Contributed by CAMERA Intern Rebecca Pritzker:
Acclaimed physicist Stephen Hawking is in the news again, and this time, it is not because of a new discovery. The 71-year-old Lou Gehrig’s disease patient recently decided to boycott the Israeli Presidential Conference in order to protest against the “policy of the present Israeli government,” which, he believes, “is likely to lead to disaster.”
However, it is the State of Israel, that enabled Mr. Hawking to express those very thoughts. Indeed, Israelis at Intel invented the chip that allows Mr. Hawking’s communication system to function. Their devotion to helping him, including allowing him to exercise his freedom of speech, is a microcosm of the civil freedoms that Israel so dearly values.
Israel was deemed the freest country in the Middle East. Israel allows people of all ethnicities and backgrounds to become citizens, regardless of whether they are Jewish or born in Israel. Moreover, all citizens have the right to vote and go to school within the country’s borders. Israel even protects her Arab citizens from the mandatory army duty, which all citizens serve, to protect them from fighting against fellow Arabs.
You see, despite the continual accusations of apartheid that she faces, Israel is committed to granting all citizens their rights. And this commitment does not stop with citizens of Israel. Israel strives to do her duty as a global neighbor by consistently sending aid and first-responders to other countries and individuals in need.
Stephen Hawking’s innovative communication technology is but one example of Israel providing aid to all, even those who criticize her.
Read here an op-ed originally published in the MIT Tech about BDS, by Rachel Bander, a former CAMERA Fellow. Read here an op-ed about Apartheid Week by our CCAP group McGill Students for Israel.
For more information on Stephen Hawkings and his boycott, read this great posting: The strange case of Stephen Hawking and the academic boycott of Israel that wasn’t. Or was it? from the blog Anne’s Opinions.