You are browsing the archive for Stephen Hawking.

The Denigration of Stephen Hawking Reveals the Intense Dishonesty of Current Zionism

11:52 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Early last week, when it came out that British physicist Stephen Hawking had decided to not attend a late-spring conference in Jerusalem, he went quickly from being a cult hero in the Israeli high tech sphere to pariah.  Although he has been to Israel several times in the past – and to the occupied territories of the West Bank, now called “Palestine” by a growing number of countries, agencies and notable individuals – he was encouraged by British academics, Palestinian scholars and American linguist, Noam Chomski, to back out.

His entire letter of cancellation to Israeli President Shimon Peres hasn’t yet been published. An important part of it has been:

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.

The most shocking aspect of the backlash against Hawking coming out of Israel and Israeli apologists to me, from the very beginning, were the claims that if it weren’t for the genius, pluck and ingenuity of Israeli scientists, he wouldn’t even be able to communicate:

if one decides to Boycott Israel, then one must be consistent, if Mr. Hawking decides to boycott us he should also refrain from using his means of communications as he is using products that were invented and produced in Israel. it is very interesting though that we continue to hear him isn’t it.

This inaccurate meme was repeated again and again, in articles published in Israel, the USA and elsewhere.  To be more specific, the claim was somewhat along these lines:

Hawking’s decision to join the boycott of Israel is quite hypocritical for an individual who prides himself on his own intellectual accomplishment. His whole computer-based communication system runs on a chip designed by Israel’s Intel team. I suggest that if he truly wants to pull out of Israel he should also pull out his Intel Core i7 from his tablet” – this according to Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center.

Darshin-Leitner’s claim, inaccurate as it was, was also very questionable morally. After all, the Germans perfected the jet turbine during the height of the 3rd Reich, using slave labor, some of which was comprised of Jewish and other slave laborers. Don’t get me started.

The inaccuracy and hubris of the many claims that Hawking is somehow an ingrate are very easy to refute, and have been:

The i7 was designed by Intel’s architecture design team in Hillsboro Oregon. The claims the i7 was designed in Israel are also lies.

For the i7 in particular, the Sr. Principal Engineer’s name is Ronak Singhal. He is an Indian. The design team does not consist of Israelis and is not located in Israel.

Hawking’s sentence construction software, EZ Keys, was designed and built by an american company, Words Plus, which was based in Palmdale, California. Hawkings speech synthesizer, NeoSpeech, is produced by a company based in Fremont, California and backed by Voiceware Co of Korea. It has nothing to do with Israel either.

Hawking’s laptop which ran the software used AMD chips. This was an embarrassment to Intel. Intel’s CEO at the time Gordon Moore (now retired) personally negotiated with Prof. Hawking to participate in a marketing arrangement where Hawking would use Intel provided off-the-shelf laptops.

i7 microprocessors have no more to do with Israel than do many such items developed by increasingly multinational scientific teams.  Intel’s facilities in Israel are increasingly important to the firm, but less so than their operations in one county in Oregon.  They could pull out next month with little or no adverse impact to the high tech giant’s global footprint.

It is interesting that it has just come out over the weekend that Noam Chomsky was one of those who urged Hawking to reassess his conference attendance.  How many Israelis and American Zionists now denigrating Hawking made a fuss three years ago this week, when this happened:

Read the rest of this entry →

The Weirdness of Zionist Reaction to Stephen Hawking Supporting Global BDS

11:53 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Einstein i Hawking

Last Friday, renowned physicist Stephen Hawking wrote to the organizers of an upcoming conference in Jerusalem, telling them he was backing out of a commitment to participate, in solidarity with Palestinian academics who had asked him to reconsider attending.  Here is part of his letter:

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.

The story of his cancellation broke Wednesday morning in the Guardian:

Professor Stephen Hawking is backing the academic boycott of Israel by pulling out of a conference hosted by Israeli president Shimon Peres in Jerusalem as a protest at Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

Hawking, 71, the world-renowned theoretical physicist and former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, had accepted an invitation to headline the fifth annual president’s conference, Facing Tomorrow, in June, which features major international personalities, attracts thousands of participants and this year will celebrate Peres’s 90th birthday.

Hawking is in very poor health, but last week he wrote a brief letter to the Israeli president to say he had changed his mind. He has not announced his decision publicly, but a statement published by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine with Hawking’s approval described it as “his independent decision to respect the boycott, based upon his knowledge of Palestine, and on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there”.

Hawking’s decision marks another victory in the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions targeting Israeli academic institutions.

