Appreciate this article? +972 depends on your support -- click here to help us keep going

Analysis News

Techwashing: Hasbara group strikes back after Hawking boycott

Israeli hasbara organizations have been calling Stephen Hawking a hypocrite for daring to boycott Israel while simultaneously using an Israeli-designed chip in his wheelchair. And this, in essence, is the emblematic Israeli response: shut your mouth when you criticize me.

(Translated by Sol Salbe)

One of the more repulsive concepts underlying Israeli hasbara (the Hebrew term for the public relations efforts geared at disseminating information about Israel) is “redemption through technology.” The concept states that since Israel is a technology leader, it is exempt from any criticism for the fact that it oppresses the Palestinians and other minorities. The same get-out-of-jail card should apply to the fact that it is an ethnocracy, which just happens to be best thing that has ever happened to anti-Semites since the 19th century. This is usually expressed as “ah, so you write some criticisms of Israel, you despicable lowlife? Are you aware that you are using Israeli technology?!” As if somehow this provides some sort of rebuttal to the criticism.

Even if we accept the assumption that Israeli technology is somehow indispensable to modern life – and I certainly do not buy this assumption – there is a conflation here between the activities of individual Israelis or Israeli companies and Israel’s political pursuits. An American female blogger, whose name I have unfortunately forgotten, noted that this minor psychosis is really strange: when someone criticises the United States government, it does not occur to her to say “but we gave the world a whole range of Apple products!”

This psychosis has now reached its zenith, an example of which can be seen here: one the most repulsive hasbara organisations, Shurat HaDin, is calling physicist Stephen Hawking a hypocrite for daring to boycott Israel while simultaneously using an Intel chip which is at the core of the system with which the handicapped physicist engages with the world . This chip, claims the lawfare organization organization, was manufactured in Israel. Thus, the brutes of Shurat HaDin suggest that if Hawking wants to be an honest man, he ought to shut the fuck up. This, in essence, is the emblematic Israeli response: shut your mouth when you criticize me.

Intel is an international company with branches in Israel. It is far from certain whether the chip that Hawking uses was created or designed by Israelis. Moreover, I doubt that Intel is all that keen about this kind of attention by Shurat HaDin. In free countries, those in which one may call for a boycott of Israel, Shurat HaDin’s atavistic approach may certainly lead to a call for a boycott of Intel until it ceases its activities in Israel. Naturally, this doesn’t apply in Israel where anyone calling for a boycott runs the risk of hundreds of settlers prosecuting them and demanding up to NIS 30,000 ($8250) without having to prove actual damages.

A boycott of Intel could be a good idea: the Israeli taxpayer has been subsidizing the corporation for many years under the program of “socialism for the rich, swinish capitalism for the have nots.” So those taxpayers might indeed be delighted when Intel — one of the most predatory corporations around — goes on to exploit other country. But that’s a different story.

Related:
Stephen Hawking’s message to Israeli elites: The occupation has a price
A Zionist defense of Hawking

For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine's Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week's events. Sign up here.

View article: AAA
Share article
Print article
  • COMMENTS

    1. Kolumn9

      Well this analogy falls flat on its face when faced with a reality where even among critics of the United States there is pretty much no one that is calling for a boycott of the United States, which is fascinating given how damaging many of its actions have been in recent history. Even when it was occupying foreign countries, still no calls for boycott.

      When Iran hangs gays does that prevent Stephen Hawking from visiting? Nope. When China imprisons human rights activists and continues to occupy Tibet, does Stephen Hawking boycott? Nope. If Hawking arrived and criticized Israeli policy would he be attacked heavily? Nope. So, this isn’t about criticism of Israeli policy.

      A boycott of Israel in coordination with the BDSers isn’t about criticism of Israeli policy. It is a rejection of the existence of the state of Israel, and as such a mention of the products that the boycotter uses sourced from the state he rejects (or might use) is both legitimate and reasonable.

      Reply to Comment
      • Richard Lightbown

        “A boycott of Israel in coordination with the BDSers isn’t about criticism of Israeli policy. It is a rejection of the existence of the state of Israel”

        Would you care to quote me where the BDS movement have said that.

        “and as such a mention of the products that the boycotter uses sourced from the state he rejects (or might use) is both legitimate and reasonable.”

        Perhaps you would also provide the evidence (since Yossi has expressed uncertainty on the fact ) showing unequivocally that Hawking’s chip was designed or created by Israelis.

        Reply to Comment
        • Joel

          nsttnocontentcomment

          Reply to Comment
        • Joel

          BDS is,

          “.. promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.”

          https://www.facebook.com/pages/Boycott-Divestment-and-Sanctions-BDS-Movement/115083011869901?sk=info

          ‘As stipulated’?

          Does anyone in the BDS movement really know what UN Resolution stood for?

          UN Resolution 194 as adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 11, 1948, addressed a host of issues, not just refugee rights.
          In fact, UN Resolution 194 was primarily concerned with reaching a truce agreement between the Arabs and Jews and that only one of the resolution’s 15 paragraphs dealt with the refugee crisis created by the conflict.

          Resolution 194 attempted to create the tools required to reach a truce in the region and the Resolution’s “refugee clause” is not a standalone item, and, for that matter does it pertain specifically to Palestinian Arab refugees but was aimed at all refugees, both Jewish and Arab.

          Contrary to Mediator Bernadotte’s recommendations, this UN resolution did not guarantee a Right of Return and certainly did not guarantee an unconditional Right of Return.

          The Arab’s attack on Israel was the proximate cause of the refugee crisis and pursuant to Resolution 194, the Arabs would have to compensate and resettle many if not most of the local Arab refugees.

          Arab culpability in causing the refugee crisis, along with the Arabs unwillingness to make peace with Israel are the reasons that the Arab States: Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen voted against Resolution 194.

          Reply to Comment
          • Richard Lightbown

            OK Joel, while we’re waiting for Dotan to justify his far-fetched statements let’s have a look at your problem.

            Regardless of how many issues UN Resolution 194 addresses, if there is only one that relates to the refugees then that is the stipulation for the BDS requirement (stipulate: ‘demand or specify as part of […] an agreement’ : C.O.D.). The agreement in this case was between the members of the UNGA. And section 11 stipulates

            “11. Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible;

            Instructs the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation, and to maintain close relations with the Director of the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees and, through him, with the appropriate organs and agencies of the United Nations;”

            This, as you must be aware is the last of three requirements of the BDS National Committee, but this is the one you have chosen to carp about. Nevertheless resolution 194, which has been reaffirmed many times since 1948, is binding insofar as it refers to international law, which specifically in this case is the Law of Nations, Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law. And yes of course it does refer to Jewish refugees from Palestine as well, where appropriate.

