05.09.2013 08:59 AM

Just goes to show, once again

You can be book-smart, but that doesn’t actually mean you are smart.


  1. Neil N says:

    Does that mean you agree with expanding Israeli settlements in the West Bank?

  2. Chubsy Ubsy says:

    Oh snap! (nice one, Warren)

  3. Luke says:

    With all due respect, Mr Hawking is a little more than ‘smart’. You’d have been better off going with “You can be a genius and still make mistakes.”

  4. po'd says:

    John Baird could have used you the day he got up to speak at the UN and no one in the place clapped. Unlike when the other leaders spoke, including Mr. Abbas who received a great deal of applause.


    Note he was introduced as John Bird. Freudian slip?

  5. patrick says:

    The political actions of Israel towards Palestine is a short term and long term disaster for the people of Israel and Palestine. It has created a base from which Hamas can fester and rise and kept Israel under a constant state of threat.
    Israel is an imposed state, created out of necessity and good intentions but at the cost of imposition on others.
    Now Israeli’s and Palestinians have to move on from being a state “imposed” to a state of choice. Israeli’s and Palestinians have to make a choice, like one made a couple of hundred years ago by this country, that for the well being of all concerned it is time to unify a diverse collection of people.
    Of course there isn’t a chance that this happens with the present politicians in place.

  6. !o! says:

    We might disagree with individual methods, but the idea that there are a lot of parallels between Israel and apartheid South Africa is only growing. In the latter case, boycotts proved effective.

  7. GPAlta says:

    I trust Peter Beinart on issues about Israel, he has a reasoned, moderate, approach, which includes boycotting Israeli businesses that operate in the occupied territories, but supporting Israeli businesses inside the recognized borders. Unfortunately, nuance and moderation are not widely appreciated these days, and various interest groups decided to “go negative” on him and claim that he is an anti-Semite, largely ending the dialogue that he had tried to take part in.

    I think that the academic boycott is simply another example of a group trying to make its point as forcefully as possible by “going negative” on its opponents, creating an unfair and incomplete caricature of the situation that may score them some points in the short term but in the long term is counterproductive, and as such, I disagree with it.

    Let’s face it, both sides in the Israel/Palestine conflict have plenty of material for “going negative” on each other, real, horrifying, terrifying material, and both sides are using it in their propaganda and as justification for their military/terrorist actions, and peace only gets further and further away.

    If only we could somehow translate the failures that this lack of civil discourse and empathy cause into a lesson we could apply in our own country.

  8. wsam says:

    South Africans wanted black labour. Isreal wants the Palestinians gone.

    I generally don’t support boycotts, especially of democratic states.

    But. All the fuss over Hawkings decision raises an interesting point.

    What is an acceptable way to protest Isreali actions in the Occupied Territories?

  9. jack says:

    While some of the attendees are of like mind as Mr. Hawking and claim he is a hypocrite, had he gone to the conference this would not be a story and the academics and speakers would have their conference with nary a peep in media coverage. It seems this support of the cause by Hawking has generated a ton of coverage about the conference and about the cause to which he seems quite committed.

    He has got more people writing and talking about it than ever would have occurred had he attended. I`m sure the conference will also get more coverage than normal.

    Maybe pretty smart after all.

  10. wsam says:

    What is an acceptable way to protest Isreali actions in the Occupied Territories?

    • GPAlta says:

      I would suggest working towards removing the Palestinian-hating Conservative Party from power in this country. One less vote in the UN against the Palestinians reduces the total opposition to Palestinian rights there by over 10%, since there are currently only 9 countries opposed to Palestinian statehood and we could change that to 8.

      I would also suggest setting a better example in Canada by demanding equality for First Nations Canadians living on reserves who we currently very clearly discriminate against in terms of health and education spending, and in many other ways that are more difficult to quantify but equally important to correct. We currently have no moral authority whatsoever, but we are in a good position to model a dramatic moral change in policy, one which Israel could benefit from emulating.

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