israel formally denies legal equality to Palestinians. The US does nothing of the kind. So its your argument that amounts to illogical sophistry.

        I think the UN’s HCR spends plenty of time on Israel. . . . Whoopdie doo. Instead, Americans live on stolen Native American land, and wonder why all of their towns have Indian sounding names. Wow, those people from Quogue sure don’t look Native American.

        The US is not boycotting the Universal Periodic Review process like your Israeli comrades. It has adopted laws, like the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975, The Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996 in response to its UN Charter and human rights treaty obligations.

        Even before it joined the UN, the USA ended hostilities and adopted laws regarding equal rights and the right to compensation. It established an Indian Claims Commission to facilitate the long-delayed claims process. By way of comparison, Israel has doubled down on its persecution of the Palestinians since joining the UN and adopted laws that facilitate even more expropriation and which deny compensation for damages inflicted by the IDF.

      • talknic
        May 9, 2013, 11:58 pm

        @hophmi

        “I think the UN’s HCR spends plenty of time on Israel. “

        UN High Commission for Refugees?

        The UNHRC spends time on Israel because Israel is in breach of its obligations. Simple really. You seem to think tho that if a pedophile won’t stop their pedophilia, they shouldn’t be bothered by the law if someone else is or once was a pedophile. Is that right?

        “this argument is sophistry to avoid acknowledging that America’s history is far worse than Israel’s “

        hophmi, is the USA still colonizing? Illegally settling? Illegally annexing non-US territory? Israel is!

      • Hostage
        May 10, 2013, 5:03 am

        Israel acts like we’re still in the 19th Century, which is really odd and ironical since the German state leaders hanged at Nuremberg were hung with ex post facto law.

        I’ve commented before that I don’t think it was a good example of imposing an ex-post facto law. The Hague Regulations of 1907 were originally promulgated as a codification of the preexisting laws and customs of war.

        The subsequent Treaty of Versailles was the first occasion where the international community of States declared its intention to hold individuals criminally responsible for wrongful acts committed during wars. See Articles 227 thru 230 link to wwi.lib.byu.edu

        The United States and other governments had put the Axis Powers on notice about their intention to hold individuals criminally responsible for massacres and wartime atrocities. See for example:
        *The Memorandum by the Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, of a Conversation With the German Ambassador (Luther), [WASHINGTON,] May 3, 1933 starting at the bottom of page 352 and continuing to page 354 of the FRUS. link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu
        * The Statement on Atrocities Signed by President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill and Premier Stalin. link to avalon.law.yale.edu

        There had already been examples of war crimes trials in individual state practice, i.e. the USA vs Champ Ferguson and Henry Wirz
        The ICRC commentary on Customary Rule 129 notes that the prohibition of the deportation or transfer of civilians goes back to Article 23 of the 19th century Lieber Code, which provided that:

        Private citizens are no longer murdered, enslaved, or carried off to distant parts, and the inoffensive individual is as little disturbed in his private relations as the commander of the hostile troops can afford to grant in the overruling demands of a vigorous war.

        That was also a statement about existing customary law that was written at the time of the US Civil War.
        link to redressright.org
        link to icrc.org
        When the Nuremberg Tribunal charged Hans Frank with mass deportation or forcible transfer of populations in violation of Article 6 of the Nuremberg Charter (i.e. “ill-treatment or deportation”) it also cited Article 46 of the 1907 Hague Regulations as compelling customary law that had been recognized by all civilized nations.

      • Citizen
        May 10, 2013, 7:50 am

        @ H0stage
        Thanks for the additional information. Very, very interesting.

      • Woody Tanaka
        May 10, 2013, 12:18 pm

        “You’re right. Anything Israel has done pales in comparison to the destruction of Native American culture and society and the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans.”

        Typical zionist genocide envy.

    • eljay
      May 9, 2013, 11:14 am

      >> Israel is the world’s only Jewish state.

      You say that as though it’s a good thing. As though it’s somehow just or moral for Jews to have what is, fundamentally, their own religion-supremacist state – a oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist state, founded by means terrorism and ethnic cleansing, and engaged in a 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder.

      Then again, that’s pretty much what one would expect from a Zio-supremacist.

      (Yes, yes, I know: Saudi Arabia and Mali are worse. It’s always nice to see Zio-supremacists striving to adhere to just slightly more than the lowest possible moral standards.)

