It turns out that Stephen Hawking’s cancelled trip to Israel is not a matter of boycotting the Jewish state, but rather merely a result of his health, according to The Commentator.
The Guardian, which broke the faux story late last night, claimed that Hawking was to boycott the Presidential Conference in Jerusalem next month after receiving an erroneous statement from the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP), which claimed that it had with Hawking’s approval.
The statement said that the move was “his independent decision to respect the boycott, based upon his knowledge of Palestine, and on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there.” The story was then picked up by various news outlets around the world.
However, The Commentator reported that a Cambridge University spokesperson–where Hawking teaches–has confirmed that there was a “misunderstanding” this past weekend, and that Prof. Hawking had pulled out of the conference for medical reasons alone.
The University spokesman said: “Professor Hawking will not be attending the conference in Israel in June for health reasons – his doctors have advised against him flying.”
When pressed further, the spokesperson confirmed that the BRICUP organisation had “assumed” Hawking’s position on the matter, and that it was fundamentally untrue.