            Your suggestion that “the Arab’s attack on Israel” was the “cause of the refugee crisis” is a non-starter. The first instance of post-WWII hostilities began with a Hagannah attack on Palestinians near Petah Tikva on 12 August 1947. The Arab armies of Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and Syria (Lebanon did not send any troops to the conflict), which entered the war 15 May 1948 never entered land designated for the Jewish state under the partition scheme and therefore did not attack Israel as you claim. Nor were there any orders broadcast to Palestinians to evacuate their homes. Palestinians fled from the actual violence or the threat of violence from Jewish militias which is why it is the state of Israel that is required under resolution 194 to pay the compensation.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            ” The first instance of post-WWII hostilities began with a Hagannah attack on Palestinians near Petah Tikva on 12 August 1947.”

            Benny Morris gives no precise date or number of casualties but describes the house as “suspected of being an Arab terrorist headquarters.” Preceding this attack near Petah Tikvah,on 20 May 1947, the Palamach blew up a coffee house in Fajja after the murder of two Jews in Petah Tikva.

            I wonder if the two incidents were related? Probably so.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            “The Arab armies of Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and Syria, which entered the war 15 May 1948 never entered land designated for the Jewish state under the partition scheme and therefore did not attack Israel as you claim.”

            Of course the did.
            Jordan’s Arab Legion attacked the Jews on both sides of the partition line and Arab Legionnaires had committed massacres of Jews at Gush Etzion.Yitzhak, Ronen. “Transjordan’s Attack on the Etzion Bloc during the 1948 War.” Israel Affairs 17, no. 2 (2011): 194–207

            Syria invaded the designated Jewish State and took Mishmar Hayarden in the Northern Galilee. The Syrians tried to take both Degania and Ein Gevand was decisively repulsed at Kibbutz Degania.

            Similarly, Egypt, backed by armor and aircraft, invaded Northern Negev territory allocated to the Jewish State.

            “Because, if we end the occupation and bring back six million Palestinians and we have equal rights for Arabs and Jews, there’s no Israel”–Norman G. Finkelstein

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            “11. Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible;”

            Right. And to repeat myself, paragraph 11 was not a ‘standalone clause’. It was part of an overall truce agreement, a truce agreement that the Arabs States rejected and voted against.

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard Lightbown

            Have only recently come in after a long day’s work and priority was to make some supper and eat it. Apologies for only just getting to this reply.

            I will take things in the order of my original post to you and not follow your order.

            Res 194.
            Irrespective of who voted for it and who voted against it the resolution was passed. And article 11 refers to principles of international law which existed at the time. As such the resolution is binding and the BDS Movement is entitled to use it as one of its objectives. Now I don’t happen to think that 6 million Palestinians moving to Israel is realistic, and I don’t think it is going to happen and I don’t think that all 6 million will want to move there either. To me it is a bargaining position. Let’s get Israel seriously talking about providing justice for the people it dispossessed in 1947/8 and their offspring, and incidentally meeting the conditions of its admission into the UN.

            Arab attack on Israel.
            Are seriously telling me that Gush Etzion was in the area designated for a Jewish state? This point aside I will concede that my statement was not correct in the entirety. My point was that I do not accept your statement “The Arab’s attack on Israel was the proximate cause of the refugee crisis”. Security Council letter to the Jewish Agency of 18 May 1948 and reply of 22 May 1948 contains the following question and answer.
            “a) Over which areas of Palestine do you actually exercise control at the present time?
            Answer: over the entire area of the Jewish State as defined in the Resolution of the General Assembly of the 29th November, 1947. In addition, the Provisional Government exercises control over the city of Jaffa; Northwestern Galilee, including Acre, Zib, Base, and the Jewish settlements up to the Lebanese frontier; a strip of territory alongside the road from Hilda to Jerusalem; almost all of new Jerusalem; and of the Jewish quarter within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. The above areas, outside the territory of the State of Israel, are under the control of the military authorities of the State of Israel, who are strictly adhering to international regulations in this regard. The Southern Negev is uninhabited desert over which no effective authority has ever existed.”
            http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/B4085A930E0529C98025649D00410973

            This is one week after the Arab armies entered the conflict. As I have already said, your assertion that the “Arab’s attack on Israel” was the “cause of the refugee crisis” is a non-starter. Or more precisely it is incorrect. Israel was well underway in implementing its programme of ethnic cleansing by this time. Deir Yassin was not the only massacre of Palestinians that had taken place before the Arab armies entered the war and many villages had been emptied and destroyed before May 1948. Of course one might argue that article 51 of the UN Charter did not apply since no Arab state in Palestine was (nor is) a member of the UN. But the expansion of Israel beyond the boundaries allocated to the Jewish state certainly constituted an armed attack and the acquisition of territory by force.

            Start of hostilities
            That’s interesting information; thanks.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            Omar Barghouti, a BDS spokesperson, has admitted that his goal is not for Israel to change its borders, but for it to be replaced with a “unitary state, where, by definition, Jews will be a minority.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            @Richard

            Are seriously telling me that Gush Etzion was in the area designated for a Jewish state?”

            I never mentioned Gush Etzion but if you’d read the Ronen Yitzak’s article I cited you’d learn where Arab Legionnaires fought within Israeli territory.

            “Israel was well underway in implementing its programme of ethnic cleansing by this time. Deir Yassin was not the only massacre of Palestinians that had taken place before the Arab armies entered the war and many villages had been emptied and destroyed before May 1948.”

            A large majority of the refugees fled after the Arab States invaded.

            Sooo…but for the intervention of the Arab States, most of the refugees wouldn’t have fled.

            BTW. Before the Arab States invaded, Palestinian Arabs massacred Jews as well; notably at the Haifa Oil refinery and the Hadassah Hospital Convoy massacre, and seeing as you mentioned it, at Gush Etzion as well.

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard Lightbown

            “I never mentioned Gush Etzion but if you’d read the Ronen Yitzak’s article I cited you’d learn where Arab Legionnaires fought within Israeli territory.”
            You are hiding behind pedantry. Etzion Block was on land designated as part of the Arab state, as you well know. I can’t access the article so how about you tell me instead of being so coy? I would genuinely like to know if you have got anything to add.

            “Sooo…but for the intervention of the Arab States, most of the refugees wouldn’t have fled.”
            Bollocks. The Jewish militias were well underway in implementing pre-war plans for ethnically cleansing Palestine of the indigenous population. How on earth does an (incompetent and quarrelsome) Arab intervention intended to support the victims of that aggression become instead the catalyst for their removal? It not only defies logic, it is totally untrue. How about you put some meat on this bogus claim of yours (that you have been making since your first post to me) and explain how you come to claim that the Arab intervention was responsible for the Palestinian refugee problem.

            “notably at the Haifa Oil refinery”.
            Do you really not know the full story on the Haifa oil refinery? Yes of course you know that the Stern Gang threw a bomb, or was it bombs, into a crowd of Arab civilians outside the gate of the refinery. It doesn’t excuse what happened but it does at least explain it. And on the same day at the railway works in Haifa it was Arab workers who risked their lives to prevent the same thing happening to Jewish workers there. These same Arab workers incidentally were to find themselves being ethnically cleansed from their homes very shortly afterwards by Zionist militias.

