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The Boston Globe

World

Hawking withdraws from Israeli conference

Decides to support academic boycott of the Jewish state

JERUSALEM — Stephen Hawking, the physicist and cosmologist, has pulled out of a high-profile conference scheduled to be held in June in order to support an academic boycott of Israel, conference organizers said Wednesday.

The academic and cultural boycott, organized by international activists to protest Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians, is a heated and contentious issue; having Hawking join it could help the anti-Israel campaigners significantly.

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