Another landmark: ‘Boston Globe’ honors Hawking’s boycott as nonviolent effort to pressure Israel

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Friends have been passing around the amazing editorial in The Boston Globe expressing “respect” for Stephen Hawking’s decision to boycott an Israeli conference and honoring the BDS movement. Here’s the editorial:

When the esteemed physicist Stephen Hawking announced his decision to boycott Israel’s Presidential Conference, a gathering of politicians, scholars, and other high-profile figures scheduled for June, the response was as predictable as the movement of the cosmos that inspired Hawking’s career. The conference chair, Israel Maimon, called the move “outrageous and improper,” while Omar Barghouti, a founder of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement that advocates protests against Israeli policies, declared, “Palestinians deeply appreciate Stephen Hawking’s support.”

In fact, the decision to withdraw from a conference is a reasonable way to express one’s political views. Observers need not agree with Hawking’s position in order to understand and even respect his choice. The movement that Hawking has signed on to aims to place pressure on Israel through peaceful means. In the context of a Mideast conflict that has caused so much destruction and cost so many lives, nonviolence is something to be encouraged. That is equally true of attempts to inspire cooperation on the Palestinian side.

Chances for a peaceful solution in Israel and Palestine are remote enough without overreactions like Maimon’s. Foreclosing nonviolent avenues to give people a political voice — and maybe bring about an eventual resolution — only makes what is already difficult that much more challenging.

The editorial  is especially noteworthy for its endorsement of the BDS movement as a nonviolent means of pressuring Israel and of giving “people a political voice”– just ten years after former Harvard President Lawrence Summers smeared a similar effort as anti-Semitic in effect if not intent. The Globe is obviously concerned about Palestinians living under occupation; and its editorial is another big moment in the mainstream discussion, and follows on Ben Ehrenreich’s surprising/stirring defense of Palestinian resistance in the New York Times Magazine in March.

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Hawkings should not have gotten involved in this.

Much has been made here and elsewhere concerning how Israel does not make or design the Intel Core I7 supposedly inside of Hawking’s communication device. Here’s a smoking gun where it’s clearly made and designed in Oregon and note the comment by the engineer that not only is the I7 designed in Oregon but also pretty much all of Intel’s research and manufacturing process is in Oregon, too. (at 0:30 in).

This is a major change. With the NY Times corp owning the Boston Globe one would not have thought that the editors would not have been given that much freedom. What does this mean? The explanation I prefer is that the lobby has suddenly lost much of its influence. Maybe it was one very courageous editor that is nearing retirement and wants to do the right thing as he leaves. Another factor, is that advertising… Read more »

When [and why] nonviolent adds are ‘biased,’ ‘misleading’, ‘fundamentally anti-israel’ and of course… … ‘anti-semetic.’

“The truth should burn in hell” – Babe Foxman

Does the NYT still own the Globe? ( Yes, I see)

This is encouraging given the multi front pushback attacking Hawking.

Faster, Please.