Hawking’s Courageous Stand Against Israeli Apartheid

prisoners

The decision by Professor Stephen Hawking to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement against Israel is a hugely courageous one and he deserves support for speaking out on the issue of Israeli apartheid – an issue on which too many people are afraid to speak out.

As the award-winning journalist Nick Davies observed in his splendid book about the UK media, Flat Earth News:

“…the most potent electric fence in the world is the one erected on behalf of the Israeli government.

“Journalists who write stories which offend the politics of the Israeli lobby are subjected to a campaign of formal complaints and pressure on their editors; most of all, they are inundated with letters and emails which can be extravagant in their hostility…

“The result is that some facts become dangerous: to report Palestinian casualties; to depict the Palestinians as victims of Israeli occupation; to refer to the historic ousting of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes; to refer to the killing of Palestinian civilians by Zionist groups in the 1940s. The facts are there, but the electric fence will inflict pain on any reporter who selects them.”

Hawking has been in poor health for some time now. He is undoubtedly going to have pain inflicted on him as a result of breaking through the ‘electric fence’. The Times (where Daniel Finkelstein and the odious Oliver Kamm both hold senior editorial posts) yesterday published a disgraceful editorial belittling Hawking and describing his decision as ‘stupid’. Hawking will surely be remembered as someone who has done far more for improving our understanding of the world around us than either of those two little shits.

The best support we can give Hawking, is to join him in speaking out against Israel’s continuing racist and violent oppression of the occupied Palestinians. Just like South Africa, it’s apartheid policies will be it’s downfall.

Many of our politicians and much of our media may have been bought out by the Israel lobby. But they can’t buy all of us.

Hat-tip: Thanks to Jews Sans Frontieres for bringing my attention to the graphic which I nicked for this blog.

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2 Responses to Hawking’s Courageous Stand Against Israeli Apartheid

  1. Asim says:

    I’m not sure what the academic boycott will achieve. What about pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist Israeli students? A blanket ban means that Israelis on all sides of the argument are discriminated against. I can’t see the logic in that.

  2. You may recall that there was a massive cultural boycott of South Africa in the 1980’s due to its own apartheid policies towards the native black population. I am sure that there must have been white South African academics who objected to apartheid – but the boycott had the goal of targetting the apartheid regime, not individual academics. That boycott had a huge international impact in making South Africa a pariah nation across the globe and embarrassing those politicians (including the late Margaret Thatcher) who refused to take any action against its horrible racism and violent treatment of the black population.

    With its continuing illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and continuous illegal Jewish settlement building programme and discriminatory policies towards the native Palestinian population, Israel too is becoming a pariah nation.

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