Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

About-Face: Cambridge Confirms Hawking Is Boycotting Israel

May 8, 2013 12:09 pm 22 comments

British theoretical physcist Stephen Hawking. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Following denials earlier today, Cambridge University is now confirming that Stephen Hawking has chosen to boycott an event in Israel next month.

A University spokesman told The Algemeiner that “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.”

The Algemeiner reported earlier that an article published by The Guardian last night, which cited a statement from the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) that it was Hawking’s “independent decision to respect the boycott, based upon his knowledge of Palestine, and on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there,” had been contradicted by a Cambridge University spokesman.

The Presidential Conference earlier criticized Hawking’s decision. After the initial reports, Presidential Conference chairman Israel Maimon decried Hawking’s boycott of the conference as “outrageous and inappropriate, especially for one so fundamentally associated with the spirit of independence as a person and an academic.”

A spokesperson told The Algemeiner that a letter had been received from Hawking explaining his decision for not attending. “The conference has made the decision not to discuss any of the contents of the letter received by Professor Hawking, but we stand by our statement from this morning,” Matthew Krieger said.

Krieger added: “The conference is not confirming if it was a boycott or not a boycott.”


  • I am not a fan of boycotting any country, but I respect (and admire) Hawkings’ decision to do this according to his conscience – though I would not if I was in his position, and I do not believe in punishing the population of a country because you do not support their government or foreign policy. After reading some of the comments from posters, however, I am beginning to understand why Hawkings boycotted…

  • Hawking
    Amazing intelligence is so many ways
    Not here….listening to Palestinian ‘academics’
    Those ‘academics’ don’t have the courage of their convictions to be there to fight the supposed (not) good fight

  • Stephen Hawking Joins Academic Boycott Of Israel.
    Ironic that the technology that permits Hawking to communicate was developed in Israel
    Well I guess he already got his punishment
    Stephen Hawking – Living proof that G-d has an ironic sense of humor.
    Tell hawking to boycott all israeli products then dump him out of his wheelchair and take away his computer then tell him they are all israeli made products.
    Tell Hawking to boycott all Israeli products.
    Israeli medical and Pharmaceuticals discoveries
    Israeli company formulates a drug that ‘trains’ the immune system to seek and destroy malignant cells that have already invaded the body. Cancer cells,headquartered at the Weizmann Science Park, Nes -Ziona, Israel. Vaxil BioTherapeutics Ltd. is a clinical stage company developing a new class of synthetic drugs.
    Israeli Red Hill Biopharma has developed a new drug that will prevent nausea and vomiting in cancer patients.
    ImMucin, a vaccine that targets a molecule present in 90 percent of all cancers was conducted at the Hadassah Medical Centre in Jerusalem and consisted of ten patients with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that affects plasma cells in bone marrow, have now received the vaccine.
    Check-Cap – The first non-invasive, prep-free imaging test for colon cancer. The patient simply swallows the Check-Cap capsule and continues his or her daily life low energy X-rays that provide a much different look at the internal anatomy.
    Israeli Parkinson”šs drug approved by FDA
    Israeli Doctor Heads Merck Team That Has Developed Gardasil Vaccine.
    Alzheimer’s drugs discovery at Weizmann Institute of Science not FDA approved yet.
    Israel Teva has novel treatments for MS……
    Israeli Ataxia Telangiectasia is a devastating and rare genetic disease with … Analysis of the DNA from tumor cells and the patient’s blood cells….
    Israeli scientists have identified a substance that can kill cancerous cells ….
    Israel Meitav isurgical device to treat obesity….
    Israeli cancer drug discovery company Optimata Ltd gets $1.5B…
    Israel Protalex autoimmune disorders approved by FDA …
    Foamix Ltd is specializing in dermatologic skin disorders.
    EPIX Initiates Phase II Clinical Trial of EP-2104R For Blood Clot Detection Using MRI……
    Israeli Rosetta test accurately classified non-small cell lung cancer samples into squamous or non-squamous cancers Israeli Rosetta shares up 44% after positive study results……
    Fibrin sealants are tissue adhesives that can be used by surgeons to stop the bleeding from small blood vessels during surgery ….
    Hawking finds advance Lou Gehrig’s Disease research in Israel ……
    Teva this month began recruiting patients with rheumatoid arthritis for a clinical trial comparing its biosimilar …..
    Teva focusing on monoclonal antibodies, and aim to gain regulatory approval for their first product by the end of 2014…..
    Teva Biosimilars began clinical trials on their first product in the first half of this year…..
    Biosimilars will be “an important future growth engine used to boost infection-fighting white blood cells in chemotherapy patients, in Europe and sought U.S. approval in December…..
    Approved to treat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukemia as well as rheumatoid arthritis, Rituxan generated ($5.24 billion) in sales last year,Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system attacks the joints, causing swelling, pain and damage that can lead to deformity and disability.

