An Inconvenient Truth About the Stephen Hawking Boycott of Israel

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Stephen Hawking's boycott of Israel won't extend to the Israeli technology he relies on to communicate.

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Famed physicist Stephen Hawking announced that he would join an academic boycott of Israel. Israelis greeted the news with outrage but Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of the Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center went one further, insisting that if Hawking really wanted to send a message to Israel, he should avoid using their technology:

"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," she said.

"He calls [the boycott] an independent decision based on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts here. I propose he first seek the advice of Intel engineers working here. He seems to have no understanding of this world."

But he does know a lot about black holes.

UPDATE: Hawking's spokesperson said that his decision not to attend a conference in Israel had nothing to do with political views -- they were strictly health related. So that's the end of that micro-controversy. [Hat tip: Dave]

UPDATE II: Now there's an indication that Hawkings did indeed want to boycott Israel on political grounds. This story has fallen into its own black hole of confusion.

(AP Photo)

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