            The Hadassah convoy was a mixed military and civilian convoy which you choose to downplay. But yes, there were atrocities by both sides and against both sides. One result was that between 650,000 and 750,000 Arabs were forced to flee their ancestral homes as part of a programme that Zionist leaders had been planning for decades. Ever since, those victims have been denied the justice that international law, and yes, resolution 194, describe as their right. And that is part of the reason why Hawking did not grace Peres’s bash, and why people like me support the BDS movement. OK people like Larry Derfner can conclude without knowing the first thing about me that I hate the state of Israel and then condemn me for the imagined attributes of their own libels. I can live with that bigotry in order to lend solidarity to victims of a great injustice in the struggle for their human rights.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            I said Gush Etzion was where Legionnaires massacred Jews.
            I will be more explicit and say that Legionnaires were providing arms to the Arab Liberation Army irregulars and going AWOL to fight alongside the ALA in places as far away as Haifa and the Western Galilee.

            There was no pre-war plan to ethnically cleanse the Arabs simply because the Zionist had no clue when and if Britain would quit Palestine and hadn’t the means to do so even if they had a ‘date certain’.
            To put it another way, show your sources.

            “How on earth does ..Arab intervention intended to support the victims of that aggression become instead the catalyst for their removal?

            The Egyptian Army invaded Palestine and fought see-saw battles with the Zionists near the Northern Negev. Those two armies fought that way for close to 6 months. What do you think the local Arabs did for the six months? Sat at home waiting for Zionists to kick in their front doors? No. They local Arabs fled that war zone like civilians have done since time immemorial.
            Were a few dozen local Arabs massacred? Yes. Did the massacres induce flight? Yes. But the majority of refugees fled that war zone because it was too dangerous. Period.

            BTW. You didn’t address what Omar Baghouti had said.

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard Lightbown

            Omar Barghouti is entitled to his opinions. (If indeed that is his opinion.) I support BDS as stated on its website: “In 2005, Palestinian civil society issued a call for a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights.” Hawking perhaps has a similar position but I am not in a position to say any more than that.

            There have always been plans to ethnically cleanse the Arabs. It’s true that Herzl was talking about Argentina when he wrote in 1897 of spiriting the natives over the border, but he obviously was not above a bit of ethnic cleansing and there is no reason to think he regarded the Arabs as any different to the ‘natives’ he was referring to.
            Sylvain Levi was perhaps more benign when he admitted (to the consternation of Weizmann) to the Council of Ten at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 that Jews, because of their higher standard of living, would tend to displace the Arabs. [Doreen Ingrams, Palestine Papers p58.)
            The King-Crane Committee reported “The fact came out repeatedly in the Commission’s conference with Jewish representatives that the Zionists looked forward to a practically complete dispossession of the present non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine, by various forms of purchase.”
            Jabotinsky wrote in the Iron Wall that “Zionist colonization, even the most restricted, must either be terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population. This colonization can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall [of bayonets] which the native population cannot break through.”
            Yosef Weitz wrote in his diary in 20.12.1940 “There is no way but to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighbouring countries […] Not one village must be left, not one [Bedouin] tribe.” http://mondediplo.com/1997/12/Palestine
            Ben Gurion told the Jewish Agency Executive in 1944 “Zionism is a transfer of the Jews. Regarding the transfer of the Arabs this is much easier than any other transfer. There are Arab states in the vicinity… and it is clear that if the [Palestinian] Arabs are removed [to these states] this will improve their condition and not the contrary” http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Famous-Zionist-Quotes/Story694.html
            Benny Morris wrote [translated from the Hebrew] “from April 1948, Ben-Gurion is projecting a message of transfer. There is no explicit order of his in writing, there is no orderly comprehensive policy, but there is an atmosphere of [population] transfer. The transfer idea is in the air. The entire leadership understands that this is the idea. The officer corps understands what is required of them. Under Ben-Gurion, a consensus of transfer is created.”
            Baruch Kimmerling, ‘Benny Morris’s Shocking Interview’, History News Network, 26 January, 2004.
            To sum up, there was always an intention to ethnically cleanse the Arabs. And that intention, that plan, was well underway before the Arab armies entered the war and it carried on virtually unabated until the US reigned in Operation Yoav in October 1948 and forced Ben Gurion to call a halt to Yigal Allon’s attempt to push the Palestinians right out of Gaza and into Egypt. But for that intervention Gaza’s refugee camps would now probably be located somewhere near Al-Arish. Palestinian refugees were always a pre-meditated by-product of the Zionist project.

            And BTW you did not come back on the Stern Gang atrocity at the Haifa oil refinery. You did know about it all along didn’t you?

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            Regarding Sylvain Levi, displacing Arabs in the marketplace does not mean the same thing as ethic cleansing.

            You left out of Weitz’s diary that, “And the form of the transfer needs to be the creation of a refuge for them in Iraq, in Syria and even in Transjordan.” He felt that for this objective, large sums of money could be found”.
            Weitz was thinking about a peaceful, ordely, well financed transfer. He did not, could not, say that the Arabs must be violently expelled.

            Thomas C. Crane was a notorious, Hitler-loving anti-Semite. His ‘Commission’ was a thinly veiled plan to open the Middle East to American Protestant missionaries. Two of the five ‘commissioners’ wrote seperate opinion papers strongly critical of the King-Crane report and largely supporting Zionism. He supported Hitler’s terrorizing Germany’s Jews during the 1930s.

            I asked for the ‘plan’, and you shoot yourself in the foot by quoting Morris, ” There is no explicit order of his in writing, there is no orderly comprehensive policy..”
            Jabotinsky said, ..” an iron wall [of bayonets] which the native population cannot break through.” This is obviously not a transfer policy either. It is a defensive, not an offense.
            Right. Stern gang threw a bomb at an Arab bus stop and killed 6. Arab workers retaliated by slaughtering 35 of their co-workers at the oil refinery.

            And BTW, you did not come back on the Finkelstein quote.

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard Lightbown

            How about you finish your excuses for the rest of the list.

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard Lightbown

            Haifa oil refinery : You do love half-truths. You start out by depicting it as just an Arab slaughter of Jews, and then when forced to admit that it was triggered by Zionist terrorism you give half of the stats. You forget to mention the Hagannah reprisal the following day at Balad al-Shaykh where around 60 men, women and children were killed and several dozen houses were destroyed.

