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5 Reasons Why the Smartest Man in the World Is Right to Boycott Israel

Stephen Hawking should be commended for pulling out of an Israeli conference as a protest at Israel's treatment of Palestinians.

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1. The Palestinian call for solidarity 

Palestinians suffering under Israeli apartheid are calling for  Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) as a strategy in the realisation of their basic rights, a fact that many Zionists choose to ignore when attacking boycott campaigns. The Palestinian civil society call for BDS was officially launched on July 9 2005, a year after the International Court of Justice's advisory opinion on the illegality of Israel's Separation Wall. Signatories to the BDS call come from representatives of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinian citizens of Israel, and Palestinian refugees. Since then, growing numbers of people in the likes of academia, the arts world, trade unions and faith communities have answered the BDS call with initiatives that put the focus firmly on Israel's routine violations of international law and ending complicity in these crimes. Professor Hawking is to be commended for seeking the advice of Palestinian academics, and heeding their request for international solidarity in a decades-long struggle for freedom and justice. 

Ben White is a freelance journalist, writer and activist, specialising in Palestine/Israel. He is a graduate of Cambridge University.

You can follow the editor on Twitter:  @nyktweets

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.

 

 
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