Hawking decided not to appear as a protest against the illegality and moral bankruptcy of the occupation and colonization. Are they saying that he, as an acadamic and an individual, does not have the right to boycott the conference? Are they so threatened by him that they need to respond in such a vocieforous manner? Sounds like they are overcompensating for what they know, down deep, is wrong.
U.S. says working on initiative to de-escalate Syria fighting, with focus on Aleppo (Reuters)