9 May 2013, 14:17

US Jewish group: Hawking "delivered slap" in face of academic freedom

20.06.2010 Стивен Хокинг астрофизик

A US Jewish organization slammed British physicist Stephen Hawking for pulling out of an Israeli conference because of pressure from pro-Palestinian activists.

Hawking "has delivered a slap in the face to academic freedom," the New York-based Anti-Defamation League said Wednesday.

The boycott campaign "relies on an abhorrent and false comparison of Israeli democracy to Apartheid," charged the group, which fights against defamation of Israel and Jews.

Cambridge University, meanwhile, confirmed the academic boycott had prompted Hawking to pull out of the June conference in Jerusalem to be hosted by Israeli President Shimon Peres.

"A letter was sent on Friday to the Israeli president's office from Stephen Hawking regarding his decision not to attend the Presidential Conference, based on advice from Palestinian academics that he should respect the boycott," it said.

Tim Holt, the head of media relations at Cambridge University, had said a day earlier that poor health was behind Hawking's decision.

Voice of Russia, dpa


Stephen Hawking eyes space

Distinguished British scientist, astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has announced his next life goal - to fly to space. He said this during a rare appearance at a charity event in London.

Referring to television channel Sky News, Hawking, in particular, said: "Being on a ventilator has not curbed my lifestyle. Since going on a ventilator full time I have been to Brussels, the Isle of Man, Geneva, Canada, California twice, and I hope to go into space with Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic," he said.

According to the scientists, his words were met with applause in the audience.

Voice of Russia, TASS

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