            It was all part of a pattern: start by clearing the inhabitants out of the way and then make a Jewish state. Stop quibbling on words and look at the reality. They always planned to get the Arab population out of the way and as they got stronger so it gradually took shape. And by the time of the entry of the Arab armies in May 1948 it was already well underway as the reply to the UNSC makes clear. That’s the point you keep ignoring. How did the entry of the Arab armies in May 1948 cause Arabs to flee their homes before that date? Such as Qira and Qamun, for example that were ethnically cleansed in early March 1948 on the orders of Yosef Weitz. Presumably the same Josef Weitz that according to you “was thinking about a peaceful, ordely [sic], well financed transfer. He did not, could not, say that the Arabs must be violently expelled.” Explain that away. Explain away the statement of Ben-Gurion. And show that what King-Crane reported as fact was incorrect, not by vilifying them but putting up counter facts, if they should happen to exist.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            Qira and Qamun:

            Weitz had told the tenant farmers to leave Qira and Qamun and they did. No force was used and the farmers received compensation.

            To the point, Weitz had acted solely on his own initiative. He’d previously asked the Haganah General Staff to evict the tenant farmers and the Haganah General Staff refused his request. –The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. page 132.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            @Richard

            “And show that what King-Crane reported as fact was incorrect, not by vilifying them but putting up counter facts”

            Sure,bud.

            I claim bias in the Commission’s Report, to wit:

            Falsely claiming to have started out “with minds predisposed in [Zionism’s] favor,” the Commission had rendered its harsh verdict on Zionism BEFORE conducting any meaningful inquiry.
            On June 12, 1919, less than 48 hours into its investigation (and directly on the heels of its meeting with the anti-Zionist American Consul, Otis Glazebrook, in Jerusalem), the Commission had sent a telegram to the peacemakers in Paris stating that it would be impossible “to carry out the Zionist program except through the support of a large army.”
            See, Oberlin Archives, “Text of a telegram from the Commission concerning self-determination and the possibility of Zionism, 12 June 1919.”

            I claim the King-Crane Commission was a thinly veiled plan to open the Middle East to American Protestant missionaries, to wit:

            The Commission gathered petitions with the declared purpose of divining the aspirations of the Syrian population, but when the results were tallied it was found that Muslims—comprising more than 75% of the population—authored only about a third of the petitions, while the far less numerous Christian population accounted for more than half. During its 16-day tour of Palestine, where Muslims outnumbered Christians by eight to one, the Commission received “53 delegations of Christians … and only 18 delegations of Moslems.”, leading one scholar to Knee conclude that, “Far from being an ‘experiment in peacemaking,’ the King-Crane Report was a pro-Christian document.” See, Knee S (April 1977) The King-Crane Commission of 1919: The Articulation of Political Anti-Zionism. American Jewish Archives, p 49-52

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            How come Barghouti’s wish to dissolve Israel is ‘just his opinion’, but early Zionists wish to transfer Arabs is part of ‘a plan’?

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard Lightbown

            No you don’t. I want an explanation of why you wrote “The Arab’s attack on Israel was the proximate cause of the refugee crisis” when the Hagannah had started ethnically cleasing Palestine months before. Explain to me how Yitzhak Rabin’s destruction of Qisraya on 15 February 1948 was caused by the Arab armies entering the war in May 1948.

            I want an explanation of how Yosef Weitz was planning a “peaceful, orderly transfer” by ordering a Hagannah unit to conduct a whispering campaign to cause the villagers to flee before every house in that village was blown up. Are you saying that was all legally paid for? You can’t even tell a convincing hasbara story.

            I want an explanation of how the leader of the Jewish Agency can say “Zionism is a transfer of the Jews. Regarding the transfer of the Arabs this is much easier than any other transfer. There are Arab states in the vicinity… and it is clear that if the [Palestinian] Arabs are removed [to these states] this will improve their condition and not the contrary” and can create, according to Benny Morris “a consensus of transfer” in which at least 650,000 people are dispossessed yet somehow this is not part of a policy or plan. It just happened because Arab armies came along later? Of course it was premeditated and planned by the Zionists. That’s why Zionists are responsible for Palestinian refugees. That’s why Resolution 194 was passed and is reaffirmed every year. And that’s why there was a call for BDS, because Israel continues to refuse 65 years later to atone for its crime.

            You’re all washed up Joel. Your “facts” are full of distortions, your denials are hollow and your cause if bankrupt and immoral. Now go forth and multiply.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            Proximate cause:

            After the invasion in May 1948, most Arabs remaining in Palestine left for neighboring safety of the other Arab states, confident in an impending Arab victory and being able to return.
            Musa Alami, leading Palestinian nationalist of the time, said this about mindset of the fleeing Arabs:

            “The Arabs of Palestine left their homes, were scattered, and lost everything. But there remained one solid hope: The Arab armies were on the eve of their entry into Palestine to save the country and return things to their normal course, punish the aggressor, and throw oppressive Zionism with its dreams and dangers into the sea. On May 14, 1948, crowds of Arabs stood by the roads leading to the frontiers of Palestine, enthusiastically welcoming the advancing armies. Days and weeks passed, sufficient to accomplish the sacred mission, but the Arab armies did not save the country. They did nothing but let slip from their hands Acre, Sarafand, Lydda, Ramleh, Nazareth, most of the south and the rest of the north. Then hope fled (Middle East Journal, October 1949).

            Caesarya:

            Rabin opposed the operation, which was lead by Josef Tabenkin. It is
            unclear whether a massacre occurred and equally unclear why the village was leveled.

            Balad al Shaykh:

            The Times reported 18 dead Arabs, not 60. Two Jewish attackers were also killed.
            This reprisal attack was hotly debated by the Zionist leadership, many of whom opposed it.

            Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            “That’s why Zionists are responsible for Palestinian refugees.”

            The fact that plural wording also is used – “governments or authorities” –
            suggests that, contrary to Arab claims, the burden of compensation does not fall solely upon one side [Zionists] of the conflict.

            Reply to Comment
        • rsgengland

          Richard Lightbrown…. Look at the BDS literature, look at the BDS illustrations, and tell me where there is any evidence shown of Israel.
          Israel, and her existence, are totally missing.
          When they have their demonstrations, they talk of Palestine “from the river to he sea”, and their members are quiet forthright in stating that the existence of Israel is a “mistake that needs to be rectified”.

          Reply to Comment
          • Richard Lightbown

            What are you prattling about. You can’t find Israel mentioned here: http://www.bdsmovement.net/call Then you obviously have not read it.

            Your complaint is an ironic one anyhow given the number of times Israel attempts to airbrush Palestine off its maps and then Israel has the gall to winge about it when complaints are submitted to the UK Advertising Standards Agency for example.

            Reply to Comment
          • rsgengland

            First you ask where the proof is of the intentions and aims of BDS, then when you get information you do not like you try to change the conversation.
            BDS favors the destruction of Israel and the Ethnic Cleansing of her Jewish population as per the ‘Hamas Charter’
            Read it, it might educate you.