Although the Guardian article appeared to be authoritative when it was published, it was soon questioned, based on a statement emanating from the communication office of his employer, Cambridge University:

Tim Holt, media director at the University of Cambridge spokesman, said Hawking’s decision was based strictly on health concerns.

“For health reasons, his doctors said he should not be flying at the moment so he’s decided not to attend,” said Holt. “He is 71-years-old. He’s fine, but he has to be sensible about what he can do.”

A University of Cambridge statement released earlier Wednesday cited “personal reasons” for his decision. Hawking, who has ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, cannot move his body and uses a wheelchair. He communicates through a computerized voice system.

The story of Hawking’s cancellation, carried by the Guardian had little traction Wednesday morning, but the story of the Guardian having blown the real reason for Hawking’s backing out got it up into major news aggregators, such as memeorandum.  Throughout Wednesday morning, there was confusion.  Hawking was attacked severely on facebook and elsewhere, savaged for being ungrateful to Israelis for creating technology that helps him continue to communicate, and for not  being that good of a scientist:

if one decides to Boycott Israel, then one must be consistent, if Mr. Hawking decides to boycott us he should also refrain from using his means of communications as he is using products that were invented and produced in Israel. it is very interesting though that we continue to hear him isn’t it.

and (I like this one):

Who cares? He hasn’t been coherent since he wrote that the universe was capable of creating itself. His kind of “reason” fits neither science nor sociology…but it’s perfectly suited to politics.

and:

Given that much of his work is based on Israeli scientists’ work. I guess it was fine to use Jacob Bekenstein’s research to further his own fame (after previously deriding his ideas), but heavens forbid he visit the man’s homeland! Why, that would just be WRONG!

and:

An Israeli company made a medicine that cures ALS, so go ahead Mr. Genius Idiot, Boycott Israel.

When the contrary statement from Cambridge claiming health reasons as being the real motivator came out Wednesday morning, some pro-Zionist blogs strutted Cambridge communicator Holt’s obfuscation out as proof of the Guardian‘s anti-Israel agenda:

The Guardian, which broke the story late last night, claimed that Hawking was due to boycott Israel after receiving an erroneous statement from the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP), apparently with Hawking’s approval.

The statement said that the move was “his independent decision to respect the boycott, based upon his knowledge of Palestine, and on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there”.

However, a Cambridge university spokesperson has confirmed to The Commentator that there was a “misunderstanding” this past weekend, and that Prof. Hawking had pulled out of the conference for medical reasons.

In comments to the feuding articles, inevitable comparisons between Hawking and Albert Einstein were made.  Soon after the formation of Israel, the great physicist was invited to go to Israel to become President.  He declined:

When [Israeli] President Chaim Weizmann died in 1952, Einstein was asked to be Israel’s second president, but he declined, stating that he had “neither the natural ability nor the experience to deal with human beings.” He wrote: “I am deeply moved by the offer from our State of Israel, and at once saddened and ashamed that I cannot accept it.”

Carefully chosen words. Four years ago, I compiled the most authoritative web version I know of Einstein’s April 17th, 1938 Commodore Hotel speech.  All others leave out the last two sentences, which I here emphasize:

I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish State. Apart from practical considerations, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish State, with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power, no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain – especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight strongly, even without a Jewish State. We are no longer the Jews of the Maccabee period.

A return to a nation in the political sense of the word, would be equivalent to turning away from the spiritualization of our community which we owe to the genius of our prophets.

Einstein uttered this profound declaration before the horrors of World War II, which left over 60 million dead, 10% of them Jewish.  After the war, and during the very early years of Israeli existence, he could be conflicted regarding his support for the new Levantine crusader state, created largely by colonists from north central Europe.

Hawking is a non-Jewish atheist, apparently appalled by his encounters with what Einstein feared, “the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks.”  Einstein believed deeply in the existence of something beyond what he or we might readily explain through scientific method – “God,” if you will.

Hawking’s reaching out to pleas from Palestinian academics and scientists is motivated more by his well-known penchant for not wanting to put up with bullshit.

I wish Prof. Hawking had decided to attend.  As he wrote to the guy who cannot claim to be Einstein’s successor to a failing dream, “Had I attended I would have stated my opinion that the policy of the present Israeli government is likely to lead to disaster.”

It already has.  Einstein, was a true Jewish prophet along the lines of  Ezekiel, Elisha and Elijah, among others.  Had he accepted the offer to become Israel’s president, a largely symbolic office, it may have changed the course of human events on the Levant.  He predicted the ongoing disaster’s inevitability.  Hawking, like Einstein, questions the charade.

Who will be next?