Hawking to boycott Israel conference

2013-05-08 22:03


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Jerusalem - Renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking has pulled out of a June conference hosted by Israel's President Shimon Peres, joining an academic boycott of the Jewish state, event organisers said on Wednesday.

"Hawking joined the academic boycott of Israel and pulled out of the Israeli Presidential Conference: Facing Tomorrow 2013, under the auspices of President Peres," they said in a statement.

The British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BCUP), which supports the academic boycott of Israel and opposes its occupation of Palestinian territories, said Hawking had decided to observe the boycott and as a result had "declined his invitation".

"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," it said on its website.

Britain's Cambridge University, where Hawking has worked since 1962, confirmed he had pulled out, but initially said it was for health reasons.

"Professor Hawking will not be attending the conference in Israel in June for health reasons - his doctors have advised against him flying," a university spokesperson told AFP.

However, BCUP later confirmed Hawking had endorsed its statement that his reason for pulling out of the conference was indeed a boycott.

"The statement above has been issued with the specific endorsement of Professor Hawking's office," it said in a statement added to its site.

Conference chair Israel Maimon slammed the boycott as "outrageous."

"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," he said in a statement.

The 18-20 June conference will host diplomats, politicians and academics, and its speakers include former British prime minister Tony Blair, ex-US president Bill Clinton and American songstress Barbra Streisand.

Read more on:    stephen hawking  |  israel

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.