So why did Stephen Hawking think it was ok to visit Iran and China?


After a great deal of confusing reports, it was confirmed yesterday that physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking has pulled out of a conference in Israel next month after being lobbied by pro-Palestinian campaigners.

Stephen HawkingInitially some had claimed his decision to pull out of the conference was due to ill health, but a statement published by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine with Hawking’s approval cleared the matter up.

“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.”

So “respect for the boycott” was a humanitarian gesture, then?

Ok. But why did professor Hawking see fit to visit Iran in 2007 for a conference? As far as I am aware, there was no statement at the time from Hawking refusing to travel to the Islamic Republic out of “respect” for the country’s political dissidents, or until the government stopped executing homosexuals.

A year earlier, in 2006, Stephen Hawking visited China, whose government is responsible for large scale human rights abuses in Tibet. Tibet is, as Human Rights Watch noted several years before his visit, “a place where some of the most visible and egregious human rights violations committed by the Chinese state have occurred”. A 2008 UN report found that the use of torture in Tibet was “widespread” and “routine”.

There’s no need to be an apologist for the Israeli occupation of the West Bank to question where professor Hawking’s moral compass was when he chose to visit these two serial human rights abusers – and ask why it has suddenly appeared when the country in question is Israel.

Is Israel uniquely bad, or has hypocrisy towards the Jewish state become so widely accepted among some progressives that even an eminent scholar like Hawking is susceptible to hypocritical and lazy double standards?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/rob.saunders.5496 Rob Saunders

    ” …they solemny swear to their desire to exterinate all Jews on the planet”

    And you have a source for that, somewhere? They certainly don’t want Israel to continue as a country, and I dare say plenty of them would be happy enough to kill all the Jews in Israel (if they had been busy murdering and looting their way through my country for over 40 years I don’t suppose I’d shed too many tears either), but “all Jews on the planet”? How do you suppose the government of Gaza proposes to exterminate the Jews of Glasgow? Or Chicago? Or Tehran, even?

    I don’t think you are in any position to accuse others of having a “disconnect with reality”

  • http://www.facebook.com/rob.saunders.5496 Rob Saunders

    And it’s the Netanyahu that celebrated 9/11 as “Good for Israel”.

    See my response above to your ludicrous fantasy about exterminating all Jews on the planet.

    And the EDL (British Nazis) hate Hamas and wave Israeli flags.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rob.saunders.5496 Rob Saunders

    Of course no Israeli PM has sent killers across the (non-existent border to “knife infants in their beds”. That would require the prave soldiers of the IDF to get up close and personal with their victims, something they only dare to do when using them as human shield. Normal operational practise is either long-range shelling, attack from the air or for variety, the odd bomb left outside a school.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/meast/12/20/idf.chikdren.killed/index.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/rob.saunders.5496 Rob Saunders

    “On leaving the house they heard an infant cry and turned back and knifed it to death.”

    Who witnessed that? Another family member? Oh,no, they were all dead already…er…um…..ANTISEMITISM!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/rob.saunders.5496 Rob Saunders

    He pointed out that Bloodworth either couldn’t be bothered to check the number of visits to Israel Hawking has made since his trips to China and Iran, or deliberately concealed the fact. and you stap your little foot, wave your magic wand, shout “Ad hominem!” and this reasonable fact becomes a “Nazi rant about the evil of the Jooos”.

    Take your pathetic apologia for genocidal terror and shove it up your own ass, if there’s room in there along with your head

  • http://www.facebook.com/rob.saunders.5496 Rob Saunders

    Has it really taken you this long to realise that Baltiron is out to lunch?

  • http://www.facebook.com/rob.saunders.5496 Rob Saunders

    How could there be “fakestinians” or anyone else living in Israel in 1920 when Israel wasn;t invented until 1948?

    Do you not realise what a total airhead you look, or do you simply not care?

  • http://www.facebook.com/rob.saunders.5496 Rob Saunders

    Yes, well, China and Iran invest in science that isn’t purely for military purposes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rob.saunders.5496 Rob Saunders

    Well, the concert in Edinburgh that was disrupted was by the Jerusalem Quartet who proudly described themselves as “Distinguished IDF Musicians” and boasted of playing with a violin in one hand and a rifle in the other.The Israel Philharmonic (as in the London protest) doesn’t represent an institution but it could be argued that it is itself an institution. (In any case, no orchestra that refuses to play the music of Wagner because of his politics – remember this is someone who died 130 years ago – deserves any more respect than would one which refused to play Mahler becuase he was Jewish. You donlt have to be institutional to be vile.

