A statement issued on [Hawking's] behalf explained that he was persuaded by Palestinian colleagues to boycott an academic conference taking place in Israel, because of its policies towards the Palestinians. Right on, Stevie!
I wonder what Hawking’s hero, the late mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing would have thought of this. A short while ago, Hawking was a leading signatory to a campaign for Turing to be posthumously pardoned — he had been convicted of homosexuality 60 years ago.
Turing would get 10 years in prison in Gaza today, although there is a healthy penal reform lobby within the mosques who think this sentence should be non-custodial — that is, it should be changed to death by stoning followed by being doused in Allah’s cleansing fires for eternity. Indeed, Hawking is boycotting one of the only states in the region where Turing would not have been imprisoned on account of his sexuality. Peculiar, isn’t it? Unless on that occasion — as on this — Hawking was just grandstanding for a fashionable cause.
Or perhaps it’s this: maybe Hawking, who has motor neurone disease and uses a wheelchair, finds Hamas’s non-discriminatory jihadist spirit amenable. The group is determined to afford mentally disabled Palestinians a certain prominence in the fight against the Zionist entity by strapping Semtex to their bodies and cheerfully pointing them in the direction of the Israelis. Hamas will use children and women for the same purpose.
Professor Hawking has a problem, mind. He uses an astonishing speech-generation device that has made his voice recognisable the world over. Its most important component is a fiendishly clever silicon chip that was designed in . . . yes, Israel. It is not clear how Hawking will square this problem. Perhaps he will protest against himself.
Hawking should stick to physics. And stick with his own kind, as even the briefest history of Islamic time will tell.