Israel blames Chomsky for Hawking withdrawal from Peres conferenceU.S. linguist Noam Chomsky
By Press TV
The regime’s outlets described Chomsky as “notoriously anti-Israel linguist and one of the world’s leading anti-Israel activists who joined 20 academics who urged world-renowned British physicist not to participate in the fifth annual Presidential Conference in Al-Quds (Jerusalem), to which he was invited by Israel’s President Shimon Peres”.
According to their reports, Chomsky, a U.S. professor, joined prominent British figures from the universities of Cambridge, London, Leeds, Southampton, Warwick, Newcastle, York and the Open University in voicing their “surprise and deep disappointment” in Hawking for initially accepting the invitation.
Ultimately, Hawking withdrew his participation in the conference in protest of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.
Chomsky reportedly lent his support to a letter, addressed to Hawking, written by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine campaign group.
They said that the letter included statements like: “Israel systematically discriminates against the Palestinians who make up 20% of its population in ways that would be illegal in Britain,” that Israel’s treatment of the people of Gaza amounts to “collective punishment,” and that the construction of Jewish settlements constitutes a violation of the Geneva convention.
“Israel places multiple roadblocks, physical, financial and legal, in the way of higher education, both for its own Palestinian citizens and those under occupation,” the letter was quoted as saying. “Israel has a name for the promotion of its cultural and scientific standing: ‘Brand Israel.’ This is a deliberate policy of camouflaging its oppressive acts behind a cultured veneer.”
Stephen Hawking’s decision last week to withdraw from the Peres’ conference out of solidarity with Palestinians marks one of the biggest victories yet for the decade old effort to impose a cultural boycott against Israel.
“This is a big name person perceived as very rational, who doesn’t take political stances,” said Menachem Klein, a political scientist at Bar Ilan University, near Tel Aviv. “This will push forward the boycott movement on certain kinds of events.”
“Hawking is a reminder that even Shimon Peres with his PR campaign to beautify the ugly face of Israel has limits,” he added.