  • Janice Kenner

    I would like to hear the final word about this matter from Hawkins himself.

    In the meantime, I would like to remind him that Israel is the only country in the middle east where Christians can practice their religion without fear of persecution. Israel is the only country in the middle east where Muslims can practice their religion without fear of persecution from other Muslims for being the “wrong kind of Muslim”.

  • Professor Hawking did cancel for reasons of health, he is simply sick of the Israeli policies.

    He does not have to be Jewish to express his opinions on these matters. Oh, and the Brits have contributed more than their share of discoveries: think penicillin, radar, DNA, Newton, Darwin…

    • David Bernshaw

      Michael Venables….British discoveries? Really?
      Radar-invented by Christian Hülsmeyer Germany
      Penicillin- Alexander Fleming Scotland (long oppressed by the British) and developed by the Australian Nobel Laureate Florey
      DNA-first isolated by Johannes Friedrich Miescher Swiss. I’m sure the list goes on and on….

      You mention Darwin’s (English) theory not discovery. Darwin was a proponent of the idea that those who survive are those who are fit to survive in any given environment.

      That does not describe Prof Hawking in the natural world.

      It does describe Israeli technology which in significant part maintains not only the very life of Prof Hawking but the very quality of such a life.

      A small quantum of genuine hubris (greek) might be recommended to both him and the writer of this comment.

      But…hey…why let historic fact get in the way of putting a negative slant on the renascent Jewish State?

  • So many of these actions against Israel originate in the UK. The English have an awful history vis-a-vis the Jews. They barred then-Palestine to Jews trying to escape Naziism and all because they desired hegemony over the area. Not allowing refugees in amounted to a death sentence. They were complicit in the genocide against Jews. Now they have the gall to call for boycotts. I know that not all the English have this attitude, but the elite certainly have made their sentiments known.

  • InLoveWithStephen

    Hip-hip hooray for Mr. Hawkins standing up to apartheid. Thank you and just ignore all the haters out there upset with you.

    South Africa only changed after people started making it change. Now there seems to be a shift as more people realize that Zionism is just a form of apartheid and has no place in our world.

  • well now YOU look like idiots don’t you.

  • bobbie howard

    I wonder if everyone supporting the boycott of Israel is willing to give up the cancer treatments, vaccines, microchips, texting/sms, alternative energy and all the other advancements that Israel has given to the world….including the discovery of a natural bacterium controlling mosquitoes, helping to prevent river blindness and malaria in 11 African countries…desalinization process which San Diego is implementing.
    Do They Realize Arab Israelis are full citizens, even holding 12 seats in the Israeli government. Which means Arab women have the right to vote in Israel unlike most Muslim countries. Twenty percent of Israel’s population is not Jewish, and are free to practice their religion and customs as they choose.
    For a GENIUS he is pretty ignorant!

