This coming June, Israel will hold the fifth Israeli Presidential Conference on the theme of “Facing Tomorrow 2013: The Human Factor in Shaping Tomorrow”. Under the leadership of Israeli President Shimon Peres, A long list of speakers includes key players, innovators, visionaries, scholars and leaders from around the world. Each year, not only it promises to introduce new products, services and inventions, but it delivers! Israel has been the cradle of world innovations for a while now, and continues to provide our global community very often with the future delivered today! The list is too long to publish here, and it keeps growing almost daily.
The 2013 conference should have included British theoretical physicist, cosmologist and author Stephen Hawking as one of the keynote speakers. Globally recognized as a genius, Hawking has also become the poster child for science over the last few decades. But in a move that has garnered him both some applause and some criticism, he chose to boycott the 2013 Israeli conference following the advice of Palestinian academics. This will undoubtedly help to vindicate the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) in their fight against “Apartheid Israel”. On the English version of the Middle East media site El Arabiya, while some claimed that his health was what made him change his mind, Hawking’s statement was made crystal clear:
“We understand that Professor Stephen Hawking has declined his invitation to attend the Israeli Presidential Conference Facing Tomorrow 2013, due to take place in Jerusalem on 18-20 June. This is his independent decision to respect the boycott, based upon his knowledge of Palestine, and on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there.”