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    Anti-Israel Prof. Noam Chomsky helped BDS get to Stephen Hawking

    Anti-Israel Prof. Noam Chomsky helped BDS get to Stephen Hawking

    If you think Stephen Hawking’s decision not to attend a conference in Israel was a principled stand for academic or other freedoms, you can drop that notion.

    Hawking, as many have pointed out in the past few days, has attended conferences in the past several years in such beacons of academic freedom and national tolerance as Iran and China.

    What’s becoming very clear is that Hawking was targeted with a concerted pressure effort to bully the aging, seriously ill scientist into lending his name to the demonization of Israel.

    We already knew that Hawking was pressured by Palestinian academics, but The Guardian reports the vile anti-Israel U.S. Professor Noam Chomsky spearheaded the effort to pressure Hawking as well, Noam Chomsky helped lobby Stephen Hawking to stage Israel boycott:

    Noam Chomsky was among 20 academics who privately lobbied Professor Stephen Hawking to boycott a major Israeli conference, it has emerged.

    Chomsky, a US professor and well-known supporter of the Palestinian cause, joined British academics from the universities of Cambridge, London, Leeds, Southampton, Warwick, Newcastle, York and the Open University to tell Hawking they were “surprised and deeply disappointed” that he had accepted the invitation to speak at next month’s presidential conference in Jerusalem, which will chaired by Shimon Peres and attended by Tony Blair and Bill Clinton….

    Chomsky, who has backed “boycott and divestment of firms that are carrying out operations in the occupied territories”,  agreed to add his considerable weight to the pressure on Hawking after email correspondence with the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine campaign group (Bricup), said its chair, Jonathan Rosenhead.

    None of this really is surprising.  But it is how Hawking will be remembered, not for his achievements, but for the fact that he gave in to pressure from some of the worst elements in society who stand against the freedoms Hawking claimed to be supporting.

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    New dictionary entry:

    hawk·ing
    [haw-king]
    noun
    ‘A person brilliant at solving a specific type of puzzle, otherwise void of any sense.’


     
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    great unknown | May 11, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Someone convinced him that boycotting Israel is his ticket to finally getting the Nobel Prize.


     
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    sultanp | May 13, 2013 at 6:21 am

    Never thought I would see apologists for Chomsky so active on these comment boards.

    What’s with the nit-picking over one comment about Intel chips? You are doing the forest/trees thing.

    The point is that Israel is a hot bed of advanced technology – this is not in dispute. Intel’s Israel division made major advances in chip design – not in dispute. Hawking uses advanced technology to communicate and stay alive – not in dispute.

    Even if the *specific* chip mentioned is not 100% of Israeli origin, it has a strong Israeli heritage – even if one of the designer’s is an Indian who works at the Israeli plant. It’s not a plant in India, it’s in Israel.

    The point was to show Hawking’s hypocrisy in attacking Israel – a country whose technology has overall benefited him. Let’s drop the micro-details over geeky-techno stuff.

    Jacobson has already pointed out that Hawking has gone to meetings in Iran and China – hardly bastions of human rights, so if he was *really* concerned about human rights, why support China and Iran, but bash Israel? Hypocrisy.

    I think Hawking’s illness has finally gotten to his mind – he is now easily manipulated by the Chomsky’s of the world, a useful idiot for the pro-muslim, anti-Semite crowd.

    Sad.

    [Also, given the fact that Gore, Arafat and Carter have won Nobel Prizes, I think we can safely say that the prestige and value of that prize has been diminished – the fact that Hawking has not won one is no reflection on the value of his work]


       
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      gs in reply to sultanp. | May 13, 2013 at 2:27 pm

      Iirc the mechanism for awarding the Nobel Peace Prize is completely different from the science prizes. Different sets of people make the decisions.

      Iirc when the Nobel committee for the physics prize considers an award to a theorist, historically it has very strongly selected for theoretical work that predicts or explains important experiments. Hawking’s famous (and important) results on black hole radiation/evaporation do not meet that criterion at this time.

      The Israeli Wolf Prize is less strict and Hawking did win that. There are various new prizes which award considerable sums but I don’t know much about them or about Hawking’s status wrt them.


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