Dear Professor Hawking:
As you know, you had recently been invited to the fifth annual President's Conference to be held for three days, beginning June 16, in Israel. The purpose of the conference, hosted by Israeli President Shimon Peres and entitled "Facing Tomorrow, 2013," is to address various problems facing the world today. Experts in various fields, and past world leaders and statesmen attend. After accepting the invitation you subsequently withdrew. You are one of the best known scientists in the world. Clearly, you are brilliant within your field of theoretical physics. As is also well known, you suffer from a neurological disease similar to ALS. And, you are an anti-semite.
According to the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, they state you withdrew "based upon (your) knowledge of Palestine, and on the unanimous advice of (your) own academic contacts there." So, you now support the boycott, divest and sanction movement against Israel. You had previously been to Israel. Now, as a leading scientist, you support an academic boycott of other scientists.
Since visiting Israel last you have become increasingly anti-Israel. You claimed that Israel's response to rocket attacks from Gaza was "plain out of proportion." Clearly, Palestinian rockets falling on Israeli cities and civilians was of no concern to you. While Israel's military operates under the strictest rules of engagement, your brilliance does not prevent you from falling for the left-wing propaganda regarding "proportionality." If a burglar enters my home while I am there and shoots me in the leg, how am I permitted to respond? Assuming I have a gun, can I only shoot him in his leg, in order to keep my response "proportional?" What if the second shot the burglar fires kills me? What kind of "proportional" response can I engage in then?
You have also said that "the situation (for Palestinians) is like that of South Africa before 1990 and cannot continue." I actually appreciate such a brilliant scientist such as yourself making such moronic comments. You are a perfect example of what I tell my fellow conservatives: liberal ideology trumps logic, consistency and common sense. And now I can add that it trumps brilliance as well.
You should listen to the words of Kenneth Meshoe, a Member of Parliament in South Africa, and a black man who lived under apartheid rule. He said it is "ridiculous" to equate the treatment of the Palestinians with the treatment of blacks under apartheid. He had no freedom of movement. He had to live in a "black" area. He could not move even to a different "black" area without permission; and it was much more difficult to enter a "white" area. There were separate medical clinics for blacks, with black doctors. If a white doctor agreed to see him, it had to be in a back room. Blacks could not vote. They could not hold elected office. A white person would never have to appear in front of a black judge, the way a former President of Israel had to appear in front of an Arab judge. Oh yes, Palestinians vote and are Members of the Knesset, Israel's Parliament. A white would never have a black teacher. Israel has Arab teachers. He said he was amazed by the experience of a fellow black from South Africa visiting Israel. His friend needed medical care and was apparently in an emergency room with a Jewish patient on one side of him and a Palestinian on the other, all getting the same care from the same doctors.
As Mr. Meshoe said, it is insulting to equate the situation of the Palestinians with the real apartheid of South Africa, because it "minimizes the pain of those who suffered in South Africa." Yes, you are brilliant. But your liberal ideology does not allow you to make distinctions. It certainly does not allow you to properly view the real world around you. But now that you believe in academic boycotts, what should I do with some of your books that I own? Should I return them or throw them out? Burn them maybe? After all, you cannot expect me, a Jew who supports Israel, to affiliate myself in any way with you, an anti-semite.
Very truly yours,
P.S. As a result of your neurological disease I understand that you can only communicate by use of a computer based system. Inasmuch as the system uses Israeli technology, when can we expect you to return the device?