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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

#Tomorrow13 Stephen Hawking retracts his retraction, but it's still a #BDSFail

Cambridge University is now confirming that Stephen Hawking is not coming to Israel because he was urged by 'Palestinian academics' not to do so. Hawking himself has also sent a letter to the President's Conference.
In a crazy twist of events, Professor Stephen Hawking retracted a retraction on Wednesday saying that support for an boycott of Israel was the real reason behind his decision to pull out of the fifth President's Conference in Jerusalem....
Earlier on Wednesday his spokesman at the University of Cambridge denied that support for an academic boycott of Israel was the catalyst and said that he withdrew on medical grounds.


"I have received a number of emails from Palestinian academics," Hawking said in the letter. "They are unanimous that I should respect the boycott. In view of this I must withdraw from the conference."
When this was put to his spokesman, he told the Post that he was unaware of this line in the letter and reaffirmed that medical reasons was the sole reason for cancelling. The spokesman said he would look into the letter.
Later on Wednesday, the University of Cambridge withdrew its original statement attributing it to health reasons and confirmed it was because of support for the call to boycott Israel. “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," a spokesman at the University of Cambridge said.
“We had understood previously that his decision was based purely on health grounds having been advised by doctors not to fly," the spokesman added.
You already know what I think of this from my previous posts. Hawking is just plain wrong. For a man who is supposed to be able to think for himself, he is certainly influenced by his anti-Israel environment.

Hawking has actually been to Israel four times, most recently in 2006. Here's a report on his last visit.

Let's go to the videotape.

Here's an interview that Hawking did during that trip with Yair Lapid (yes, that Yair Lapid). He talks about the 'peace process' around the 6:00 mark.

Let's go to the videotape.

But the BDS'ers are losing this one anyway.

Because Hawking is not coming to the conference, he will be at commencement in Cambridge on June 18. And there will be Israelis there (Hat Tip: Lance K).

On June 18, 2013 Cambridge will be awarding an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree, one of only four such awards, to Professor Ada Yonath, who is the Martin S. and Helen Kimmel Professor of Structural Biology and Director of the Helen and Milton A. Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structure and Assembly at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 2009.

I vaguely recall that Yonath is also a far Leftist. But one point of the anti-BDS campaign is that BDS paints with a broad brush, turning all Israelis into 'oppressors.' It's just plain wrong. So the fact that Cambridge will award a prize to an Israeli with Hawking there still makes this a #BDSFail moment.

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At 12:34 PM, Blogger shanen said...

maybe the professor will boycott Cambridge!!!


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