      • Citizen
        May 9, 2013, 11:26 am

        @ eljay
        For Americans, the most significant thing is that Israel’s jews are heavilly financed by US taxpayers. Big time. Go to IfAmericansOnlyKnew for an update on what these Israeli jews are costing Dick and Jane, in so many ways: link to ifamericansknew.org

    • kalithea
      May 9, 2013, 5:58 pm

      “Israel is the world’s only Jewish state.”

      Badge of dishonor.

    • American
      May 9, 2013, 7:39 pm

      “Nevertheless, the boycott is bigoted in application, if not in intent. Israel is the world’s only Jewish state. There are states that do plenty of business with Great Britain with worse human rights records, include states Hawking has spoken in, such as China.

      There is little question that if Israel were a country of 1 billion rather than a few million, no one would consider boycotting it”…..hoppie

      LOL….if Israel wasn’t Jewish the US would have already blown it up as a threat to the ‘stability of the ME.
      That might still happen.

  43. anthonybellchambers
    May 8, 2013, 4:23 pm

    Why is it left to an eminent scientist to draw attention to the violations committed by Israel on a virtually daily basis?

    Why does the British government condemn without reservation the illegal settlements in the occupied Arab territories and yet continues to accept the status quo and trade with he Israeli state?

    Why does the EU continue to trade with Israel notwithstanding the blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions on Human Rights?

    Why does the international community accept the Israeli state-sponsored assassinations in Lebanon, Gaza, Dubai, Iran and in international waters?

    Why does the EU not abrogate the Association Agreement with Israel when that state is in clear breach of its human rights provisions?

    Why does the world accept the trick of ‘nuclear ambiguity’ that has allowed Israel to covertly become the 4th most powerful nuclear weapons state in the world by refusing to sign the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty and by concealing its WMD from the IAEA of the UN?

    Why is the state of Israel uniquely allowed to consistently violate international law and to treat the United Nations with contempt?

    Why?

  44. Walker
    May 8, 2013, 4:41 pm

    The funniest aspect of this is that the conference Hawking has decided to boycott is not a scientific conference. It seems to be a hasbara fest. See the home page and schedule.

    Oops!

  45. DICKERSON3870
    May 8, 2013, 4:43 pm

    The Guardian’s poll on the matter earlier today showed 70% of readers supported Stephen Hawking’s decision. Since then that number has been declining due to Israeli-paid PR people. I think the poll is important – so please vote if you haven’t already. – link to guardian.co.uk

    • amigo
      May 9, 2013, 8:07 am

      Dickerson, I just voted and the count was 69 yeahs.

      It is 1 pm GMT Thursday so it looks as if the Hasbarats are not gaining any ground.

  46. gingershot
    May 8, 2013, 4:44 pm

    Boo hoo – Isabel Kershner of NYTimes just called me ‘anti-Israeli’ instead of ‘anti-Apartheid’

    “The academic and cultural boycott, organized by international activists to protest Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians, is a heated and contentious issue; having Dr. Hawking join it is likely to help the anti-Israel campaigners significantly.

    “Never has a scientist of this stature boycotted Israel,” said Yigal Palmor, the spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

    I knew there would just have to be a little bit of venom coming out of Isabel over this – I mean, after all, she just couldn’t LIE about the whole thing. I’m sure she feels a little calmer now that she’s gotten her little bit of ‘payback’.

    These guys are sick. She HAD to do that – as in ‘compulsive’

    • Sumud
      May 9, 2013, 10:06 am

      i read that article gingershot it was pick up by Fairfax papers in Australia:

      Israel rocked as Hawking joins boycott

      … and I also noticed she had written anti-Israel instead of anti-apartheid. The news is so overwhelmingly bad for Israel it must have pained her to write it, and that’s her one little petty dig.

  47. justicewillprevail
    May 8, 2013, 6:37 pm

    Hilarious to see Hasbara Central going into full scale panic. What can we get this guy on? OK:

    He’s ill, can’t fly
    He’s a rubbish scientist, some other physicist once disagreed with him
    He should not be allowed to use his computer, because every computer is made in Israel, and Intel is in fact a small Israeli startup, and not a global company. Only Israeli sycophants and supporters of zionist occupation are allowed to use computers.
    He is not a brilliant scientist but a weak individual who does not know his own mind, and is easily swayed by some emails from those nasty Palestinians (who shouldn’t be allowed to use computers either – note to IDF)

    Er, that’s it. Can we say he is a terrorist sympathising left wing marxist anti-semitic fascist fashion following pinko decadent arab lover? Let’s get Dersh on the case, he’ll think of something legal to threaten him with. Can we get him on black holes, or any other racist innuendo? Does his history of the universe libellously exclude the founding of Israel just after the Big Bang?

