An Inconvenient Truth About the Stephen Hawking Boycott of Israel
Stephen Hawking's boycott of Israel won't extend to the Israeli technology he relies on to communicate.
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.