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard Lightbown

            You are a mixed up kid. You tell me there is no evidence of Israel in BDS literature when it is mentioned perhaps ten times in the original BDS call of 2005. Then you come back and tell me that this document which repeatedly mentions the state of Israel in reality is a rejection of its existence. Perhaps I am being obtuse, but would you please quote exactly where the BDS call of 2005 rejects the existence of the state of Israel (which is what I asked Dotan to supply and which he has failed to do).

            Then you tell me to read the Hamas Charter (as if that had anything to do with BDS). If you want to go off on a wild goose chase why don’t YOU tell me what the likud Charter says?

            Reply to Comment
      • charlie simenoff

        kol hacavod. great response. couldn’t agree more. hawking, apparently a very intelligent man is too stupid to realise what the BDS movement is i.e an attempt to destroy the jewish state

        Reply to Comment
      • Joe

        wait – show me evidence Hawking was invited to address generals in Iran or China. Show me, in fact, any place where he has travelled which has a widely known and argued academic boycott in place. Will I be waiting a long time, K9?

        Reply to Comment
      • Eliza

        Not so K9.

        A boycott is a tool, a tactic, a means of achieving a desired end applied in certain circumstances.

        In Israel’s case, people choose to act in accordance with BDS principles firstly, because Palestinian civil organisations asked them to. Secondly, because other means of coming to a just resolution of the I/P conflict have failed and this failure is seen predominantly as a function of Israeli intransigence; and thirdly, because it has a chance of working.

        As for the USA and China – well, yes both have transgressed (and continue to transgress) but as far as I am aware, their victims have not chosen to ask the international community to boycott them. But even if they did, the likelihood is that both are just too big to much affected by a grassroots boycott. Israel is not so big and much more vulnerable.

        And yes, I have no hesitation in rejecting the existence of an Israeli state if such a state can only exist upon the military occupation of millions of Palestinians.

        Reply to Comment
    2. sh

      That Hawking declined Peres’s invitation signifies shock and horror that a country like Israel that, unlike China and Iran, is not emerging from centuries of autocratic rule and sees itself as enlightened and democratic, can continue to treat defenseless people the way it does without offering any hope for improvement. Sometimes the well-intentioned have to help those who have lost sight of reality to help themselves.

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        Why should it matter for the purpose of whether Hawking visits China, Iran or Israel what kind of regime is in place? Isn’t the justification for his refusal to visit usually laid out on the basis of some kind of universal standard?

        The Palestinians are hardly defenseless nor are they absent recourse. They were repeatedly offered hope for improvement which they rejected. Even if you argue that they weren’t offered a state (which I don’t agree with) there is absolutely no logic for arguing that they were not offered an improvement.

        Reply to Comment
        • sh

          It matters because Professor Hawking was happy to come here to visit several times before. The last time was in December 2006, I remember the fuss and the welcoming ads all over the place. But like other erstwhile friends, he began to reexamine his relationship with us during Operation Cast Lead. What he did was compare us to what he thought we were, not to what other countries are. He might have been wrong about us before, but to him it still looked then as though we had accepted and wanted to progress with the two-state idea. It’s clear to him now, as it is to us, the electorate, that there is no intention on the part of this government to do any such thing and the majority of Israel’s Jewish population seems undisturbed by, or oblivious of, the continual abuse of those who live under our domination. This last is a tragedy to me, so I can understand how disappointed Professor Hawking must feel.

          Reply to Comment
    3. Khaled Khalid

      K9
      Once more you have convinced everyone: Prof. Stephen Hawking just hates JEWS because everyone hates Jews. What’s not to hate about Jews? Legitemacy of the State of Israel is the one thing Stephen Hawking Hates because what’s not to hate about Israel?
      Israel is the State of the Jewish People so naturally Stephen Hawking hates Jews and Israel.

      Yep, you convinced us all. Stephen Hawking rejects the existence of Israel and the Jews. Because a man who is imprisoned in his own body has nothing better to do than question the existence of the state of Israel (and hating Jews).

      Reply to Comment
      • Joe

        maybe he just thinks the situation is f-ed up and that he is in a fairly unique position to make a widely publicised stand. Maybe he would do the same if he was invited to lecture generals in North Korea, Sudan, or even – heaven forfend – the US of A. Maybe he is actually an equal-opportunity discriminator against military lectures. Maybe we have no f-ing idea what he would do in a similar situation in another question because we have no f-ing idea whether he has ever been asked to do the same thing elsewhere.

        Reply to Comment
    4. Martin

      This piece is wrong-headed on a number of levels:

      First, unless you advocate that Israel commit suicide — and probably that is what you really want — what is Israel supposed to do? It gave back Gaza and got rockets in return targeting its civlians. It proposed to give the vast majority of the disputed territories to the Palestinians in 2000 and Arafat launched a war of terror against Israelis in Israel proper.

      Second, there is something hypocritical about a scientist boycottong a scientific gathering in Israel and then using the fruits of Israel’s science when it suits his personal needs (or vice versa).

      Reply to Comment
      • J.Wyndham

        “First, unless you advocate that Israel commit suicide…”

        Israel IS committing national suicide, without help from anyone else.

        By continuing the greed-driven expansion of settlements, they are painting themselves into a corner, where they will be required to admit they are an ethnocracy, or give all Arabs in Eretz Israel the same rights as Jews. In short, “Jewish and democratic state” will be revealed as the oxymoron it is.

        If you wonder how I feel about the present, racist regime hanging itself, I will clearly state that I approve wholeheartedly. Moreover, I will contribute money to a fund established with the sole purpose of buying the rope the world merely has to hand to Israel to enable its clear desire for self-termination.

        Reply to Comment
    5. Piotr Berman

      Intel has about 12 manufacturing facilities and 6 assembly facilities, one manufacturing facility is in Israel.

      I guess that there are more developments sites in Israel but still most of Intel research is conducted elsewhere.

      On top of that, almost every Apple product can be replaced with another that uses chips not from Intel, e.g. from AMD. AMD has no locations in Israel. Also, many Apple product use Samsung chips.

      Reply to Comment
    6. J. Wyndham

      If I see ONE more claim Israel ceded Gaza as a peace gesture, I’ll, I’ll, … post this again!

      Leading Israeli scholar Prof. Avi Shlaim at Oxford University says it best…

      “…Gaza was a classic example of exploitation, of colonial exploitation in the post-colonial era. Gaza is a tiny strip of land with about one-and-a-half million Arabs, most of them — half of them refugees. It’s the most crowded piece of land on God’s earth. There were 8,000 Israeli settlers in Gaza, yet the 8,000 settlers controlled 25 percent of the territory, 40 percent of the arable land, and the largest share of the desperately scarce water resources.

      Ariel Sharon decided to withdraw from Gaza unilaterally, not as a contribution, as he claimed, to a two-state solution. The withdrawal from Gaza took place in the context of unilateral Israeli action in what was seen as Israeli national interest. There were no negotiations with the Palestinian Authority on an overall settlement. The withdrawal from Gaza was not a prelude to further withdrawals from the other occupied territories, but a prelude to further expansion, further consolidation of Israel’s control over the West Bank. In the year after the withdrawal from Gaza, 12,000 new settlers went to live on the West Bank. So I see the withdrawal from Gaza in the summer of 2005 as part of a unilateral Israeli attempt to redraw the borders of Greater Israel and to shun any negotiations and compromise with the Palestinian Authority.”

