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Stephen Hawking Boycotting Company Working on his Cure

Israel’s BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics has invented a process that completely reverses ALS, but, sadly, Prof. Hawking, now shuns Israeli science.
Prof. Stephen Hawking participated in a conference with Israeli soldiers and students at the Bloomfield Museum of Science in Jerusalem, December 10, 2006.

Prof. Stephen Hawking participated in a conference with Israeli soldiers and students at the Bloomfield Museum of Science in Jerusalem, December 10, 2006.
Photo Credit: Orel Cohen/Flash90

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Professor Stephen Hawking now supports the academic boycott of Israel, because of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, the Guardian reported Wednesday, and to show it, he pulled out of the conference that will be hosted in June by Israeli president Shimon Peres in Jerusalem..

Hawking, 71, “the guy who invented time,” as the Big Bang Theory character Penny calls him, is a mega-famous theoretical physicist and the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University. He had initially accepted an invitation to speak at the fifth annual president’s “Facing Tomorrow” conference (possibly the last one, too, since the next president might not be up to it).

Hawking is in very poor health, according to the Guardian. He suffers from a motor neuron disease related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS – also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease), a condition that has progressed over the years. He is almost entirely paralyzed and communicates through a speech generating device.

Last week, the author of “A Brief History of Time” wrote President Peres a brief letter ignoring a good 50% of History, saying he had changed his mind and won’t appear at the much touted conference.

A statement published with Hawking’s approval by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, said the reason for the insult to Peres and to Israel is “his independent decision to respect the boycott, based upon his knowledge of Palestine, and on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there.”

The Guardian reports that in the four weeks since Hawking’s participation in the Jerusalem event was announced, the great man has been “bombarded with messages from Britain and abroad as part of an intense campaign by boycott supporters trying to persuade him to change his mind.”

It worked. Finally Hawking broke down, and told friends he decided “to follow the advice of Palestinian colleagues who unanimously agreed that he should not attend.”

Here’s the catch: almost a year ago, The Jewish Press ran a story about Israeli scientific advancements in the use of stem cells to treat a variety of serious and debilitating illnesses, resulting in the miraculous recovery of the dean of the Mir yeshiva, Rabbi Refael Shmuelevich, from ALS.

A clinical trial of ALS patients conducted by Israel’s BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics shows their therapy, NurOwn, is safe and well-tolerated by patients, and not only capable of halting the progress of the illness, but can actually reverse the course of the disease, improving the breathing, muscle strength, and speech capabilities of sufferers with nerve damage in the brain and spine.

At the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, Rabbi Shmuelevitz was given just 2-4 years to live, until he succumbed to the most severe form of the neuromuscular diseases. Soon his speech became difficult to understand, and he was confined to a wheelchair.

But just one month after beginning an experimental treatment spearheaded at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, Rabbi Shmuelevitz was back on his feet, teaching again at the 7,000-student yeshiva, as he has done for the last 30 years. His recovery was not only touted as a miracle and a joy for the students of the Mir yeshiva, but is being called the first ever recovery from ALS.

The Mayo Clinic is participating in clinical trials of the BrainStorm drug.

It’s possible that next time Professor Hawking comes to Jerusalem, it would be to receive treatment rather than to rebuke the local scientific community.

Except, as a Jewish Press manager commented online: Maybe Hawking just prefers the innovations and gifts the Palestinians have brought to the world… big bangs.

Hawking has visited Israel four times, most recently, in 2006, when he said he was “looking forward to coming out to Israel and the Palestinian territories and excited about meeting both Israeli and Palestinian scientists.”

But as of now, it’s down to just Palestinian scientists.

Both of them.

Israeli Presidential Conference Chairman Israel Maimon responded to Hawking’s announcement saying that his decision was unjustifiable and wrong:

“The academic boycott against Israel is in our view outrageous and improper, certainly for someone for whom the spirit of liberty lies at the basis of his human and academic mission. Israel is a democracy in which all individuals are free to express their opinions, whatever they may be. The imposition of a boycott is incompatible with open, democratic dialogue.”

Malka Fleischer contributed to this report.

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About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.

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104 Responses to “Stephen Hawking Boycotting Company Working on his Cure”

  1. Anonymous says:

    So now the respected scientist also suffers from blindness. How tragic how hatred can extend one's own suffering on many levels. We can pray that Prof. Hawking see the light of truth. Can we accept this as further proof that intelligence and learning provides no avenue to wisdom, Mr. Olmert?

  2. Martine Eckerling says:

    Too bad he hasn't been swallowed by one of the black holes he helped to describe…

  3. Brian Fink says:

    This is the nature of Jew-hatred, it's visceral so doesn't respond to logic. It trumps all else including common-sense and even self-interest as the Nazis diverted war material to the camps even as they were losing the war.

  4. Antisemitism makes even the most brilliant man into a stupid ass!

  5. Laurent Tartour says:


  6. Harold Tobin says:

    Shows in a brilliant person person can be fooled. If a cure is found what kind of shmuks wiil his supporters be.

  7. Anonymous says:

    While he is a brilliant physicist he is a stupid hate filled man. Let him stay home and continue to live his last days in misery. I'm sure his palestinean friends will take care of him.

  8. Ethan Perks says:

    According to "BBC Watch", this story is not true. Hawking pulled out for health reasons only. An anti Israel pro Palestinian NGO just assumed BDS was the reason.

