Prof Hawking's cancellation due to health - not to BDS lobby


By Jonathan Hoffman
May 8, 2013
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http://www.thecommentator.com/article/3476/prof_hawking_trip_not_cancell...

Postscript:

The Cambridge spokesman Tim Holt has changed his story: “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."

Maybe Mr Holt can also confirm that - in the interests of consistency - Professor Hawking will no longer use any medicine or medical procedure developed in Israel.

Postscript #2:

The more renowned is a man and the more specialised his field, the more likely he is to pronounce ex cathedra on matters on which he is totally ignorant...

Postscript #3:

How would Stephen Hawking fare in the non-Israel Middle East?

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/167837#.UYwLoEoTTdd

COMMENTS

Rich Armbach

Wed, 05/08/2013 - 13:47

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That would just make it all the funnier


Macairt

Wed, 05/08/2013 - 15:03

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If true, this is unbelievable, in a sense, although not, in another.

No correction or apology from the Guardian or Harriet Sherwood, yet.

It's a wonder Israel grants her free access.


Macairt

Wed, 05/08/2013 - 16:04

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Sorry, Jonathan, your celebrations are premature. I contacted Harriet Sherwood, and she sent me the new Cambridge University statement:

Statement on Professor Hawking and Jerusalem conference

8 June 2013

A University spokesman said:

“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.”

Tim Holt MCIPR
Acting Director of Communications
Office of External Affairs and Communications,
University of Cambridge.
The Pitt Building, Trumpington Street,
Cambridge. CB2 1RP.


Rich Armbach

Wed, 05/08/2013 - 16:33

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Poor old Hoff he just can't get a win.

Turning out to be a very bad year for the Hasborafia. And it's going to get worse. Trust me.


happygoldfish

Wed, 05/08/2013 - 17:08

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the bbc has just confirmed the original story (5pm news)

Macairt

Wed, 05/08/2013 - 17:21

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Better update your blog, Jonathan, and learn a lesson.

http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/107234/cambridge-university-stephen-ha...


happygoldfish

Wed, 05/08/2013 - 17:26

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2 points

Rich Armbach: The funniest thing about this episode is that it resulted in the carpetbagger Raheem Kassam he of the comic The Commentatero " fame " lecturing Hawking on being " thoughtful ".

no, the funniest thing is stephen hawking's grasp of the middle east, including his conviction that hamas are the democratically elected leaders of the palestinian people, and that gaza is like pre-1990 south africa, see his al-jazzera interview of 26/1/2009 (at 1:50) …

"The attack on Gaza is similar to that on Lebanon two years ago that killed over 2000 but did not achieve Israel's war aims. I think the assault on Gaza will be equally unsuccessful. A people under occupation will continue to resist in any way it can. If Israel wants peace, it will have to talk to Hamas like Britain did with the IRA. Hamas are the democratically elected leaders of the Palestinian people and cannot be ignored.

Israel's response to the rocket attacks has been quite out of proportion. Almost 100 Palestinians have been killed for every Israeli. The situation is like that in South Africa before 1990. It cannot continue."
(this is the whole of what he says about the middle east)

as to being "thoughtful", hawking is a mathematician (a theoretical physicist)

stephen hawking sees israel/palestine in terms of numbers (see above), and as a good mathematician he sees simplicity when it isn't there

an ability with numbers, and with precise equations, however good, is of little help with the humanities!

mathematicians giving advice about the real world is a little like diaspora jews giving advice about israel


Mary in Brighton

Wed, 05/08/2013 - 17:35

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Mathematicians giving advice about the real world...So if Hawking told me that if I had two real apples and I got another two real apples I would have four real apples I ought not to believe him ?


Rich Armbach

Wed, 05/08/2013 - 17:39

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Not without checking it out with the nearest rabid goldfish


Macairt

Wed, 05/08/2013 - 18:28

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The issue isn't whether Hawking is right or not, the issue is whether we can learn about jumping the gun, or not.

If Israel didn't want Hawking to come to the conference, she shouldn't have invited him. If she did, or really does, she had better appreciate that unless progress is made on the peace front, this sort of thing is likely to happen more and more often.

It's like ZF and Alexandra Burke: I'd take Alabina over her any day. But I wasn't the one who invited Alexandra Burke, presumably because the ZF wanted her stamp, regardless of the likelihood of her wanting to come or not (and I suspect Britons of colour will feel under increasing pressure not to visit 'the New South Africa'.

The Israel conference no more did their homework on Hawking either, or his views on the 2009 Gaza war. This kind of fat, bloated, middle-aged complacency, utterly oblivious to how others in the outside world regard Israel, rightly or wrongly, is sadly all too common in the pro-Israel Anglo-community. Hoffman jumped the gun on this one, and, let's face it, it isn't exactly not the thing he's known for.

