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July 28, 2014 / 1 Av, 5774
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Hawking Rejects the Zionism of Einstein

When in 1948 President Harry Truman recognized the new Jewish State of Israel, Einstein declared it 'the fulfillment of our dream.'
The author with Stephen Hawking.

The author with Stephen Hawking.

Has Stephen Hawking really left the company of Albert Einstein, an avowed Zionist who worked to create the State of Israel, and replaced him with the august company of Elvis Costello and other Israel boycotters?

I hosted Hawking for a lecture at Oxford in 1998 where I introduced him to 1000 Oxford students. He could not have been more humble and approachable. Aside from his lecture, delivered through his voice synthesizer, on string theory – little of which I understood but which my students assured me was “brilliant” – I remember his love of babies and practical jokes. Our daughter Rochel Leah had just been born and Hawking and his wife asked us if he could hold her. I can still picture in my mind how his wife took the baby, placed her on his lap, and then wrapped his enfeebled arms around the baby, which he stared at with a huge grin for minutes. He was enraptured.
After the lecture was over and as we walked Hawking to his car, he suddenly raced off in his wheelchair to Haagen-Dazs where he consumed an ice cream. His wife chuckled that he loved giving his hosts the slip as he indulged his childlike spirit.
All who heard and met him were deeply impressed with his humility and accessibility.
And now this, digging a knife publicly into Israel’s back.
Why would one of the world’s leading academic minds condemn the only democracy in the Middle East? Why would he attack a country, situated in a region of such deep misogyny, that celebrates women succeeding in every area of academic, professional, and political life? Why would Hawking pounce on a nation who, with neighbors like Hamas that routinely murder gays on false accusations of collaboration, grants homosexuals every equal right? And why would he condemn a country whose Arab citizens are the freest and least afraid in the entire Middle East?
Could it be because Israel has still not settled the status of the West Bank [Judea and Samaria -.ed]?
But if that is the case, surely Hawking knows that Israel has seen thousands of its citizens slaughtered in gruesome terror attacks ever since it granted autonomy to the Palestinian authority to control 97% of the Palestinian population?
Could it be because Israel has yet to facilitate the creation of a Palestinian state?
But then Hawking is a highly educated man and he knows that after Israel withdrew fully from Gaza – dismantling its communities and forcibly removing its settlers – that it lead to tens of thousands of rockets being fired at Israeli hospitals and schools. And besides, Israel has practically begged the Palestinians to come back to the negotiating table without any pre-conditions to discuss just that, the creation of a two-state solution, but the Palestinians have refused.
Perhaps its because Hawking believes the demonstrably false lie that Israel is an apartheid state. But then a scientist like Hawking would check facts before he would embrace such fraudulence and could easily discover that Arabs serve in the Israel Knesset – where they freely and regularly disagree with Israel – as well as the Israeli Supreme Court, the civil service, and every other area of Israeli life.
No, one must conclude that for all his academic brilliance Hawking might just be lacking in simple common sense.
In his statement embracing the boycott of the Jewish state, Hawking said, “I have received a number of emails from Palestinian academics. They are unanimous that I should respect the boycott. In view of this I must withdraw from the conference.”
One would think that Hawking’s response to these academics might be a call to, say, Hamas to start using the billions channeled to the Palestinians as the world’s largest per capita recipients of international foreign aid into building universities rather than buying bombs, or educating women rather than tacitly allowing the honor killings of young Palestinian women whose only crime is to have a boyfriend. No, Hawking decided instead to condemn the country whose scholars have won ten Nobel prizes, from a population of six million, while the entire Arab world, numbering in the hundreds of millions, have won two, outside the peace prize (another four).
Clearly, a knowledge of physics is no guarantor of a knowledge of foreign affairs.

Since Hawking is so often called the Einstein of his generation, it is worth reminding him that Einstein was a committed Zionist who traveled around the United States with Chain Weizmann to raise money for the creation of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, an institution that Hawking now refuses to even visit. In a 1921 letter to his friend Friedrich Zangger, Einstein wrote, “On Saturday I’m off to America – not to speak at universities (though there will probably be that, too, on the side) but rather to help in the founding of the Jewish University in Jerusalem. I feel an intense need to do something for this cause.”

About the Author: Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi” whom the Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is the international best-selling author of 29 books, including The Fed-up Man of Faith: Challenging God in the Face of Tragedy and Suffering. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.


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6 Responses to “Hawking Rejects the Zionism of Einstein”

  1. Ken Kelso says:

    http://www.algemeiner.com/2013/05/10/stephen-hawking-endorses-iranian-and-chinese-repression/
    Stephen Hawking Endorses Iranian and Chinese Repression.
    MAY 10, 2013.
    Alan Dershowitz

  2. Eran Spiro says:

    Hawking dosen't believe in G_D! I understand why! Yet it is not his fault….

  3. Jordan Burr says:

    Israel continues to build settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. They continue to occupy the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and will not allow those occupied Palestinians to vote in Israeli elections. Hawking made the right choice.

  4. Seosamh Branagh says:

    It is imprudent perhaps to speculate too much (except Einstein did plenty and very fruitfully) but would any knowledgable person believe that Einstein would have a shred of regard for Israel 2013 (a nation that gave South Africa the nuclear bomb, a nation that alligned with the ugandan cannibal, Idi Amin until he turned on Israel, a nation that armed the Central American militaries including Rios Montt in Guametmala last friday convicted of crimes against humanity, genocide of 300000 native Ixil Mayans-a scale worse than the nazi genocide-a nation that in 2 blitzes on the Gaza concentration camp murdered 800 children?
    Everything in Einstein's brave life indicates he would be shoulder to shoulder with bravest Hawking.

  5. I agree with you in general on what you say and cannot dispute anything you have said in your very well written and as always sincere article.

    I don't think the failure of an Israeli-Palestinian peace can be blamed on Israel.but they are not entirely the fault of the Palestinians either.

    Israel has made major errors since 1967 in it's quest for peace.

    One of the biggest has been an inability to see beyond the present.

    No one has a crystal ball, but helping to establish Hamas was not a good idea. Neither was the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza.

    Similar mistakes were also made in Lebanon when Israel expected a Christian only political pact.

    The pressure from the politically correct against Israel will certainly not help to create more favorable conditions for peace.

    But our love for all of the Land of Israel should not delude us that we can keep the status quo forever, just like the Palestinians should not be deluded that they can change the status quo to get whatever they want without meeting Israel's basic needs.

  6. It's no surprise a Scandinavian-descandant fascist antisemitic scum is on this opinion. hope you'll be gangbanged in putrid 3rd world Chicago.

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