  9. Brian Hildebrand says:

    Anti Semitism here is disguised as pro Palestinian. We're not anti Semites, but we're for the people that are.

  10. Anonymous says:

    ALREADY HAS almost 400 HITS. please help Homeland Security to share this info.. RABBI ROSENBERG


    America Unite BOSTON BOMBING.


  11. Christian Elles says:

    Just goes to show you that even Steven Hawking can succumb to the pressure of being a mere sheep on a Liberal university campus.

  12. Christian Elles says:

    Just goes to show you that even Steven Hawking can succumb to the pressure of being a mere sheep on a Liberal university campus.

  13. Reid Barnes says:

    An article in the Guardian says: "Hawking, 71, the world-renowned theoretical physicist and former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge …. … This article was amended on 8 May 2013. The original described Hawking as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge." Will Hawking's renown surpass that of that other previous occupant of this position? That is what one could expect over 300 years after the position was instituted, but Hawking rejected the world view of that other physicist and staked his positions on a theory founded on self-contradicting non-Euclidean geometry. Another article asks, "What has Stephen Hawking done for science? Some of the physicist's greatest hits – from singularities in gravitational collapse to a quantum theory of gravity". I wonder whether he properly considered the question, What if Einstein was wrong about space curvature, but right about dice? Check out my the Facebook Note, The Problem With Non-Euclidean Geometry … https://www.facebook.com/notes/reid-barnes/the-problem-with-non-euclidean-geometry-or-the-lite-triangle-axiom-part-two/541137095938869.

  14. Mike Leberte says:

    YHWH knows that we are but dust.
    HE gives us time to change our minds and return to Him

  15. Anonymous says:

    It just goes to show that you can have a brilliant mind and an evil neshama!

  16. Sara Abramson says:

    That's just sad….
    Lucky for him he will still reap the benefits of our brilliant scientific community… If he had started 60 years ago he would have no hope now…

  17. Yaeli Tal says:

    מפתיע, שמוח עצום של מדע ויקום מקביל, נותן לפוליטיקה ותופעת לוואי של דת, לעצור התפתחויות של גילויי מדע שיעזרו לו ולאחרים.. אבל גם ככה זה יקרה בלעדיו בהמשך..

  18. Jenel Cohen says:

    Hawking could have handled this better, but it doesn't mean he's anti-semitic. He's expressing his support for suffering Palestinians. As much as I love Judaism and support Israel, I do not accept the current Zionist paradigm. Does that make me anti-semitic?

  19. Yes, it does. Or isn't denying Jews any right to their own homeland antisemitism?

  20. Anonymous says:

    Mostly he is just one Big heretic he doesn't even believe in G-d! Shows you how someone can be really smart in a particular field but end up being a total ignoramus on bigger and more important issues such as the reality that there is a G-d in this world! G-d save us from being influenced by such confused people- who by the way are all over University campuses. At the end of the day a 5 year old kid who believes in G-d is wiser.

  21. Sassan K. Darian says:

    I am sad and disappointed. I rather delude myself and say that his cognitive faculties are declining that he made this decision but that would just be to reduce my cognitive dissonance. He has already been to Israel four times before. Maybe because it was a government event and not academia. But still, it is the wrong thing to do and it highly saddens me and disappoints me. It makes me lose a bit of respect for Dr. Hawking. And I speak as an Iranian-American non-Israel non-Jew. :sigh. :(

  22. Marsha Roth says:

    In the past, I've always had tremendous admiration for Stephen Hawking. He is a brilliant man. Unfortunately, the REAL SCHMUCK part of him is exposed. Now, he is a brilliant ASS. Shame on him! He can't tell Propaganda from Truth! Now, he won't get to meet ALL the brilliant minds of the many Palestinian scientists, Oh! That's right! ALL two of them! along with the truly brilliant minds of the many Israeli scientists. He's the loser! Poor schmuck!

  23. Bebe Barbu says:

    It's quait pity that a such important man changed his mind in such a manner!

  24. It makes me laugh how many people believes that Steven Hawkins has suddenly found all the answers of our origins, how the world started, etc.. Just wait a decade or two, he will be debunk as he already is in the eyes of many peoples! Btw, it is "Not" smart on his part to "Boycott" the Ones (Israel) who are warmly open to cure You and help You.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Stephen Hawkings is a greater man today than yesterday. The facts are clear on the ground. Israel’s policies against the Palestinians are brutal and criminal. The Occupation is a savage act. His decision to Boycott Jerusalem’s conference can only be described as a contribution to world Peace and Justice.

  26. Sassan K. Darian says:

    I am sad and disappointed. I rather delude myself and say that his cognitive faculties are declining that he made this decision but that would just be to reduce my cognitive dissonance. He has already been to Israel four times before. Maybe because it was a government event and not academia. But still, it is the wrong thing to do and it highly saddens me and disappoints me. It makes me lose a bit of respect for Dr. Hawking. And I speak as an Iranian-American atheist non-Israel non-Jew. :sigh.

    I love you Dr. Hawking. I am one of your biggest admirers. But you have lost some respect from those of us who value reason. You caved in to the same Palestinian Islamofascists who would love to have you executed for being an atheist. In this respect, you have become a "Useful Idiot" to the Islamofascist cause.

  27. Sara Abramson says:


  28. Sassan K. Darian says:

    What an idiotic statement.

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