A short post on a man in a wheelchair

The hatred being spewed toward Stephen Hawking is disturbing.

The man made a choice informed by his own views and information on the ground. Anyone hiding behind the “fact” that Israel is only democracy in the Middle East or that Palestinians have it better under Israeli rule or any of the other tired and lame excuses for the vile things being said about a physicist in a wheelchair, should be ashamed of themselves.

Perhaps as opposed to automatically blaming those who have the audacity to stand up and say something — even if it is seen as overbearing, inappropriate, or bias — the American Jewish community could say something about the Palestinians and how as Jews we don’t like the way they are being treated BY OTHER JEWS. I don’t know, that might actually work.

It might be time for a significant change in our approach to dealing with legitimate criticism of Israel.  But it has been time for that for the last 15 years.

Ach, like I said, this was a short post.

6 Responses to “A short post on a man in a wheelchair”

  1. dcc, can you offer some examples of hatred being spewed at Hawkings? I’ve been following the issue closely and actually emailed Hawkings’ assistant at Cambridge to express my disappointment with his decision, along with why I think he should reconsider. I have yet to see the hatred you claim is being directed his way. No fatwa has been issued calling for the man’s murder. Reasonable (including many highly educated, respected and opinionated) people are rightly troubled by the stance Hawkings has taken, and are challenging him to defend his intellectually indefensible choice. What possible issue could you have with this, dcc?

    When even the likes of Finkelstein accept that the BDS movement’s purpose is not to end the conflict, but to end the occupation as a step towards intensifying the conflict, those who choose to wave the banner of boycott should be made to explain themselves.


    Victor · May 10th, 2013 at 9:08 am
  2. Victor, I have seen lots of Jewish leaders (rabbi, cantors, Temple presidents) of Facebook and Twitter, and in some papers saying that he should give up his voice machine (because it was made by Intel in Israel) or that he should “stand up” for his beliefs…it makes me sick.

    What you are saying is fine and I agree with you on some level and with him others.


    dcc · May 11th, 2013 at 11:41 am
  3. I think Eli Valley summed it up rather nicely in his latest piece in the Forward. blogs.forward.com/forward-thinking/176610/brief-history-of-stephen-hawkings-hypocrisy/


    dlevy · May 14th, 2013 at 2:03 pm
  4. What does Hawking’s wheelchair have to do with this? He decided to jump into the fray and display his attitude (ignorance?) to the world.

    Does his wheelchair give him a free pass to criticize but not be criticized in response? That’s certainly not how science works. Does he want to play by the big-boy rules when he’s a scientist but get special immunity when he’s attacking Israel? Why?


    Eric · May 19th, 2013 at 5:41 pm
  5. The wheelchair is relevant because Hawking’s critics attacked the wheelchair rather than the man’s ideas with arguments like “If he wants to boycott Israel, why is he using life-saving technologies that have origins in Israel?”


    dlevy · May 19th, 2013 at 8:09 pm
  6. Eric, if you have a problem with Hawking’s stance, email him directly. Be polite and to the point. The BDS movement is an immoral instrument of those who seek the destruction of the State of Israel and the ethnic cleansing or wholesale murder of it’s people. Only the lowest information participant in this movement doesn’t understand what its true agenda is. Abunimah and his cohorts proudly display their pleasure at having kicked the can as far down the road as they have towards making acceptable to the Western public consciousness the destruction of Israel. That a respected scientific mind has lent credibility to such a cause is a travesty, and as free people we have a duty to protest.

    prof.hawking@damtp.cam.ac.uk


    Victor · May 19th, 2013 at 8:55 pm

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"I may attack a certain point of view which I consider false, but I will never attack a person who preaches it. I have always a high regard for the individual who is honest and moral, even when I am not in agreement with him. Such a relation is in accord with the concept of kavod habriyot, for beloved is man for he is created in the image of God." —Rav Joseph Soloveitchik