#Tomorrow13 Physicist Hawking joins BDSers, pulls out of President's Conferencepulled out of the Presidential Conference, to be held in Jerusalem next month (yes, I hope to attend, God willing), as a protest against Israel's treatment of the 'Palestinians.'
Hawking, that chose not to announce his decision to pull out of the conference publicly, wrote a letter to Peres telling the president he decided "to respect the boycott, based upon his knowledge of Palestine, and on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there," the Guardian reported.
Hawking's participation in the conference was announced in early April, and since then he has received messages from the UK and abroad urging him to cancel his appearance as an act of support for the academic boycott that is a part of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel.
The Guardian reports Hawking decided to heed the advice of his Palestinian colleagues who agreed he should not attend the Jerusalem event.
Hawking, the head of the Practical Mathematics and Physics Department of Cambridge University, suffers from ALS disease, which has shut down movement in his entire body but not affected his mental fitness.
Hawking’s last visit to Israel took place in 2006, when he was invited by the British Embassy to tour Israel and the Palestinian territories as well as meet with local scientists and academics. 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, Hawking changed his attitude towards Israel, denouncing the 2009 Operation Cast Lead, and saying Israel's reaction to the rocket fire from Gaza was "out of proportions."The following is from a statement from conference organizers that I received by email.
As you know, world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking joined the academic boycott of Israel and pulled out of the Israeli Presidential Conference: Facing Tomorrow 2013, under the auspices of Israeli President Shimon Peres, “in protest of Israel's treatment of Palestinians.” The event – the fifth annual conference - is scheduled for June 18-20, 2013 in Jerusalem.Streisand owes us a visit....
Israeli Presidential Conference Chairman Israel Maimon responded to Hawking’s announcement saying that his decision was unjustifiable and wrong:
“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. 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.”Israel Maimon also noted that this year’s conference will be attended by 5,000 people from around the world, among them dozens of speakers that represent the best minds from across the globe: excutives of major global technology companies, academics, Nobel laureates, artists and past and present heads of state including former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who will receive the President’s award from President Shimon Peres, former President of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev,former British PM Tony Blair, Prince Albert of Monaco, Barbra Streisand and many others."
The blatant hypocrisy in pulling out of this conference (run by Shimon Peres! Mr. Peace Process!) is breath-taking, and shows the rank hatred for Jews and Israel that motivates the BDS'ers.