      Source: http://www.democracynow.org/2009/1/14/leading_israeli_scholar_avi_shlaim_israel

      Reply to Comment
        • J. Wyndham

          michaellotten.com?

          Who is he? His credibility = ZERO.

          Avi Shlaim, on the other hand, is a professor at Oxford University. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.

          Perhaps some sleep will help you be sensible.

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Who is he? His credibility = ZERO.

            Typically leftist approach: No matter what is the information, if it is supplied by a right person – it is credible, if it is supplied by not a right person – it is not credible.

            P.S.
            http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0934666.html
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependent_territories_by_population_density

            As a matter of fact, Gaza is on 6th place, after Macau S.A.R., Monaco, Singapore, Hong Kong S.A.R. and Gibraltar.

            Reply to Comment
          • J. Wyndham

            You forgot camera and honestreporting.com.

            What a simple world you must live in. Anything or anyone that does not agree with your distorted view is ‘left’, and all else is ‘right’.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >You forgot camera and honestreporting.com.

            what camera?

            never heard of honestreporting before. your favourite source of information about Israel?

            >What a simple world you must live in. Anything or anyone that does not agree with your distorted view is ‘left’, and all else is ‘right’.

            No, silly. I explained what is one of typically leftist approaches in my view.
            Again, for the brightest:

            No matter what is the information, if it is supplied by a right person – it is credible, if it is supplied by not a right person – it is not credible.

            Reply to Comment
    7. J. Wyndham

      Even excluding the occupied territories, Israel is, by definition, an apartheid state.

      Every defender of ‘The Jewish State’ claims Israel cannot possibly be an apartheid state because the group they identify as ‘Palestinians’ has exactly the same rights as every other citizen, inside the original boundaries that purportedly define ‘Israel’. By drawing that very distinction among the citizenry, they affirm the existence of a ‘we’ vs. ‘they’ dichotomy, inside the borders Israel refuses to accept.

      By design, within Israel’s whimsically-defined boundaries, the ethnic cleansing operations conducted by the Jewish terror groups (e.g. Irgun, Haganah, Lehi, the Stern Gang, etc.) who later morphed into the IDF, ensured less than 20% of the population was not Jewish. Consistent with this original design, immigration and marriage policies ensure the Jewish population maintains this 4:1 majority in perpetuity, guaranteeing the non-Jewish population can NEVER wield any real political power in a ‘representational democracy’.

      Clearly this constitutes “…an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime”, per the definition of ‘the crime of apartheid’, under Article 7 of The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

      One can argue Israel’s discrimination is not based on race. Be it on the basis of religion, ethnicity, or whatever it is that distinguishes the Palestinian citizen from the overwhelming majority, the apartheid label sticks. Any claim to the contrary is naught but petty sophistry.

      Reply to Comment
      • moshe

        Let’s see: about 25% of Israel is Arab/moslem, 0% of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iran, Iraq and Egypt (statistically) is Jewish. The Israeli arabs can vote, own property, practice their own religion. The Jews living in Arab lands can — oh yeah, there are none allowed. Gosh, I guess that proves that Israel is the racist state, and the rest are wonderful in comparison. Go F- yourself.

        Reply to Comment
        • J. Wyndham

          Poor Moshe, too blinded by hate to realize the only way to invalidate my fact-based argument is to refute the premise: “Israel’s defenders draw a clear distinction between its ‘Palestinian’ and Jewish citizens”. Instead, he endorses it in spades. Thanks Moshe, that’s mighty big of you!

          The rest of your foaming-at-the-mouth diatribe is just noise.

          When should they expect you at the Hague?

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            There is no “Palestinian” citizens in Israel. Never was and won’t be ever.

            You see, there is no such ethnicity – “Palestinians”

            Reply to Comment
          • J. Wyndham

            No such thing as a ‘Palestinian’ huh. Whoever comes up with your material obviously hasn’t thought it through.

            Here is the so-called ‘Balfour Declaration’, IN ITS ENTIRETY, which the asinine ‘Levy Report’ states serves as the basis for Israel’s claim to ALL of the occupied territories:

            “His Majesty’s government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

            Clearly, it is not the complex document the Zionist propaganda machine makes it out to be. Note how its validity rests upon existence of a place called “Palestine”, with an indigenous, pre-existing population that enjoyed certain civil and religious rights Jews were not entitled to trample on. So, if there is no Palestine or Palestinians, there is no Balfour Declaration, and NO ISRAEL.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >So, if there is no Palestine or Palestinians, there is no Balfour Declaration, and NO ISRAEL

            Oh, there certainly is/was area named Palestine, but there is no distinct ethnic group which could be called “Palestinians”, likewise there is no ethnic Israelis.

            You are simply denying Palestinian Jews their right of self-determination.

            Reply to Comment
    8. LRA

      I followed your links and your statements are disingenuous. HaDin didn’t call Hawking a hypocrite for *criticizing* Israel. He was called a hypocrite for *boycotting* Israel while simultaneously using a chip designed there.

      Criticizing and boycotting are two different words with two different meanings. A person can criticize some aspects and find use in others. If you call for a boycott, however, you should be prepared to stop using the things you claim require boycotting.

      The logic (whatever the reasons behind it) is sound. If he thinks boycotting Israel is so important, then perhaps he should find a different chip.

      Reply to Comment
      • ‘Find a different chip’? Specialist disability equipment, especially for conditions as complex as MND, does not grow on trees. There are only a limited number of companies that make it and they typically source their parts from the same supplier. Also, disabled people in the UK don’t usually get much choice in which equipment we receive (assuming there are multiple options, which often there aren’t). The standard practice is for the person to have an assessment of need by a health professional, who will then draw up a list of recommended equipment to be provided by the NHS or whatever funding body. You get what you’re given. So as Stephen Hawking can’t just source another chip and get another MND-friendly computer built, you are advocating that he give up the only thing that enables him to talk to anyone, or else be accused of hypocrisy. This is a bizarre and unreasonable thing to say – if you can’t manage a perfect and total boycott, best do nothing at all? Communication is pretty essential among humans. It isn’t as if he were choosing to boycott the conference while simultaneously booking a holiday in Eilat.

        Reply to Comment
        • Joe

          Let’s say he does have the chip and it is Israeli. Maybe he bought the equipment without knowing it was from Israel. Maybe he knew but later changed his mind about boycott. Should he now burn everything he owns that is of ‘dubious’ origin – even if doing so would kill him? That seems to me to be a rather extreme ethic.

