Stephen Hawking Boycotts Israeli Presidential Conference; Backlash Ensues

Image: Stephen Hawking Boycotts Israeli Presidential Conference; Backlash Ensues

Friday, 10 May 2013 09:03 AM

By Alexandra Ward

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Stephen Hawking has bowed out of the Israeli Presidential Conference next month, after Palestinian academics urged the world-renowned physicist to boycott the event in protest of Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory. His decision has incited vile backlash on Twitter.

Hawking, a professor at Britain's Cambridge University, had previously accepted an invitation to the high-profile conference to be held in Jerusalem in June.

Urgent: Is Obamacare Hurting Your Wallet? Vote in Poll

Though Cambridge University first said Hawking's decision not to attend was because of medical reasons — he's 71 and a quadriplegic — the school said Thursday he would not be attending out of respect for a Palestinian call to boycott contact with Israeli academics.

"A letter was sent on Friday to the Israeli president's office from Stephen Hawking regarding his decision not to attend the Presidential Conference, based on advice from Palestinian academics that he should respect the boycott," a Cambridge University spokesman told CNN.

Conference Chairman Israel Maimon said Hawking's decision is "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," Maimon told reporters, adding that Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Tony Blair plan to attend. "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."

The Israeli Presidential Conference, now in its fifth year, brings together statesmen and leading experts in various disciplines to discuss ways to address the world's problems. The goal, organizers say, is to identify challenges and propose solutions.

Hawking's endorsement of the boycott has prompted a vitriolic response on Twitter.

"The anti-Semite Stephen Hawking can’t even wipe his own a—," one user wrote.

"Someone should release the hand brake when he’s on a hill," another vile post read.

Others condemned the abuse, calling it a "festival of hate."

ALERT Government ‘Blunder’ Spawns Massive Profit Opportunity

Related stories:

Stephen Hawking: 'Big Bang Did Not Need God's Help'

Stephen Hawking Could Speak Again With Help of New Device

Hawking Talks About His 'Biggest Blunder' and 'Why Do We Exist?' 

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Cambodia HIV Outbreak: 100-Plus People Diagnosed; Investigation Sought

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 18:50 PM

More than 100 HIV infections in a single Cambodian village have spurred the country's prime minister to ask for an inves . . .

Slender Man Case: Two Girls Competent to Stand Trial in Stabbing

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 18:26 PM

Two girls who allegedly stabbed a 12-year-old friend over the online game Slender Man are competent to stand trial for a . . .

Kate Upton Sexiest Woman Alive; Model Apologizes to Teen Brother

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 17:52 PM

Model Kate Upton was selected as People magazine's first Sexiest Woman Alive, a month after Chris Hemsworth received the . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved