Europe must be willing to carry an important responsibility for the liberties, equal rights and well-being of all parties involved in the post-colonial, post-Holocaust Middle East. Inconsistent promises were made in the past by the British and the French to both Jews and Arabs. Meanwhile the European opposition to Hitler's Fascism was too weak for the job. WW2 taught the world the importance of universal human rights and the importance to be well prepared for any possible threat. Stephen Hawking should have the intelligence and the courage to speak out in detail about every aspect of today's conflict between Israel, the Palestinians and all their surrounding countries. Well respected people like Hawking should take every opportunity to test and improve their own opinions and those of everyone else in the room. Everywhere and any time. To single out Israel's occupation of the West Bank for a boycott seems like an "easy" and obvious statement to me, safe in the "civilized" salon, and a "Prayer without End", as the Dutch saying goes, in the context of all violations of human rights and the preaching of hate and war anywhere in the ugly world and outside the "civilized" salon. Having said all this, all parties in the Middle East would of course be better off with more individual freedom for everyone, apart from ethnicity or religion. To speak, to move, to settle, to be safe.The freedom that inspired Spinoza but was denied to Anne Frank. We are all in the same boat. There is no God outside nature.
Fire breaks out in Devira Forest, north of Be'er Sheva; four firefighting crews on scene (Haaretz)
from the article: Hypocrisy and double standard: An open letter to Stephen Hawking