Physicist Stephen Hawking Fundraises for Palestinian Students

'I support the rights of scientists everywhere to freedom of movement, publication and collaboration,' says the scientist.

The Forward
Naomi Zeveloff
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Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking in 2010.
Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking in 2010.Credit: Dave Einsel/AP
The Forward
Naomi Zeveloff

Palestinian physics students just got a boost from world famous British physicist Stephen Hawking.

Hawking, perhaps the most influential living scientist, asked his 3.8 million Facebook followers to pitch in to the Palestinian Advanced Physics School, a physics lecture series for West Bank masters students.

Hawking gave a video greeting in the school’s 2016 session, where British, American and Jordanian scientists lectured in a range of topics in contemporary physics.

On his Facebook page, Hawking promoted a fundraising campaign for the school’s continuation in 2017.

“I support the rights of scientists everywhere to freedom of movement, publication and collaboration,” he wrote.

Four years ago, Hawking drew the ire of Israel advocates when he withdrew from a conference in Israel celebrating the 90th birthday of former President Shimon Peres, now deceased.

At the time, Hawking said that the Israel’s government’s policies toward the Palestinians would “lead to disaster.”

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