How many times has he been advised to Think First, Speak Second?

When will it sink in?

Frankly I'm not surprised Hawking didn't go: he's old and sick, and this conference isn't a real, proper academic one, but window dressing one about 'the future', so far as I can see, which looks to me more like Israel publicity, the kind of things which many academics would avoid.

I don't doubt ill-health played a role, but there are some things even a dying man would go to, and there are somethings he'd wish to be disassociated from. Hawking has made his decision, and he is perhaps old, sick and celebrated enough for him to not give a damn what anyone thinks of it.

The one I feel most sorry for is Peres.


happygoldfish

Thu, 05/09/2013 - 09:00

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Mary in Brighton: So if Hawking told me that if I had two real apples and I got another two real apples I would have four real apples I ought not to believe him ?

no, if stephen hawking told you that if you stole two real apples from my garden, and i then stole two real apples from your garden, then that would be ok, you ought not to believe him

and if stephen hawking told you that if you locked someone in a cell for 7 days, and if the government then convicted you of kidnapping and locked you in a cell for 7 years, then that would be unfair, you ought not to believe him!

and if stephen hawking told you … in a prepared answer … that "Hamas are the democratically elected leaders of the Palestinian people", you ought not to believe him on anything else related to palestine!

Rich Armbach: Not without checking it out with the nearest rabid goldfish

goldfish can't catch rabies!

ahh … i expect you meant rabbi goldfish!


Advis3r

Thu, 05/09/2013 - 12:50

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If she did, or really does, she had better appreciate that unless progress is made on the peace front, this sort of thing is likely to happen more and more often.

A cute inversion of the truth and reality. There is no progress of the peace front because the Palestinians do not actually want peace it might mean them having to give up on the destruction of Israel - the fallacious right of return for example, recognition of the State of Israel as the State of the Jewish people for another.

They want a State from which they can attack and delegitimize Israel in all the forums of the world including academia.

Negotiations would severely hamper those aims so they write nasty lies to all and sundry. Unfortunately some like Hawkings swallow them hook line and sinker. A genius does not necessarily have "sechel" (commonsense).

Hawkings claims he was convinced by Palestinian academics - I suppose they included the ones who teach at Beir Zeit University. http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/Data/articles/Art_20447/E_259_12_171833...


Macairt

Thu, 05/09/2013 - 13:13

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[A cute inversion of the truth and reality. There is no progress of the peace front because the Palestinians do not actually want peace it might mean them having to give up on the destruction of Israel]

Which still does not invalidate what I said. I have no illusions about the other side. But just because they are reluctant to come to a permanent peace which leaves Israel secure and permanent does not mean Israel oughtn't to strive for it.

The world is what it is. The longer there is no peace agreement, the more this will happen.


Mary in Brighton

Thu, 05/09/2013 - 14:53

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Isn't the present govt dominated by Likud and doesn't the Likud charter expressly rule out a Palestinian state ?


Rich Armbach

Thu, 05/09/2013 - 15:12

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ahh … i expect you meant rabbi goldfish!

Given that Harv seems to have learnt to hold his camera the right way when filming, I'm inclined to believe anything.


Rich Armbach

Thu, 05/09/2013 - 17:19

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The more renowned is a man and the more specialised his field, the more likely he is to pronounce ex cathedra on matters on which he is totally ignorant...

That's Stephen Hawking's excuse, what's yours ?


Ben F

Thu, 05/09/2013 - 17:28

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http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/107352/board-deputies-chief-executive-...

"Mr Benjamin's departure would make JLC chief executive Jeremy Newmark the likeliest head of any joint enterprise."

He may be a perjurer but he's our perjurer.


StevenKalka

Fri, 05/10/2013 - 13:31

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If Hawking built a time tunnel and disappeared down a wormhole, I wouldn't miss him.


Advis3r

Fri, 05/10/2013 - 14:10

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But just because they are reluctant to come to a permanent peace which leaves Israel secure and permanent does not mean Israel oughtn't to strive for it.

Announcing unconditional settlement freezes - unilaterally pulling out of Gaza- allowing goods into Gaza when rockets are raining down on your citizens - offering two peace plans which gave up to 90% of Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians for a State including the eastern half of Jerusalem - no Israel has certainly done nothing to strive for peace I stand corrected (heavy sarcasm)


StevenKalka

Fri, 05/10/2013 - 14:15

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From Jewish World Review.

