BRICUP | 9 mai 2013 | We understand that Professor Stephen Hawking has declined his invitation to attend the Israeli Presidential Conference Facing Tomorrow 2013, due to take place in….
BRICUP | 9 mai 2013 |
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.
UPDATE 8 May 1600 BDT: The statement above has been issued with the specific endorsement of Professor Hawking’s office. His staff sent us the following message on 7 May « Just spoken to Tim [Tim Holt, Acting Director of Communications for Cambridge University] and we are both in agreement with the quote – and as you say – sensible to get this out rather than a lot of differing opinions. » We have seen the letter that Professor Hawking sent to the Jerusalem organisers giving his clear reasons for not attending and are seeking his permission to release the letter but will not do so until we have his approval. We regret the misinformation being circulated about this matter.
UPDATE 8 May 1900 BDT: Cambridge University re-flip flops and confirms what BRICUP has been saying is true:
“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.”
They always had that knowledge (see 1600 update). We await apologies from the participants in the Hasbara storm who accused us of lying.
Professor Hawking’s letter on 3 May to the conferecne organisers said, « I accepted the invitation to the Presidential Conference with the intention that this would not only allow me to express my opinion on the prospects for a peace settlement but also because it would allow me to lecture on the West Bank. However, I have received a number of emails from Palestinian academics. They are unanimous that I should respect the boycott. In view of this, I must withdraw from the conference. Had I attended, I would have stated my opinion that the policy of the present Israeli government is likely to lead to disaster. »
A brief history of Stephen Hawking’s boycott – The Daily Beast Thre story of how BRICUP got accused of lying but was later vindicated