Physicist Stephen Hawking died today in Cambridge at the age of 76. Mostly he will be eulogized for his brilliance & contributions to science; those who knew him will describe the richness of his character. But we should honor him for respecting the cultural & academic boycott of Israel (BDS) in 2013 by publicly refusing to attend the Israeli Presidential Conference at Hebrew University in Jerusalem under the auspices of Shimon Peres. Peres (now dead) from Poland, was part of the Zionist paramilitary squads that forced Palestinians off their lands in 1948, was an architect of Israeli apartheid, & in 2013 was president of Israel; Hebrew University is built on illegally annexed Palestinian land; & Israeli universities & academics develop the psychological & technological systems used to suppress the Palestinian struggle against occupation, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, including the bombing of civilians in Gaza.
Hawking once said “It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.” May we add it would not be much of a universe it it weren’t that the majority of people oppose colonialism, occupation, apartheid, & that so many are willing take a stand against it, as Hawking did.
May he Rest In Peace.