          Reply to Comment
      • Leen

        “I could not have written this book without my communication system. The software, called Equalizer, was donated by Walt Woltosz of Words Plus Inc., in Lancaster, California. My speech synthesizer was donated by Speech Plus, of Sunnyvale, California. The synthesizer and laptop computer were mounted on my wheelchair by David Mason, of Cambridge Adaptive Communication Ltd. With this system I can communicate better now than before I lost my voice”
        Acknowledgements – A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking

        Biometric Devices: The Story Behind Stephen Hawking’s Voice:
        ‘A software program was developed by Walter Woltosz that gave Hawking the ability to spell words using a button he could click with his hand. This program, called Equalizer, uses a very simple interface that scans through the alphabet and allows each letter to be selected one by one –first by choosing a section of the alphabet, then a row in that section, then the individual letter in that row. Using this technique, Hawking wrote his books, essays, and lectures at a painstaking 4 words per minute!

        A huge leap forward for Hawking occurred when David Mason developed a system using the components of a 1980s telephone answering system to convert the text Hawking types using Equalizer into synthesized speech’

        It sounds more like American/British products to me.

        Let’s remember, just because Israelis invented the say USB flash drive, does not necessarily mean it is an ‘Israeli product’. Nowadays manufacturers all carry the USB be it Israel/American/British. USB flash drive is as much Israeli as Methadone is a Nazi product.

        Reply to Comment
    9. Alan

      No doubt Hawking was pressured into canceling his trip to Israel, and the posts by J. Wyndham vividly illustrate why. The British academic establishment has a visceral hatred of Israel, and one can see an example of the English mania against in Israel Wyndham’s posts. If Hawking had gone to Israel, he would have been crucified by the elites in British academic circles.

      Reply to Comment
      • There seem to be two contradictory arguments used against BDS (often deployed concurrently):

        1.) “It doesn’t work. Just look at all the artists and academics and sportspeople who go to Israel. Look at the partnerships with overseas universities. You’re having no impact.”

        2.) “He must have been pressured heavily not to go by all the fanatical BDS-supporting academics who surround him! It’s impossible for an academic to speak in Israel without getting crucified!”

        There are plenty of UK academics who travel to Israel and plenty who explicitly speak out against the boycott, and all with no detriment to their careers. No matter how much you might disagree with Hawking’s decision, you should do him the justice of accepting that he undertook this decision himself.

        Reply to Comment
      • J. Wyndham

        Alan, perhaps you should have attended a post-secondary institution, if for no other reason than to learn why straw-man arguments are fallacious.

        Reply to Comment
        • Alan

          Hey, Strawman, I’ve had enough schooling to recognize an ad hominem attack; once someone resorts to ad hominem attacks, as you did, you’ve lost the argument. Believe it or not, Strawman, I actually studied at Oxford for a year. I had never experienced any real anti-Semitism until I went to England. Of course I also encountered the British obsession for vilifying Israel. Why do you think I was able to recognize you as British? Because, Strawman, you are not a Strawman but an excellent exemplum of the culture that would have forced Hawking to cancel his trip. Here’s some reading for you about the anti-Semitic underpinnings of the movement in Britain to morally de-legitimize Israel: http://engageonline.wordpress.com/2013/04/18/fraser-v-ucu-tribunal-finds-no-antisemitism-at-all/

          Reply to Comment
          • Hawking has visited Israel several times in the past, with no ill consequences to his career. As I already wrote, there are plenty of academics who go to Israel and plenty of inter-university collaborations. Hawking has identified Cast Lead as a point when his thinking on this issue started to shift, but instead of taking his word on that, it seems that you attribute his decision to some mysterious cabal of academics simply because you can’t stomach the thought that a capable and well-respected professor could have arrived at this conclusion by himself. You take it as read that there is nothing to criticise here, so what other motivation could he possibly have other than pressure?

            As for the Ronnie Fraser case, the tribunal found no evidence of anti-Semitism there because he explicitly tried to rework the definition of anti-Semitism to include political opposition to Zionism or even criticism of Israeli policy as it stands. The judge said of the case, “At heart, it represents an impermissible attempt to achieve a political end by litigious means,” and also had grave concerns about the quality of evidence proffered by the anti-boycott group that you link to (which on examination turned out to be false). This is not going to wash. You are essentially arguing that British academic culture is anti-Semitic because so far it hasn’t revamped the definition of anti-Semitism to better suit your politics. Here is the full ruling on the Fraser case, all forty-nine pages of it, as opposed to just Engage’s take: http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/media/judgments/2013/fraser-uni-college-union

            Your acceptance of Fraser’s rather wide definition of anti-Semitism also causes me to question the nature of what you experienced in the UK, since it appears that you are ready to label people anti-Semitic for criticism of Israel. I have spent rather more than a year studying at UK universities, including in a Jewish Studies department with strong links to Israeli academics, and I don’t recognise the picture you’re trying to paint.

            Reply to Comment
          • Alan

            “…it seems that you attribute his decision to some mysterious cabal of academics simply because you can’t stomach the thought that a capable and well-respected professor could have arrived at this conclusion by himself.” I hope you keep this thought in mind the next time one of your comrades argues that an all-powerful Israel/Jewish Lobby dictates American foreign policy toward Israel. Seems to me that many of your comrades resort to this argument because they can’t stomach the idea that American politicians and voters might actually disagree with them about Israel. Hawkings previous visits to Israel were pre-BDS; he would be crossing a firmly entrenched party line if he went to Israel now.

            Of course you don’t recognize the point I’m trying to make about the nexus of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism in the UK: you’re British and you’re not Jewish. White people in the US don’t have the experience of racism that African Americans do. Here is the way I experienced anti-Semitism in the UK: 1) I would overhear anti-Semitic comments to a degree that I never experienced growing up on the East coast of the US. 2) On about three different occasions in the course of a year, people would ask me if my surname was German. When I told them, no, I was Jewish, they would begin railing at me about Israel, even though I hadn’t expressed any opinion at all about Israel. Simply hearing that I was Jewish prompted people to berate me about Israel. 3) Many people that I met, in the most well-meaning way, were obsessed with the fact that I was Jewish; they would always look for a way to bring it up in conversation. I know other American Jews who have spent time at British Universities and have shared similar experiences me. Why would this obsession with my Jewishness be anti-Semitic? Because it springs from a culture that for hundreds of year has seen Jews as the “other.” Your country, Vicki, has a long history of defining their moral superiority by denoting Jews as the lowest moral common denominator. Reread “The Merchant of Venice” for a refresher course of how the English define their moral natures in relationship to “the Jew.” The obsession of many in the UK with demonizing Israel, and therefore affirming their own moral superiority, is the latest incarnation of a country with a long history of anti-Semitism.