  48. biorabbi
    May 8, 2013, 7:13 pm

    From reading the comments and updates and other news sites, I still don’t understand what the hell happened. Last I checked, motor neuron disease does not turn a genius into a human, Rorschach test for either BDS or zionism. Fortunately(or unfortunately depending on your point of view)ALS does not typically impact cognition.

    At any rate, no matter his views on BDS, I love Professor Hawking, but I’ll never forgive Elvis Costello or Pink Floyd. The magnificent talent of Justin Bieber would not relent to BDS(or Madona) or Bobby Brown =)

    • Cliff
      May 9, 2013, 5:19 am

      A young pop star, 16 years old?, like Beiber could care less about being truly controversial (rethinking political culture of good vs. bad).

      Who gives a **** if he plays for the apartheid Israeli State?

      Ditto for a Zionist like Madonna.

      And it’s disgusting of you to bring up Hawking’s ailments as some sort of genetic ‘anti-Israel’ disorder.

      Then again, being a crazy Zionist, racist Jew, who lives in a bubble it’s unsurprising.

      • kalithea
        May 9, 2013, 1:13 pm

        Hear-hear!

    • kalithea
      May 9, 2013, 1:22 pm

      Bobby Brown? lolololol…keep him!
      Pathetic ridicule of Stephen Hawking. Contemptible ignorance.

  49. MK_Ultra
    May 8, 2013, 9:20 pm

    The Hasbara machine is at it already, spreading mis/disinformation and claiming that he pulled out for health reasons. Apparently, even the rabid mad Zionists realize that it would not be wise to accuse Steven Hawking of “anti-semitism™” given his standing and the strong support he enjoys in the international community. I have to confess that I was rather looking forward to them spreading poo poo all over their own faces with that one but the stupidest and cockiest of Zionists have a moment and sanity and I guess they decided to spread lies instead of attacking a revered icon such as Hawking. Kinda disappointing.

    • kalithea
      May 9, 2013, 1:06 pm

      “I have to confess that I was rather looking forward to them spreading poo poo all over their own faces with that one but the stupidest and cockiest of Zionists have a moment and sanity and I guess they decided to spread lies instead of attacking a revered icon such as Hawking.”

      Have you visited the Huffington Post’s article on Hawking’s decision? The comments reek with hate for Hawking.

  50. subconscious
    May 9, 2013, 12:42 am

    Apparently, the Palestinians haven’t completely boycotted the conference, as Munib Al-Masri, a member of the Palestine Legislative Council, aka the “Duke of Nablus” and the “Palestinian Rothschild,” is on the list of speakers:
    link to 2013.presidentconf.org.il
    There are several scientists on the list, including the American Nobel laureate in physiology Richard Axel. But I’d guess that Hawking would have been the best-known scientist to the general public. Among politicians on the list are Mikhail Gorbachev, former president of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo, and the monarch of Monaco. Most likely Al-Masri and Gorbachev will advocate for the two-state solution, but I don’t know what the others will be saying.

    • Cliff
      May 9, 2013, 5:20 am

      Wealthy elites are wealthy elites.

      See French Algeria.

      But thanks for the diversion.

    • Sumud
      May 9, 2013, 10:24 am

      Most likely Al-Masri and Gorbachev will advocate for the two-state solution, but I don’t know what the others will be saying.

      “Where’s my fee?”

  51. Taxi
    May 9, 2013, 3:02 am

    How did Obama react to Hawking’s boycott of israel? Surely someone in the bubble would have told him by now.

    Here’s Obama on Hawking back in 2009:

    • kalithea
      May 9, 2013, 12:12 pm

      Obama’ll probably throw him under the bus for political expediency. It won’t be the first time he does that to someone he pretends to admire.

    • NickJOCW
      May 9, 2013, 2:14 pm

      I imagine it’s exactly what Obama hopes for; potent international forces mustering against Israel while his hands stay clean. After all, it’s only Israel’s security he is pledged to protect, not their political, social, cultural, or economic standing.

  52. Mayhem
    May 9, 2013, 9:34 am

    Now that the pro-Palestinian aficionados have managed to persuade Stephen Hawking to stay away they can start working on the other 5000 who will still be attending in record numbers.

    • kalithea
      May 9, 2013, 12:10 pm

      It takes one voice to change a room, to change the world; especially a voice with such gravitas.

      Time is your enemy.

    • hophmi
      May 9, 2013, 12:26 pm

      Yeah, it should throw things in the relief when you realize that both Bill Clinton and Tony Blair are attending, even if Hawking isn’t.