    • G. Fränkl

      The problem is that this otherwise utterly failed and discredited far-left radical extremist so-called reporter has been working for a number of publications and papers in the pasdt few years alone, some of them as a freelancer. Independent, Guardian, Christian Science Monitor whatnot, the whole discredited bunch with zero press ethics. Clearly this odious self-hater (if he is a Jew as I suspect) couldn’t be happier reporting his fellow antisemites’ abominations as he is jumping up and down in his glee as it turns out from the closing para. in his Daily Beast piece, spouting inane BS about this supposedly decent and pure as white simpleton, primitive dupe of Islamists. I say to him let there be no bigger joy and happiness in his whole life.

      • G. Fränkl

        The ultimate chutzpah is framing deviously and maliciously his closing lines over at the DB as he did. One disgusting stomach-turning individual M. Kalman is, for sure. No, God forbid he asks the pertinent and apt question how is it possible that he accepted the invitation in the first place? I emphasize again, *in the first place*! But no, this radical failure of supporter of British antismeites and fascists does not ask such questions, because it would make his edifice crumble like a deck of cards. It might just detract from his hyped pseudo-moral figure and his little stew of toxic hate-mongering campaign. how oodd, indeed!

  • BethesdaDog

    Hawking is an expert on physics, not the Arab-Israeli conflict. I respect his opinions on physics, his opinions on Israel and the Arabs have no weight or special significance.

    It’s no different from when Hollywood celebrities testify to Congress on some issue about which they have no expertise.

    Hawking’s opinions on Israeli actions are, therefore, the equivalent of opinions of Hollywood celebrities.

    He’s engaging in pure meanness and contributing to anti-semitic hate.

  • E Pluribus Beagle

    I hope he boycotts all the ‘zionist’ ALS research keeping him alive as well as the ‘zionist’ computer technology that is his sole method of all contact with the outside world.

  • Grigori Khaskin

    The storyline is as clear as mad. But nevertheless it looks like Hawking was swallowed by black hole of hate

  • israeli technology is what is keeping him alive . please let him return and not use anything with israeli technology . what a fool

  • If my memory is more or less normal, I seem to recall that Hawking was planning to come over and visit with don Peres. Be that as it may, neither one or the other are vital to our well being.
    One would have thought that Hawking would have at least expressed his deep care about the plight of the Syrian people, or express outrage about the British occupation of Gibtaltar, Las Islas Malvinas, N. Ireland and some other locations.
    How about expressing outrage at the conditions and treatment of Native Americans for example. 480 or more “reservations” to protest against!
    I guess Whitehall carries far more power on behalf of further partitioning what does not belogn to them or anyone else to partition, then historical facts. If Hawking is that much of a truth distorter on this subject, I wonder about his general solidy as a scientist.

  • So the truth is out, not only is Hawking a dirty little Jew hater, he is also a filthy little sneak and liar. Hawking is truly an “intellectual” heir to the Third Reich!

  • Hoorray!
    Sorry, I know not all of You are responsible for Your’s country policy about Palestina, but it’a a great news to know that He made this decision.

  • Loren Griffith

    This article has been proven wrong. Professor Hawkins has cancelled due to reasons of health according to the university.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.

Current day month ye@r *


  • Arts and Culture Features Opinion Playwrite Iddo Netanyahu: ‘Hitler Always Talked About Peace’ (INTERVIEW)

    Playwrite Iddo Netanyahu: ‘Hitler Always Talked About Peace’ (INTERVIEW)

    Late Friday night, on November 13, I was headed for bed when an ominous news bulletin flashed across my computer screen – something about a shooting in Paris. It wasn’t long before the “small number” of shootings and casualties began to double and triple and quadruple. The locations of attacks seemed crazily disorganized, and the tweets and videos became more and more horrifying. It was a long night for many stunned observers. We tried to understand what was happening, and […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Theater BDS Gives Belgian-Jewish Actress New Lease on Life in Tel Aviv

    BDS Gives Belgian-Jewish Actress New Lease on Life in Tel Aviv

    In an interview with the Israeli site nrg on Wednesday, Belgian-Jewish stage actress Noemi Schlosser recounted immigrating to Israel after her career in Europe was destroyed by BDS. Schlosser said she had enjoyed success in Belgium and international acclaim until she was targeted by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for her pro-Israel stance during Operation Protective Edge — last summer’s war against Hamas in Gaza. She described watching the theaters where she performed go from packed to nearly empty over a short period of […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports In Israel for Champions League Soccer Match, Chelsea Manager Says Team Not Worried About Security Situation