Mona Charen on Hawking's Moral Calculus

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/charen_hawking.php3


Advis3r

Fri, 05/10/2013 - 14:18

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For the mentally challenged bottle blond from Brighton who will pronounce ex cathedra on matters on which she is totally ignorant on 14 June 2009, Netanyahu delivered a seminal address at Bar-Ilan University at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, that was broadcast live in Israel and across parts of the Arab world, on the topic of the Middle East peace process. He endorsed for the first time the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, with several conditions. Do keep up dearie.


Mary in Brighton

Fri, 05/10/2013 - 14:42

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Ha the devil is in the conditions.


Advis3r

Fri, 05/10/2013 - 15:08

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The conditions - maybe you should read them there were just two -

Palestinians must truly recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people. The second principle is demilitarization. Any area in Palestinian hands has to be demilitarization, with solid security measures. Without this condition, there is a real fear that there will be an armed Palestinian state which will become a terrorist base against Israel, as happened in Gaza. We do not want missiles on Petah Tikva, or Grads on the Ben-Gurion international airport. We want peace. And, to ensure peace we don't want them to bring in missiles or rockets or have an army, or control of airspace, or make treaties with countries like Iran, or Hizbullah. There is broad agreement on this in Israel. We cannot be expected to agree to a Palestinian state without ensuring that it is demilitarized. This is crucial to the existence of Israel - we must provide for our security needs.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/full-text-of-netanyahu-s-foreign-policy-spee...
Highly objectionable of course that's if your real intention is the destruction of Israel - which is why presumably the Brighton Belle mentioned it.


Rich Armbach

Fri, 05/10/2013 - 15:57

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yyyaaawwwnnnn

<<<<<<< lights up a hamlet


StevenKalka

Mon, 05/13/2013 - 14:00

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Have you heard about the latest development in Palestinian psychiatry?

The patient is advised, "Boycott Israel and call me in the morning".


suzanna

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 09:54

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Looks Like Mr Hoffman was wrong. Again.


suzanna

Wed, 05/15/2013 - 09:55

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joemillis1959

Mon, 07/15/2013 - 18:45

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Blimey, looks like there's been an attempt to clean out the stables.


happygoldfish

Tue, 11/12/2013 - 14:22

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yes, the racists are so desperate to accuse israel of apartheid that they even try to give the impression that nelson mandela agrees with them!

roadmaptoapartheid.org's mainpage cleverly supports its let's-compare-israel-with-apartheid film with a quote from (president) nelson mandela (4/12/1997, pretoria): "We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians."

of course, the quote is true, but nelson mandela was not in any way supporting the racist israel-is-apartheid lie

nelson mandela knows full well what apartheid is, and has never compared israel with apartheid

the quote is from his address at the 1997 "international day of solidarity with the palestinian people" (on the za.gov website at http://www.info.gov.za/speeches/1997/12080W18097.htm) …

he emphatically supports the palestinians' right to a state, and he does mention apartheid, but in relation only to south africa, going on immediately to link the palestinians not to apartheid but to east timor and sudan …

In the same period, the UN took a strong stand against apartheid; and over the years, an international consensus was built, which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system.
But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians; without the resolution of conflicts in East Timor, the Sudan and other parts of the world.

… praising the leaders of both sides, and calling for peaceful co-existence …

We can easily be enticed to read reconciliation and fairness as meaning parity between justice and injustice. Having achieved our own freedom, we can fall into the trap of washing our hands of difficulties that others faces.

Even during the days of negotiations, our own experience taught us that the pursuit of human fraternity and equality - irrespective of race or religion - should stand at the centre of our peaceful endeavours. The choice is not between freedom and justice, on the one hand, and their opposite, on the other. Peace and prosperity; tranquility and security are only possible if these are enjoyed by all without discrimination.
It is in this spirit that I have come to join you today to add our own voice to the universal call for Palestinian self-determination and statehood.

We are proud … the time has come to resolve the problems of Palestine.
Indeed, all of us marvelled at the progress made a few years ago, with the adoption of the Oslo Agreements. Leaders of vision, who saw problems not merely from the point of view of their own narrow constituency, had at least found a workable approach towards friendship and peaceful co-existence in the Middle East.

… the day is not far off, when Palestinian and Jewish children will enjoy the gay abandon of children of God in a peaceful and prosperous region.
… the majority of Israelis and Palestinians are suing for peace.

We hope that, by this humble act, we are strengthening the voice of peace and friendship in Israel and Palestine; so that, as we enter the new millennium, we shall all have taken a giant stride towards a world in which our humanity will be the hallmark of our relations across colour, religious and other divides.

nelson madela is not a racist

nelson mandela has not compared israel with apartheid!

producing a propaganda film which pretends to merely ask a question but which in fact presents a one-sided answer is reprehensible, but no less reprehensible is trying to give the impression that the film has nelson mandela's support when it clearly does not

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