On Tuesday 7th May, BRICUP (British Committee for the Universities of Palestine) posted on their website and tweeted that Professor Stephen Hawking had declined an invitation to a conference in Jerusalem, to be hosted by war criminal Shimon Peres.
“Stephen Hawking declines invitation to attend Israeli conference
We understand that Professor Stephen Hawking has declined his invitation to attend the Israeli Presidential Conference Facing Tomorrow 2013, due to take place in Jerusalem on 18-20 June. This is his independent decision to respect the boycott, based upon his knowledge of Palestine, and on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there.”
Wednesday 8th May, the Guardian, Reuters, the BBC and much of the mainstream media had picked up the BRICUP news and were reporting it as Hawking joining the academic boycott of apartheid Israel. Guardian headline:
Stephen Hawking joins academic boycott of Israel
Physicist pulls out of conference hosted by president Shimon Peres in protest at treatment of Palestinians
The Guardian even had an online poll asking
in its Comment Is Free section (polling currently running at 67 Yes, 33 No – zio mobilisation not as big as usual? )
Then there was a twist in that it was being claimed that Professor Hawking wasn’t going to the conference purely on health grounds and that this had been confirmed by Cambridge University media contact for Hawking. There were furious tweets going on and no doubt mass email and other communication between supporters of BDS, journalists, interested parties. I was watching the BRICUP twitter feed constantly…
Then confirmation came from Cambridge that: “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.”
This is what BRICUP had held to all along and it was great to see them vindicated and also to see hasbara organs such as CiF Watch have to retract their erroneous claims that Hawking was not pulling out for health reasons.
This is just a brief history of a brief history of Hawking’s support for BDS, it has been documented by Electronic Intifada, BRICUP, the Guardian and numerous other outlets. In fact a Google search for “Stephen Hawking boycott Israel” throws up 325,000 at the time of writing (Wed eve).
In fact I’ve just seen the Guardian writer, Matthew Kalman, has documented the whole saga here and it seems there is some murkiness about how the issue and the information was handled by the Cambridge University spokesman….
The significance of Hawking’s courageous decision cannot be understated and it is testament to his stature, not just in the world of physics, that the hasbara spin was so furious today. It is a HUGE result for BDS. It is serious solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The reaction to Stephen Hawking’s decision is as predictable as the day is long, the spin, the lies, the slurs, the smears, the scrambling. Palestinians and their supporters, those involved in boycott campaigns, solidarity campaigns and those choosing to boycott are well used to the vile Zionist bigotry that spews out regularly. From wishing more children had been killed when a Palestinian school bus crashes, to sending hate mail, to threats, the supporters of apartheid never fail to find new depths to which to sink.
Professor Hawking is no exception to those who have been on the receiving end of such vicious filth. Unsurprisingly his condition is central to much of the abuse coming his way, this just one example: “Someone should release the hand brake when he’s on a hill”. I say unsurprisingly because this is the level of ‘debate’ that we have come to expect from Zionist propagandists. There are some examples here, here and here if you’re in need of a purge…
While such outpourings of hate are rarely surprising, they never fail to disgust and that is certainly true of the reaction to Hawking.
If you need a lesson in hasbara 101, the Stephen Hawking Facebook page is the place for you… viewer discretion required…
One of the favourite hasbara tactics is to enumerate Israeli success stories in technology, industry etc and to tell the BDS people that they need to STOP USING THEIR COMPUTERS. Well they think they’ve struck gold with Hawking, claiming that Hawking should boycott his own means of communication as it is Israeli made… here’s one: “
“According to Shurat HaDin, an Israel law centre which represents victims of terrorism, the equipment has been provided by an Israeli hi-tech firm, Intel, since 1997.
“Hawking’s decision to join the boycott of Israel is quite hypocritical for an individual who prides himself on his whole intellectual accomplishment. His whole computer-based communications system runs on a chip designed by Israel’s Intel team. I suggest if he truly wants to pull out of Israel he should also pull out his Intel Core i7 from his tablet,” said Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Shurat HaDin.”
Apart from how disgusting such a suggestion this is, how far beyond the pale of humanity it goes, it really is missing the point – boycott is a tactic not a principle. What is does though is illuminate for the billionth time how far Israel’s supporters are prepared to go, how it doesn’t even occur to them how reprehensible their words are, how they have become so desensitised to humanity by their treatment of the Palestinians that they don’t even seem to realise how their words read to other human beings.
What is unusual about the all too usual, sorry Zionist reaction is that, due to Hawking’s eminence, much of this bigotry has been picked up by the mainstream media (Daily Express piece: Outrage over disgusting ‘cripple Stephen Hawking’ jokes after he joins boycott of Israel) and that outside the solidarity circles, Zionism’s true face is getting more and more frequent airings. The mask is slipping…
One of the world’s most eminent thinkers supports the boycott of apartheid Israel, that is a good day and the spinners can eat dust.
And BDS is UNSTOPPABLE!