  • chelyabinska

    “Hamas that pledges to exterminate all Jews on the planet.”

    Why don’t they target explicitly in their charter any Jews not occupying their homeland say in Canada or France?

    Blind pro-Israeli puppetry is one thing the world doesn’t need. God knows there are more than enough clowns in Congress who pledge fealty, subservience, and loyalty to it.

  • Ginger Beer

    Thank you for confirming that the BDS movement is all about targeting Jews. Disgraceful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

    61% of Israelis believe Israel is an apartheid state. It’s you that is lying.

  • Ginger Beer

    Israel is not an apartheid state – please stop telling lies and making up statistics.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

    Of course it’s an apartheid state.

    Israelis say so.

    “A night of apartheidA succession of speakers at a three-hour conference in Jerusalem broadly agree that the ‘A word’ describes the status quo; the one dissenting panelist gets seven minutes ”
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/a-night-of-apartheid/

    “South Africa is already here
    The government is trying to build a protected autonomy for the Jewish majority and a stunted autonomy for the Arab minority.”
    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/south-africa-is-already-here-1.322052

    Sorry, I know how this really upsets you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

    Israel is an apartheid state. No doubt. Even Israelis think so.

  • Ginger Beer

    Israel is not an apartheid state – please stop telling lies and making up statistics

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

    The statistics come out of Israel.

    Israel is an apartheid state. There’s no point telling the Israelis what they know and believe is false.

    I’ll take their opinion over yours.

    Israel is an apartheid state and everyone knows it. So do you.

  • Ginger Beer

    Israel is not an apartheid state – please stop telling lies and making up statistics

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

    Israelis know Israel is an apartheid state.

    You’re in denial. You’ll have to accept it eventually.

  • Ginger Beer

    Israel is not an apartheid state – please stop telling lies and making up statistics

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

    Don’t confuse your ignorance for lies. Israel is an apartheid state.

    The statistics are from Israel.

  • Ginger Beer

    Israel is not an apartheid state – please stop telling lies and making up statistics

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

    Israel is an apartheid state – please stop insisting Israel’s own polls are lies or made up.

    If you can’t cope with reality, stay away from blogs.

  • Ginger Beer

    Israel is not an apartheid state – please stop telling lies and making up statistics.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

    Israel is an apartheid state – please stop insisting Israel’s own polls are lies or made up.

    If you can’t handle the truth, my advice would be to stay way from blogs.

  • Ginger Beer

    Israel is not an apartheid state – stop telling lies and making up statistics.

    Now, we can bat this back and forth like this forever, or you could just accept that you’re wrong. My further silence on this issue should not be taken as a sign that this is not the case.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-De-Angelis/551982984 Andre De Angelis

    Of course Israel is an apartheid state. Even the majority of Israelis acknowledge it as such.

    It is you who is wrong, and your silence on this issue will indeed be taken as a sign that you agree Israel is an apartheid state.

  • Ginger Beer

    Fine, think what you like, but it’s pretty clear I don’t believe your racist lies

  • Emmetgrogan

    Hamas Charter covers all Jews worldwide. It crawled out of the same mindset as Wannsee and the final solution. Two state solution with a palestinian state? No problem with that, but Hamas could assist by setting up a crack suicide squad a la Monty Python …….Baltiron. I fear you are wasting your time trying to engage in debate with people that think suicide bombers are in some way ‘cuddly’. UNfortunately there is a red/brown alliance that spreads any form of nonsense as the truth about Israel. I just wish they would have the courage to admit their problem is with Jews, not Israel.

  • Emmetgrogan

    Well as John Wesley noted, No man is beyond redemption. Perhaps the EDL have got something right. Incidentally theyre not Nazis. EDL was set up in response to Islamofascists attacking troops coming off deployment at Luton Airport. They have attracted some extreme right wing nutters from BNP and the remains of C18, the latter were sorely cheesed off at their ‘comrades’ in the UDA putting Israeli flags up on lamps in Belfast. Mind you the only reason they did that was to get in the faces of the REpublican types who were putting up ‘palestinian’ flags in their areas. Ive never understood the attraction for the republicans in the palestinian/muslim global struggle. They dont quite seem to have grasped that Hamas will close down all the Guiness shops if they take power (Powers whisky as well???)