    In Israel for Champions League Soccer Match, Chelsea Manager Says Team Not Worried About Security Situation

    The manager of the Chelsea Football Club said on Monday that he is looking forward to playing in Israel this week against Maccabi Tel Aviv, in spite of the security situation, Israeli news site nrg reported. Jose Murinho, who is already in Israel with his team to compete against Maccabi in the Champions League soccer match, was  asked whether he was worried about the current wave of Palestinian violence sweeping the country. “I have no worries at all regarding the security situation, and neither do […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Opinion In the Middle East, ‘The Tail Wags the Dog’ (REVIEW)

    In the Middle East, ‘The Tail Wags the Dog’ (REVIEW)

    Blaming the West has become the most pervasive method of teaching for many Middle East studies departments, which are becoming the heart of pop-culture academia. Efraim Karsh, a distinguished professor of Middle Eastern studies at Bar-Ilan University and professor emeritus at King’s College London, in his latest book The Tail Wags the Dog: International Politics and the Middle East, dispels this myth. “Britain’s ‘original sin,’ if such was indeed committed, lay not in the breaking up of Middle Eastern unity but […]

    Read more →
  • Features Spirituality/Tradition With Popularity and Sales up, ‘Mensch on a Bench’ Has Much to Smile About

    With Popularity and Sales up, ‘Mensch on a Bench’ Has Much to Smile About – The Mensch on a Bench is so much happier now than he was a year ago. Look carefully and you will notice that, whereas the previous Mensch had a decidedly worried look, this latest version of the popular Hanukkah toy is flashing an exuberant grin. Is the erstwhile Mensch smiling because he expects to be in some 100,000 homes by year’s end? In truth, the change in visage was suggested last year by the “sharks” on ABC’s Shark Tank […]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Adam Sandler Updates Famous ‘Chanukah Song,’ Includes Hulk Hogan, David Beckham and Scarlett Johansson in Latest Version

    Adam Sandler Updates Famous ‘Chanukah Song,’ Includes Hulk Hogan, David Beckham and Scarlett Johansson in Latest Version

    Actor Adam Sandler unveiled a new version of his famous “Chanukah Song” on Saturday, adding a slew of Jewish celebrities to the ditty’s updated lyrics. The comedian — who released the original song about being Jewish during Christmas in 1996 — performed the latest version of the comedic track during the New York Comedy Festival at Carnegie Hall. Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee, actor Jake Gyllenhaal and “the two guys who founded Google” are among the famous Jewish celebrities now in the line up. Sandler also included lyrics about Star Wars‘ Princess […]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Famed Israeli Violinist Itzhak Perlman to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

    Famed Israeli Violinist Itzhak Perlman to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom – Famed Israeli violinist Itzhak Perlman will be among the 17 recipients of America’s Presidential Medal of Freedom next week. He is the fourth Israeli to receive the highest civilian honor in the US. “A native of Israel, he came to the United States at a young age and was introduced to Americans broadly when he appeared on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ in 1958. Mr. Perlman made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1963 when he was 18,” a White House […]

    Read more →
  • Features Spirituality/Tradition Don’t Think Israel is a Luxury Destination? Check Out These 6 Spots

    Don’t Think Israel is a Luxury Destination? Check Out These 6 Spots – While Israel is a common destination for cultural and religious pilgrimages, travelers seeking the best hotels, fine dining, and upscale relaxation less often find themselves in the Holy Land. Yet in recent years, the country’s burgeoning tech scene has attracted a business crowd accustomed to ritzy accommodation. Besides, the permanent summer of Tel Aviv and Eilat makes them prime destinations for European vacationers. Israel’s populace managed to tame the swamps and irrigate the desert — so going luxury should […]

    Read more →