Note: It seems as though Hawking has boycotted Israel after all (read updates at end of post). But I am leaving post title and initial thoughts instead of scrubbing the post entirely. After all, maybe there will be a retraction of the retraction of the initial retraction.
Well done to the BDSHoles for managing to conjure up a BDS fail out of thin air.
Earlier today, The Guardian reported that Professor Stephen Hawking had backed the academic boycott of Israel by pulling out of Shimon Peres’ Presidential conference as a protest over Israel’s treatment of palestinians. According to the report:
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”.
This triggered much disappointment over Hawking’s stance, including this statement from Israeli Presidential Conference Chairman Israel Maimon..
“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.”
As well as this excellent satirical piece (excerpted):
The eminent physicist and professor Stephen Hawking announced his decision to boycott particular theories of physics, it has been reported.
In keeping with the academic boycott, Mr. Hawking will also abstain from using particular breakthroughs in theoretical physics, such as the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae, experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulating individual quantum systems, and the formulation of black holes entropy, since the scientists responsible for these innovations may be Zionists.
Perhaps my favorite comment came from Stephen Leavitt from Jewish Press, who said:
Maybe Hawking just prefers the innovations and gifts the Palestinians have brought to the world… big bangs
It also did not escape the attention of some that he would be boycotting a company working on his cure.
As it turns out, the
righteous rightful indignation may have been premature. As The Commentator discovered:
New details about the cancellation of Professor Stephen Hawking’s trip to Israel have emerged today after numerous news reports claiming that Prof. Hawking had chosen to boycott the State of Israel.
The Guardian, which broke the story late last night, claimed that Hawking was due to boycott Israel after receiving an erroneous statement from the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP), apparently with Hawking’s approval.
The statement said that the move was “his independent decision to respect the boycott, based upon his knowledge of Palestine, and on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there”.
However, a Cambridge university spokesperson has confirmed to The Commentator that there was a “misunderstanding” this past weekend, and that Prof. Hawking had pulled out of the conference for medical reasons.
Responding to an e-mail including an open letter to Prof. Hawking, shared nearly 2000 times, a University spokesman said: “Professor Hawking will not be attending the conference in Israel in June for health reasons – his doctors have advised against him flying.”
When asked for further information, the spokesperson confirmed that the BRICUP organisation had “assumed” Hawking’s position on the matter, and that it was fundamentally untrue.
So there you have it. The BDSHoles not only lied, but also exploited Hawking’s illness. You don’t have to be Stephen Hawking to recognize the black hole that is their sense of morality.
Update: The thick plottens?
— Matthew Kalman (@MatthewKalman) May 8, 2013
Update: This now posted at the BRICUP site:
Update: It seems to be true after all.
Though original reports yesterday that Stephen Hawking cancelled his planned Israel trip in order to express support the academic boycott were (as we reported earlier today) flatly denied by Tim Holt, Acting Director of Communications at Cambridge and Hawking’s spokesperson, Holt recently informed us via an email of the following new statement just released by the University:
“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.”