For example, I could understand that the "Presidential" context of the event seems a bit too much related to a certain nation, whose present politics he does not like in certain aspects and accordingly does not wish to recognize by his attendance. But if he does not even precise that his decision is not directed against his Israeli colleagues (who of course are paid by the Israeli state just as he is paid by the British, because otherwise he and they couldn't do research), he's likely to leave a feeling of uncollegiality in Israeli minds who, too, are first of all looking for scientific insights, even though some Israeli buddies seem to be claiming those discoveries as somehow related to Israeli culture or generated by a certain civilisation while science generally relies on international discoveries and publications. I don't want to say that Israeli scientists can't be terribly nationalist either, but I would like to have at least some more words from Hawking.
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IDF raids radio station in Hebron (Haaretz)