            Reply to Comment
          • J. Wyndham

            Alan, your entire argument is based on the FALSE assumption I’m British. Your bigoted generalization regarding all British people (because you’ve been to Britain – pfft!) lends credence to my other posts. Thank you. Now that you’ve revealed how you think and resorted to argument by name calling, I intend to ignore you. Have a nice day.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Only in London (out of tens and hundreds of cities in about 10 countries) I’ve heard a person yelling (referring to immigrants) “go back to your fucking countries or I’ll fucking kill you” while walking though one of streets near Queensway.

            Drunk, of course. But that does not change much – in vino veritas, as you probably should have heard.

            Reply to Comment
    10. Engelbert Luitsz

      The reactions are almost worse than after the publication of Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem.
      “Someone should release the hand brake when he’s on a hill,” some poster wrote. I guess these guys belong to the same crowd that celebrated the deeds of Breivik.

      Reply to Comment
    11. ToivoS

      The chip cited in the Guardian article was designed at the Hilsboro, Oregon Intel reseach campus and the group leader was a Hindu American born in India.

      So not only is that story irrelevant, but it is based on a lie.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Corporate Israel ideology sees individuals as (happy) cells of the corporate entity. The entity works for its own good, as any individual thing does. So Hawkings is benefiting from corporate Israel while slapping it, the chip (allegedly) being made by corporate Israel. If Israel minds and hands made the chip, then corporate Israel did; the political opinions of these minds is irrelevant.

      Corporate Israel is not the Israeli State. If the State altered its policy–say removed the settlers from the Bank–then it has gone against corporate Israel and must be retrained. So too those Jews declared opposing corporate Israel are race traitors. They will be welcomed back into the organism once the gravity of their lapse is understood–corporate Israel works for the good of all.

      This is no different than other corporate nationalist ideologies (or, for that matter, Soviet socialism in one State). The case of corporate Israel is more poignant, perhaps, because of the Holocaust and Israel’s overall history. But this corporate response has been seen elsewhere after national trauma.

      Reply to Comment
    13. vildechaye

      The reaction to Hawking’s decision by Israel and its supporters is no more shrill than the Canadian reaction to Europe’s boycott of seal products. Does the Canadian reaction show the “bullying nature of the [Canadian] state,” or is this yet another one of the myriad examples of how Israel is singled out for the same behaviour other states exhibit with impunity.

      Reply to Comment
      • Piotr Berman

        Can you list a notable action performed by Canadian supporters of trade in products made of marine mammals? I only read comments like “it makes no sense to file WTO lawsuit that costs 10 million dollars to defend trade that grosses a bit more than 1 million dollars per year” to more shrill “colossal waste of taxpayer dollars” (the lawsuit). Perhaps press published in Innuit language has some more shrill reactions.

        Reply to Comment
    14. Richard Witty

      The reason that the technology theme is invoked, is ultimately NOT because Israeli technology is the savior of mankind, but because technology is the borderless link to normalization in the world.

      An open path to that normalization has been extended through the US technology firms and markets, nearly as universally through European, less through China India and Japan, and far far less so through Levant and Islamic world. (The wealthy in the Islamic world that desire the connection to the west economy also desire increased normalization with Israeli technologists and technology and knowledge, the middle classes similarly, the poor and more religious don’t care.)

      The threat of boycott from Europe is significant to Israeli economy and ultimately to Israeli normalization.

      The movement is the threat, not so much individual statements. The significance of Hawking’s position is somewhere that straddles movement to individual statement of conscience, a bit of both in fact.

      The difference between an isolated Israel and an Israel whose policies are criticized, is severe.

      The boycott of a nation is a potential first step to genocide, as occurred in European diaspora in the memory of our old elders, and their story to their children. (There were organized boycotts of Jewish businesses not only in Germany and German controlled countries, but also in allies Hungary and Italy, and to a lesser extent even in countries at war with Germany.)

      As with South Africa, the settings in which normalization policies succeeded in breaking racial prejudices, was in the technology sector. South African IBM didn’t care whether a product designer was black or white. Similarly, Israeli Motorola or Intel don’t care whether a system engineer is Palestinian or Jewish Israeli. Although the xenophobe caricaturists that are easy to criticize don’t really realize it, the industries that they laud are also the ones practicing integration, commercial if not liberatory social.

      The boycott movement itself is trying to succeed from outside INSTEAD of from inside. The Hawking boycott is a weather-vain of the shift from potential of reform/revolution from external coercion rather than from persuasion.

      Reply to Comment
    15. dickerson3870

      RE: “A boycott of Intel could be a good idea: the Israeli taxpayer has been subsidizing the corporation for many years under the program of ‘socialism for the rich, swinish capitalism for the have nots’.”

      ALSO SEE: “Intel chip plant located on disputed Israeli land”, by Henry Norr, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/08/02
      EXCERPTS] Just how diligent was Intel’s due diligence when it chose to build a multibillion-dollar chip plant in Qiryat Gat, Israel? . . .
      . . . Intel calls the plant Fab 18 (“fab” being chip-industry jargon for a facility where the silicon wafers that are eventually turned into working chips are fabricated). The fab, which went into production in 1999, was the fruit of a $1 billion investment by the Santa Clara company, supplemented by a $600 million grant from the Israeli government. . .
      . . . But from a legal and historical point of view, Qiryat Gat happens to be an unusual location: It was not taken over by the Israeli military in 1948. Instead, it was part of a small enclave, known as the Faluja pocket, that the Egyptian army and local Palestinian forces had managed to hold through the end of the war.
      The area was surrounded by Israeli forces, however. When Israel and Egypt signed an armistice agreement in February 1949, the latter agreed to withdraw its soldiers, but it insisted that the agreement explicitly guarantee the safety and property of the 3,100 or so Arab civilians in the area.
      Israel accepted that demand. In an exchange of letters that were filed with the United Nations and became an annex to the main armistice agreement, the two countries agreed that “those of the civilian population who may wish to remain in Al-Faluja and Iraq al Manshiya (the two villages within the enclave covered by the letters) are to be permitted to do so. . . . All of these civilians shall be fully secure in their persons, abodes, property and personal effects.” …
      . . . Within days, the security the agreement had promised residents of the Al- Faluja pocket proved an illusion. Within weeks, the entire local population had fled to refugee camps outside of Israel.
      Morris presents ample evidence that the people of the Al-Faluja area left in response to a campaign of intimidation conducted by the Israeli military. He quotes, among other sources, reports filed by Ralph Bunche, the distinguished black American educator and diplomat who was serving as chief U. N. mediator in the region.
      Bunche’s reports include complaints from U.N. observers on the scene that “Arab civilians . . . at Al-Faluja have been beaten and robbed by Israeli soldiers,” that there were attempted rapes and that the
      Israelis were “firing promiscuously” on the Arab population. . .
      ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2002/07/08/BU162036.DTL

      Reply to Comment
    16. Click here to load previous comments

    LEAVE A COMMENT

    Name (Required)
    Mail (Required)
    Website
    Free text

© 2010 - 2014 +972 Magazine
Follow Us
Credits

+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

Website empowered by RSVP

Illustrations: Eran Mendel