BEIJING — Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu slammed Stephen Hawking for joining the boycott against Israel and canceling plans to attend President Shimon Peres’ conference next month, saying the celebrated physicist should “study the facts.”
Asked by The Jerusalem Post about Hawking’s boycott at a press briefing, Netanyahu said, “he should investigate the truth, he is a scientist. He should study the facts and draw the necessary conclusions: Israel is an island of reason, moderation and a desire for peace.”
Netanyahu said that Hawking knows that there are many false theories in science. “There are also false theories in politics, and this [the slandering of Israel], is one of them, maybe the foremost among them,” he said. “There is no state that yearns for peace more than Israel, nor any state that has done more for peace than Israel.”
One official in the Prime Minister’ entourage went even farther, comparing Hawking to Shakespeare and Voltaire — both who who held anti-Semitic sentiments.
“History shows that there are people who are no less great than Hawking who believed things about Jews that it was impossible to imagine they actually believed,” he said. “I am talking about Voltaire, or Shakespeare. How do you explain that someone with encyclopedic knowledge of Voltaire believed what he did about the Jews. How can you explain it? But it is a fact.”
Apparently, the official continued, “intelligence and achievements are no guarantee for understanding the truth about the Jews or their state. What was true regarding Jews for generations, is now true about the state of the Jews.”
View original Jerusalem Post publications at: http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/PM-says-Hawking-needs-to-study-facts-about-Israel-312664