Monday, May 13, 2013


Professor Stephen Hawking has pulled out of a commitment to give a lead lecture at a major international science conference in Israel next month.  The event is also a celebration of the 90th birthday of President Peres. 
Hawking has visited Israel four times. Most recently, in 2006, he delivered public lectures at Israeli and Palestinian universities as the guest of the British Embassy.
Boycotts of Israel like this are discriminatory and demonise the only stable and mature democracy in the Middle East, where the rights of minorities are protected.
Additionally, Israeli expertise is leading to productive partnerships that are helping to change the world for the better. For instance, The Hanquing Foundation, that provides scholarships for outstanding Chinese students, will be providing scholarships of up to $35,000 a year for Chinese students to go to the world leading technological university, Technion in Haifa, Israel. This shows how Israeli expertise is bringing nations worldwide together to the benefit of all. Boycotts endanger this.
Chairman of the ZF Paul Charney said, “Boycotts of Israel are based on hatred and lies, which harm the prospects of peace that are based on dialogue. Much of what we take for granted, like our computers, medicinal drugs or mobile phones are made or designed in Israel, the same products that the BDS movement wants to boycott.”
The ZF and all its UK members will always speak out against these boycotts that delegitimise and would deprive the world of Israel’s significant contributions.