The conference organisers do not need me defending them. They're doing that perfectly well themselves:
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.Ably supported by the Fair Play campaign:
Prof Hawking could have joined the Conference and explained his views on the conflict in the region, just as many other participants have done. By boycotting the conference, he has thrown away this opportunity and will help nobody.But if he'll forgive me the indulgence (and the assumption that he's an avid reader of this blog), I've got a couple of questions.
Just how far are you prepared to take this boycott? Would you, for example, boycott the academics, and urge others to do so, who are currently working on a phase 2a dose-escalating trial to evaluate experimental stem-cell therapy in ALS, at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem?
As you know, ALS stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Hawking trip NOT cancelled due to Israel boycott:
Professor Hawking's spokesperson has confirmed that he will not miss the conference in Israel due to a boycott, but rather because of health reasons.
Nope. He really is supporting the boycott. Thereby proving, yet again, one of Fox's Iron Laws of Politics: that it takes really clever people to be really, really stupid.