      • Danaa
        May 9, 2013, 1:06 pm

        hophmi, a conference attended by someone as discredited as the sniveling Blair (who makes the giant snails about to invade Texas cuddly cuties by comparison), is definitely not one Hawking should be seen in. Everything has a limit – even hasbara-fests.

        As to Clinton, well, like Blair, he sure goes to where the money is, but has a better knack for papering over the slime, so it’s not quite as visible.

      • hophmi
        May 9, 2013, 4:49 pm

        “hophmi, a conference attended by someone as discredited as the sniveling Blair ”

        Yes, yes. With opinions like this, you can be sure BDS will make the mainstream. Blair is a world leader. So is Clinton. You’ll never be anything more than a fringe as long as they show up.

      • lysias
        May 9, 2013, 5:04 pm

        On British Web sites, they call him “Bliar”.

      • Cliff
        May 9, 2013, 6:55 pm

        Blair and Clinton are real life trolls and the world doesn’t revolve around Zionist Jewry and the US.

        Without the US military or the UK military, neither of these celebrities matter.

      • Sumud
        May 10, 2013, 3:42 am

        On British Web sites, they call him “Bliar”.

        And when he published his memoir Brits were moving them en-masse in book stores to the CRIMES section.

        The man is a toad.

      • Dutch
        May 10, 2013, 9:31 am

        In november 2009 the Chilcot Commission took off on the fifth British inquiry about the Iraq War. Within the next months the commission will report on its findings. Things don’t look good for Teflon Tony.

      • Sumud
        May 9, 2013, 1:11 pm

        Yeah, it should throw things in the relief when you realize that both Bill Clinton and Tony Blair are attending, even if Hawking isn’t.

        Do you mean Bill Clinton during whose presidency US-led UN sanctions killed more than 500,000 Iraqi children in the 1990s?

        And do you mean international war criminal Tony Blair who took the UK to war in Iraq in 2003 all the while knowing there were no WMD, who remains unrepentant to this day, and who cannot make a public appearance in Britain without it being protested?

        It certainly does “throw things in the relief “, the company Israel keeps, and who zionists admire.

      • Walker
        May 9, 2013, 1:19 pm

        It sure does, but not in a way that flatters the conference.

      • justicewillprevail
        May 9, 2013, 1:27 pm

        Yep, two bare-faced liars and professional liggers v a respected scientist with no vested interests to feed. Throws things in relief alright. Your’re boasting about it? lol

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        May 9, 2013, 1:46 pm

        Two men who never met an Israeli war crime they didn’t like.

        Entirely fitting that they should lend their smarmy presence to this hasbara fest.

      • Hostage
        May 9, 2013, 6:50 pm

        Yeah, it should throw things in the relief when you realize that both Bill Clinton and Tony Blair are attending, even if Hawking isn’t.

        Both men are avoiding travel to other countries that want to interrogate them over possible war crimes or crimes of aggression. You may have forgotten Clinton’s illegal bombing of the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Sudan and the Clinton era policy of extraordinary renditions, but the rest of the world has not.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      May 9, 2013, 12:38 pm

      Yup – among them such renowned heavyweights in the world of science as Barbra Streisand and the philandering Prince of Monaco.

    • Shingo
      May 9, 2013, 5:42 pm

      5000 who will still be attending in record numbers.

      4950 of which will be local right wing Zionists? Too funny.

    • Hostage
      May 9, 2013, 6:39 pm

      Now that the pro-Palestinian aficionados have managed to persuade Stephen Hawking to stay away they can start working on the other 5000 who will still be attending in record numbers.

      Thousands of attendees won’t mean that much, now that Hawking and thousands of others have labeled Israel’s policies a disaster in the making.

      Maybe some Zionist aficionado will stoke your ego with a documentary of the extravaganza along the lines of Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will?

  53. kalithea
    May 9, 2013, 12:06 pm

    The Zionist hasbara are going berserk and twisting with rage against Stephen Hawking’s moral stance on Israeli Apartheid. When hasbara come out in droves you know they’re worried. There is no low they won’t stoop to in defense of their precious Zionism. Their smear campaign against a much-lauded and respected scientist who understands the meaning of suffering is beyond pitiful.

    It’s actually amusing watching them make utter fools of themselves. They’re digging themselves into a deep hole and I love it! This is priceless! Thank you Stephen Hawking!

  54. lysias
    May 9, 2013, 5:49 pm

    Like almost everything Glenn Greenwald writes, his take on the Hawking story is well worth reading.

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