  • Emmetgrogan

    Kurds?

  • Diogenes Tha Dogg

    Israel is still “down in Dachau Blues”. In other words, “We can still remember the smell of Auschwitz and Treblinka. Next time we’ll take all of you with us.”

  • Diogenes Tha Dogg

    ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samson_Option ) = You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry…

  • jim

    apparently you don’t know or don’t care about kurdistan, dickbag.

  • abebird

    Netanyahu doesn’t boycotting Britain for their conquest of Gibraltar and the Malvinas islands !!!!

    Iran executing homosexuals regularly but the global press don’t care, they prefer to sell you fairy tales on how the Jews annihilating the Muslims in the Middle East, want to control the world and eating the flesh of the Islamic terrorists! In short, that lunatic press is stinks !!!

  • abebird

    As far as I know, and I know, Israelis make fun on people as you. The US-USSR played the Samson option more clearly and threateningly…. and almost annihilated each other. So what you’re up to, Mr, Dog ?

  • abebird

    More clearly that Anti Semite chewing that slogans on daily basis. I’m happy that Jews are wiser then people as you !

  • abebird

    You’re just twisting, curving and copy/past lies circulated online. The
    truth is that the research and development of most Intel products are made in 4 factories in Israel; there they also developed the i7. It is true that later it
    continued the production in America, but that does not change the fact that
    Hopkins uses Israeli made equipments, not only of the wheelchair, but generally while computing. You too.

    Intel Core 2 Quad processors project was launced in Intel Israel in 2006 later moved to Intel Haifa Israel in 2008. Core i7 is part of Core 2 Quad inovasion
    called “Sandy Bridge”.

    http://www.zdnet.com/benchmarks-intels-sandy-bridge-3040091309/

    http://www.zdnet.com/israel-inside-a-history-of-intels-r-and-d-in-israel-7000003122/

    I know that you feel bad, but that facts!

  • http://talknic.wordpress.com/ talknic

    “Netanyahu doesn’t boycotting Britain for their conquest of Gibraltar and the Malvinas islands !!!!”

    Gibraltar: formally ceded to the British in 1713, under Article 10 of the Treaty of Utretcht. http://www.heraldica.org/topics/france/utrecht.htm

    Malvinas islands: Falkland Islanders prefer to remain British citizens. Self determination! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21731760

    “Iran executing homosexuals regularly ”

    Source/s please….

    Two men were executed in Iran a few years ago for rape and murder. They just happened to be homosexuals. Should homosexuals be exempt from the Law for rape and murder?

  • Shingo

    >> The truth is that the research and development of most Intel products are made in 4 factories in Israel; there they also developed the i7

    False. The i7 used in Hawking’s laptop was developed in Hillsboro Oregon and nothing he relied on has anything to do with Israel. NOTHING.

    Like I said, the claims the i7 was designed in Israel are lies.

    Nor is his wheelchair Israeli made, produced or designed.

    Furthermore, Hawking (not Hopkins – you can’t even get his name right the facts) was not even using intel based laptop (AMD) until Intel begged and paid him to move to Intel. So the claim that he ever relied on anything designed or manufactured in Israel is pure BS.

    >> Intel Core 2 Quad processors project was launced in Intel Israel in 2006 later moved to Intel Haifa Israel in 2008

    Wrong again. The Core 2 Quad processors was an iteration from the previous processor which was also developed in Hillsboro Oregon and a fabrication was outsources to Israel.

    I know that you feel bad, but that facts! Now go back to sucking on that lemon.

  • james__uk

    Steven Hawking should visit any bloody place he wants. He doesn’t have to answer to you about where he takes a holiday.

  • james__uk

    And visiting a place with a poor track record for political rights can also be seen as courageous, and attempting to challenge the status quo. Hawking is not a political figure and therefore is not required to be politically correct when taking the smallest of pisses.

  • jimbojones

    how about the parallels between israelis and the jim crow south? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPxv4Aff3IA

  • Gert Van Der Straaten

    You are the one defending a racist regime, which is pretty much what nazism was. So stfu racist craphole.

  • Nils-Petter Olsen

    So, whats the point here? That if you didn’t stand up earlier you should never do so afterwards? That if I help out some people in need i am a hypocrite because i dont help all people who needs it? Ridiculous.
    This is the type of argument you resort to when you have no real arguments.

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