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.

UPDATE 8 May 1600 BDT: The statement above has been issued with the
specific endorsement of Professor Hawking’s office. His staff sent us
the following message on 7 May “Just spoken to Tim [Tim Holt, Acting
Director of Communications for Cambridge University] and we are both
in agreement with the quote – and as you say – sensible to get this
out rather than a lot of differing opinions.” We have seen the
letter that Professor Hawking sent to the Jerusalem organisers giving
his clear reasons for not attending and are seeking his permission to
release the letter but will not do so until we have his approval. We
regret the misinformation being circulated about this matter.

UPDATE 8 May 1900 BDT: Cambridge University
re-flip flops and confirms what BRICUP has been saying is true:

“We have now received confirmation from Professor Hawking’s
office that a letter was sent on Friday to the Israeli President’s
office regarding his decision not to attend the Presidential Conference,
based on advice from Palestinian academics that he should respect
the boycott.

“We had understood previously that his decision was based
purely on health grounds having been advised by doctors not to fly.”

They always had that knowledge (see 1600 update). We await apologies
from the participants in the Hasbara storm who accused us of lying.

Professor Hawking’s letter on 3 May to
the conference organisers said, “I accepted the invitation to the
Presidential Conference with the intention that this would not only
allow me to express my opinion on the prospects for a peace settlement
but also because it would allow me to lecture on the West Bank. However,
I have received a number of emails from Palestinian academics. They
are unanimous that I should respect the boycott. In view of this, I
must withdraw from the conference. Had I attended, I would have stated
my opinion that the policy of the present Israeli government is likely
to lead to disaster.”

brief history of Stephen Hawking’s boycott
– The Daily Beast The
story of how BRICUP got accused of lying but was later vindicated.
Hawking’s message to Israeli elites: The occupation has a price
Noam Sheifaz 972 Magazine
Denigration of Stephen Hawking Reveals the Intense Dishonesty of Current
Edward Teller MyFireDogLake
Hever interviews Mike Cushman
Real News Network
Brief History of Stephn Hawking’s Hypocrisy
Eli Valley The Forward